An ecosystem is a unit that includes all living beings : plants, animals, organisms and non-living elements that exist within a certain area, interacting with each other, and that also interact with non-living environments such as climate, earth, sun, soil, climate and atmosphere. Ecosystems constitute the basis of the Biosphere and determine the health of the entire Earth system. In an ecosystem, each part and organism that makes it up play an important and crucial role for the proper development of human and animal life.


What is an ecosystem?

An ecosystem is a community formed by all the biotic and abiotic factors that are located in a place and that are related to each other and each one of them plays an important and vital role within it.

  • How an ecosystem is formed
  • How an ecosystem works
  • Characteristics of the ecosystem
  • Parties
  • Ecosystem components
  • Classification
  • Dynamic
  • Examples

How an ecosystem is formed

Ecosystems are made up of:

  • Abiotic components:  this group includes all types of products that do not have life , such as climate, geological and geographical factors , among which we can mention minerals, climate, soil, water, rocks, sunlight and all other non-living elements. It also includes chemical factors, such as the amount of water and air, the concentration of nutrients in the soil, toxic substances, salinity in the oceans and oxygen present in the atmosphere .
  • Biotic components: they  consist of all the living members that we can find in the environment, such as animals, plants, fungi and bacteria, this means, all the flora and fauna of a place and their different interactions.

How an ecosystem works

For an ecosystem to exist and function properly, plant and animal life must be present. For this, the sun’s energy is necessary to sustain, support and give life to the entire ecosystem. Plants use energy from the sun to initiate the transfer of energy between living organisms. The plants synthesize food for the whole ecosystem through the process of photosynthesis , and for this it needs the sunlight . Photosynthesis refers to the process of energy production by plants. The animals , particularly herbivorous and omnivorousthat feed on both plants and animals, consume this chemical compound by eating the leaves of plants, fruits, seeds, roots or other edible parts. The Carnivores , on the other hand, are animals that are adapted to eat meat only what they need to eat other animals to survive power. When carnivores consume another animal, the matter and energy derived from it are converted back into energy through a process of continuous consumption and in this way matter and energy are transferred from one living being to another until a predator of high level ends the transfer. The processes in the ecosystem could not be completed without the cycle of materials and energysynthesized by plants, for this reason both plants and animals die and return to being organic matter by the action of decomposers . Decomposers are those small organisms that act on non-living organic material to break it down into simpler components: nutrients , which return to the soil for use by plants and the cycle repeats itself constantly.

Characteristics of the ecosystem

Some characteristics that represent the ecosystem are:

  • The food hierarchy includes an energy source, the sun, producers, consumers, decomposers, and non-living chemicals such as minerals and other elements.
  • They are made up of regions, fauna and flora .
  • The type of diet is varied and shapes the food chain.
  • There is a constant transmission of energy .
  • The living beings of the ecosystem adapt to the climate and the environment that surrounds them.
  • Ecosystems have patterns of temperature and precipitation
  • The organisms that live in the ecosystem depend on each other .


The ecosystem has three different parts:

  • The biotope , which refers to the physical place that is made up of land, air, soil, oxygen, temperature, type of climate, amount of precipitation, etc.
  • Biocenosis , which involves the set of different living beings and plants that live in a certain place.
  • Relationships , which are established between biotypes and biocenosis , so that defense, reproduction and food chains can exist.

Ecosystem components

  • Abiotic components:  They are all the elements that do not have life such as water, air, temperature and minerals that make up the soil, amount of rain that falls on it, whether it is fresh water or salt water, how much sun it receives or how often freezes and thaws.
  • Producers : Producers are the living organisms in the ecosystem that absorb energy from sunlight and use it to transform carbon dioxide and oxygen into energy . Plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria are all examples of producers. They make up the largest group in the biomass ecosystem .
  • Consumers : They are living organisms that obtain their energy from the consumption of other organisms . They can be herbivores, carnivores and omnivores . They are part of food chains and networks, where the transfer of energy and nutrients can take place.
  • Decomposers : They are those that decompose waste material and dead organisms. For example, earthworms, dung beetles, and many species of fungi and bacteria. They perform a vital recycling function, returning the nutrients incorporated in the dead organisms to the soil where plants can retrieve them again.


  • Aquatic ecosystem: it is the one that exists in a body of water . All living organisms depend on each other and their environment for their survival. There are two subcategories of aquatic ecosystem: Marine and freshwater ecosystem .
  • Terrestrial ecosystem: it is the one found in terrestrial formations . The main difference between terrestrial and aquatic is that the aquatic ecosystem has a shortage of water compared to the terrestrial one. There are four main types of terrestrial ecosystems: desert , forest, grassland, and mountain.
  • Ecosystems modified by man: such as urbanized places, crops, etc.


The dynamics of the ecosystem is based on the incorporation of energy and minerals by autotrophic organisms , the synthesis of organic matter from the incorporation of inorganic matter and energy through photosynthesis, consumption by heterotrophs, the disintegration that is carried out by disintegrators and the transformation of organic and inorganic components into mineral compounds.


  • Coral reefs – Life is found in huge coral structures that form a natural barrier and are home to small fish, mollusks, and crustaceans .
  • Deserts : contain complicated ecosystems full of vegetation and animals adapted to drought and high temperatures.
  • Humid tropical forests : one of the most important biomes, they are great reservoirs of fauna and flora, and contain many trophic chains of great variety.

Leave a Comment