Ecosystem

ecosystemsenvironmenteco-systemecological systemsecological systemecosystem functionbiosystemenvironmentalnatural ecosystemsecological
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system.wikipedia
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Biomass (ecology)

biomassmassmarine biomass
They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present.
The biomass is the mass of living biological organisms in a given area or ecosystem at a given time.

Biotic component

bioticbiotic componentsbiotic factors
These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows.
Biotic components, or biotic factors, can be described as any living component that affects another organism or shapes the ecosystem.

Biodiversity

diversitybiological diversitybiodiverse
Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, as do the processes of disturbance and succession.
Biodiversity is typically a measure of variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem level.

Abiotic component

abioticabiotic factorsabiotic factor
These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system.
In biology and ecology, abiotic components or abiotic factors are non-living chemical and physical parts of the environment that affect living organisms and the functioning of ecosystems.

Ecosystem services

ecosystem serviceenvironmental servicesecological services
Ecosystems provide a variety of goods and services upon which people depend.
Ecosystem services are the many and varied benefits that humans freely gain from the natural environment and from properly-functioning ecosystems.

Energy

energy transferenergiestotal energy
By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system.
The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth.

Organic matter

organicorganic materialorganic materials
By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.
Organic matter is common throughout the ecosystem and is cycled through decomposition processes by soil microbial communities that are crucial for nutrient availability.

Feedback

feedback loopfeedback loopsfeedback control
Internal factors not only control ecosystem processes but are also controlled by them and are often subject to feedback loops.
In biological systems such as organisms, ecosystems, or the biosphere, most parameters must stay under control within a narrow range around a certain optimal level under certain environmental conditions.

Limnology

limnologistlimnologicallimnologists
G. Evelyn Hutchinson, a limnologist who was a contemporary of Tansley's, combined Charles Elton's ideas about trophic ecology with those of Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky.
A more recent sub-discipline of limnology, termed landscape limnology, studies, manages, and seeks to conserve these ecosystems using a landscape perspective, by explicitly examining connections between an aquatic ecosystem and its watershed.

Biome

biotabiomesmajor habitat type
Climate determines the biome in which the ecosystem is embedded.
In 1935, Tansley added the climatic and soil aspects to the idea, calling it ecosystem.

Arthur Tansley

TansleyArthur George TansleyA. G. Tansley
The term ecosystem was first used in 1935 in a publication by British ecologist Arthur Tansley.
He was a pioneer of the science of ecology in Britain, being heavily influenced by the work of Danish botanist Eugenius Warming, and introduced the concept of the ecosystem into biology.

Ecotope

Tansley later defined the spatial extent of ecosystems using the term ecotope.
Like ecosystems, ecotopes are identified using flexible criteria, in the case of ecotopes, by criteria defined within a specific ecological mapping and classification system.

Trophic level

trophictrophic levelsmean trophic level
G. Evelyn Hutchinson, a limnologist who was a contemporary of Tansley's, combined Charles Elton's ideas about trophic ecology with those of Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky.
In real world ecosystems, there is more than one food chain for most organisms, since most organisms eat more than one kind of food or are eaten by more than one type of predator.

Howard T. Odum

H.T. OdumHoward OdumOdum
Hutchinson's students, brothers Howard T. Odum and Eugene P. Odum, further developed a "systems approach" to the study of ecosystems.
He made a meteorological "analysis of the global circulation of strontium, [and] anticipated in the late 1940s the view of the earth as one great ecosystem."

Detritus

detritaldead and decaying matterdetritic
The carbon and energy incorporated into plant tissues (net primary production) is either consumed by animals while the plant is alive, or it remains uneaten when the plant tissue dies and becomes detritus.
In terrestrial ecosystems it is present as leaf litter and other organic matter that is intermixed with soil, which is denominated "soil organic matter".

Productivity (ecology)

productivitysecondary productivityproductive
The organisms that consume their tissues are called primary consumers or secondary producers—herbivores.
In ecology, productivity refers to the rate of generation of biomass in an ecosystem.

Primary production

primary productivitynet primary productivityproductivity
The remainder, that portion of GPP that is not used up by respiration, is known as the net primary production (NPP).
Net primary production is the rate at which all the autotrophs in an ecosystem produce net useful chemical energy.

Nutrient cycle

nutrient cyclingnutrient cyclesnutrient recycling
By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.
Fungi contribute to nutrient cycling and nutritionally rearrange patches of ecosystem creating niches for other organisms.

Wetland

wetlandscoastal wetlandwetland habitat
Wet soils tend to become deficient in oxygen (this is especially true in wetlands), which slows microbial growth.
A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail.

Ecological succession

successionsuccessionalplant succession
Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, as do the processes of disturbance and succession.
Trends in ecosystem and community properties in succession have been suggested, but few appear to be general.

Terrestrial ecosystem

terrestrialterrestrial ecosystemsterrestrial environment
In terrestrial ecosystems, roughly 90% of the net primary production ends up being broken down by decomposers. Since most terrestrial ecosystems are nitrogen-limited, nitrogen cycling is an important control on ecosystem production.
A terrestrial ecosystem is a type of ecosystem found only on biomes also known as beds.

Plant litter

leaf litterlitterleaf-litter
Freshly shed leaf litter may be inaccessible due to an outer layer of cuticle or bark, and cell contents are protected by a cell wall.
The type of litterfall is most directly affected by ecosystem type.

Nitrogen cycle

nitrogen metabolismnitrogennitrogen cycling
Since most terrestrial ecosystems are nitrogen-limited, nitrogen cycling is an important control on ecosystem production.
However, atmospheric nitrogen has limited availability for biological use, leading to a scarcity of usable nitrogen in many types of ecosystems.

Introduced species

introducedexotic speciesintroduction
The introduction of non-native species can cause substantial shifts in ecosystem function.
It has a strong potential to overgrow natural biotopes, and represents a major risk for sublittoral ecosystems.

Eugene Odum

Eugene P. OdumE.P. OdumEugene
Hutchinson's students, brothers Howard T. Odum and Eugene P. Odum, further developed a "systems approach" to the study of ecosystems.
Odum adopted and developed further the term "ecosystem".