Biology

Ecosystem: What is an Ecosystem?

len Alfred Ajibola - Tue, 10th December, 2019 @ 09:31: AM

Topics in Biology

Food web explained with examples Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 2nd Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 3rd Term Seminal Vesicles and Bulbourethral Glands as Male Accessory Sex Organs Male Reproductive System: Scrotum and its contents Brain: Introduction to the Human Brain Forebrain: Lobes of the Cerebrum and their Functions Cerebellum: Parts and Functions of the Cerebellum Midbrain: Division and Functions of the Midbrain Negative Feedback Mechanism in Homeostasis Arterial Disorders: Characteristics and Causes of Arterial Disorders Types of Desert and their Characteristics Characteristics of Tropical Rainforest Swamp Forest: What are Swamp Forests? Characteristics of Swamp Forests Savanna: Savanna and Grassland explained Savanna - Types of Savanna Tropical Savanna and Temperate Savanna with their Characteristics Introduction to Biomes: What is a Biome?


Academic Questions in Biology

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The final organisms in a food chain are best referred to as _____.

  • A. saprophytes

  • B. parasites

  • C. commensals

  • D. decomposers

  • E. tertiary consumers

  • F. quatenary consumers

Which of the following is a category of long bones?

  • A. Stunted long bones
  • B. Reduced long bones
  • C. Giant long bones
  • D. Bended long bones
  • E. Curved long bones
  • F. Elongated long bones

The end product of photosynthesis is _____.

  • A. O2
  • B. C​​​​​​2​​​​C5OH
  • C. H2​​​​​O
  • D. CO2
  • E. C6H12O6
  • F. C2H5COOH

The above diagram illustrates a _____.

  • A. Food Chain
  • B. Food Web
  • C. Food Pyramid
  • D. Food Link
  • E. Food Hub
  • F. Food zone

The living cells that makes up cartilages are called _____.

  • A. osteocytes
  • B. osteoblasts
  • C. osteoclasts
  • D. chondroblasts
  • E. chrondocytes
  • F. Osteoprogenitor cells

Which of the following statement is incorrect with regards to chitin?

  • A. Ecdysis is a term associated with chitin
  • B. It is a skeletal material
  • C. It is a type of skeleton
  • D. It is present outside the organism
  • E. It does not grow when the organism grows
  • It is present in ants

Which of the following is NOT a function of the human skeleton?

  • A. Gives Shape
  • B. Provides Protection
  • C. Aids in Locomotion
  • D. Supports Movement
  • E. Assists in Inhalation and Exahalation
  • F. None of the above
  • G. All of the above

Organisms that manufacture their own food through the help of sunlight or chemicals are best referred to as _____.

  • A. autotrophs
  • B. chemosynthetic
  • C. photosynthentic
  • D. chemoautotrophs
  • E. photoautotrophs
  • F. chemoautotrophs

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Concept of the Ecosystem:

To better understand the concept of an ecosystem, we need to first realize that living organisms cannot exist in isolation (alone). For instance, you live among other humans. Apart from this fact, other domestic animals (and even insects) may also be found around you.

Together; you, other people and the domestic animals within your area forms a community.

As a student, understanding the concept of a community and other ecological concepts will aid you to better comprehend the ecosystem.

Please read on the various Ecological Concepts here.

Note: The term community emanates from the diversity of organisms living in a particular area.

Think of a community as the population of all species of organisms living in a particular area.

As an instance, the community of organisms in the savanna will include all the populations of grasses, lions, snakes, zebras, buffaloes and other organisms present there in.

Please read more on Savanna here.

Always remember that a community will only consist of the living organisms in a particular area. Non-living things are not a part of the community.


What is an Ecosystem?

An ecosystem can be defined as the community of living organisms (plants and animals) interacting and functioning together with their living and non-living environment.

Ecosystem - Len Academy

Note: It is the function of an ecologist to study the ecosystem, defining it's boundaries and limitations.

Please read on Ecology and Branches of Ecology here.

An important point to understand here is the fact that the ecosystem also consist of the non-living factors. For this reason, it's safe to say that the ecosystem isn't just a community. Rather it has everything to do with the interaction of both the living and non-living parts of the environment.

