General

Examples of ecosystems

An ecosystem is a biological infrastructure that contains two components: a diverse community of living organisms and the habitat or environment in which they thrive. Because our planet offers topographic, geological, geographical and climatological varieties, there are different types of ecosystems worldwide.

10 examples of ecosystems

  • High Seas Marine Ecosystem. Among the two main categories of aquatic ecosystems (saltwater ecosystems vs. freshwater ecosystems), this is the broadest. Algae and plankton abound as the main sources of vegetation. The fauna is made up of fish of various sizes and other types of organisms such as sea turtles and whales.
  • Abysmal Marine Ecosystem inhabits directly below the high seas marine ecosystem. What mainly distinguishes one from the other is that sunlight is very scarce or almost non-existent in this one. Therefore, the abundance of algae or vegetation is scarce and the animal organisms existing in this ecosystem are smaller and need various adaptive mechanisms in order to survive.
  • Coastal Marine Ecosystem. It is characterized by having a great abundance of life due to its proximity to the surface of the sea. The coral reefs that are part of this ecosystem, for example, show an incredible diversity of life. You can see vegetation of all imaginable colors and a great variety of animals such as: fish, sharks, seals, crustaceans, sea snakes, mollusks and more.
  • The Lakes Their waters are sweet and very important because they are essential sources of drinking water, edible animals and plants; industrial rocks and minerals. The main sources of vegetation seen in lakes are algae and macrophytes, responsible for providing oxygen and food to its other inhabitants. The most popular animals you can find are fish, crustaceans, mollusks, reptiles, and birds.
  • The Swamps. Of fresh and shallow waters, made up of wetlands or slight curvatures on the surface of the earth. The vegetation is mainly aquatic since it can consist of several species of algae submerged in the water or by floating plants within it. The animals that inhabit the swamps the most are fish, crustaceans, amphibians, small reptiles, and migratory birds such as the stork or the flamingo.
  • The desert. It is a rigorous terrestrial ecosystem to inhabit. They are characterized mainly by having hot and dry climates, very little precipitation throughout the year, and little or no vegetation due to their almost infertile lands. The few reptiles, insects, birds and mammals that make up the desert fauna are highly adapted to these adverse conditions.
  • The tundra. They are known to have extremely challenging characteristics. The most remarkable thing about this ecosystem is its cold temperature during most of the year. The vegetation is dominated by coniferous trees and fragile grasses that only grow during the few months that it rains. On the other hand, native tundra animals such as wolves, elk, foxes, hares, and polar bears, possess adaptive characteristics to coexist with the unfavorable conditions of the tundra.
  • Dry Tropical Forest. It is located within the equatorial line and the periods of precipitation are moderate. The soils fertile in minerals, and mainly, the temperatures that fluctuate between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius throughout the year, allow the dry tropical forest to be the owner of a wide and vast changing vegetation. As a result, this is an exemplary ecosystem to find an astonishing number of different types of insects, birds, reptiles, and mammals.
  • Tropical Rain Forest. This forest, also known as the Amazon rainforest, has the crown for being the richest and most extensive ecosystem of all, so much so that the Amazon rainforest attributes to a third of the world’s respiratory lung. Unlike the dry tropical forest, there is no period of the year when precipitation is not abundant. Therefore, the vegetation is extensive, made up of leafy trees, orchids, flowers, and grasses rich in carbohydrates and minerals. The fauna that you can find in the Amazon rainforest is also diverse, unique, and wide.
  • Savannah. As an ecosystem, the savannah has particular characteristics. The climate is generally arid, dry, and lacks very little precipitation throughout the year. For this reason, the lands are not so fertile and consequently, the variety of vegetation that can be found is little. The African savannah, for example, appears to be an endless meadow of golden grass to the naked eye. However, this ecosystem contains an enormous diversity of all kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

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