Please read on the Concept of a Biome here.

Consider the instances below.

  • In a savanna or grassland biome, the grasses require a certain kind of climate, soil and other non-living factors to support their growth.
  • The zebras will feed on the abundant grasses therein.
  • The lions on their part will feed on the zebras.
  • Please read more on Food Chain here.

From the above instance, we will observe that the savanna is composed of a variety of organisms which makes up the grassland (or savanna) community. In this case, the community of organisms are the grasses, zebras and lions.

Also, we will discover that the grasses requires a good climate, soil, sunlight, nutrients and organic matter to grow. Notice that all of these requirements of the grasses are non-living; and they play an important part in the normal functioning and balance of the savanna ecosystem. In fact, without these non-living factors, the ecosystem will not exist in the first place.

Note: An ecosystem is made up of 2 components. These are:

  1. Living Components or Biotic Components.
  2. Non-Living Components or Abiotic Components.
  3. Please read on the Components of the Ecosystem here.

An ecosystem can be small is size, for instance, a small pond. Conversely, it can be very large in size, for example, an ocean. In addition, various ecosystem exists on the lithosphere (land) and hydrosphere (water).

According to statistics, the salt water (seas and oceans) ecosystem makeup about 70% of the earth's surface. Fresh water ecosystem like rivers, streams, lakes and ponds occupy about 1.8% while the terrestial ecosystem accounts for about 28%.

The terrestial ecosystems can be divided into biomes.

Please read on the Tropical Rainforest Biome and its Importance here.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.


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Amazing facts in Biology

Male Seahorses actually give birth to their young ones, NOT the female

All babies are born with blue eyes

Research made at the University of Vienna suggested that yawning may play an essential role in cooling the brains

All voluntary and concious activity of right handed people are controlled from the left part or hemisphere of the brain

A snail can actually sleep for 3 years 😁

An adult human being is composed of about 60% water. In fact, a newly born baby is composed of about 80% of water. This will drop to 65% after a year and finally to about 60% as the child ages

Without saliva, food can never be enjoyed. Food becomes tasteless since saliva is needed to dissolve the chemicals present in food onto the tongue’s taste buds.

Saliva also contains an enzyme called salivary amylase or "ptyalin" which helps to digest cooked starch to maltose. Maltose is a double sugar or disaccharide. Please read on sugars here


NOTABLE POINTS IN Biology

For a thing to be considered Living, it must possess all the Basic Characteristics of Life. These include:

  1. Movement

  2. Respiration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Irritability or Sensitivity

  5. Growth

  6. Excretion

  7. Reproduction

  8. Death

  9. Adaptation

  10. Competition

Please read the explanations on all the Basic Characteristics of Life here

During strenuous exercises like sprinting or 🏃 running, your body may actually work in the shortage of oxygen. During this time, your body owes oxygen (called oxygen debt) and it must be replenished or repayed after the exercise is stopped. This is why you breathe excess of oxygen after you stopped the exercise.

This is the concept of anaerobic respiration

A food Chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.

Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:

  • Terrestrial (Land)
  • Aquatic (Water)
  • Arboreal (🌲 Treetops)

You can read on Food Chain here

The term Biology originated from two Greek words. They are:

  • Bios: means life. 
  • Logos: means knowledge or to study.

Biology can therefore be defined is the study of life

Anything that has life is generally considered as a living organism (or organism) 🌱🐐🐓. All living organisms must be able to carry the following activities:

  1. Movement
  2. Respiration
  3. Nutrition
  4. Irritability or Sensitivity
  5. Growth
  6. Excretion
  7. Reproduction
  8. Death
  9. Adaptation
  10. Competition

The above listed points are often regarded as the basic characteristics of life. You can memorize them using the acronym (MR. NIGER DAC).

You can read on the introduction to Biology and the basic characteristics of life here

The gas used in the manufacture of food by plants is Carbon dioxide or Carbon(IV)oxide or CO2. 

Plants manufacture food through a process called photosynthesis. Please read on photosynthesis here

Note: Plants are the only orgnisms that take away CO2 from the atmosphere