ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Ecosystems
- Is a self-contained system of interdependent organisms and their physical environment
- An ecosystem can also be defined as a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.
- In an ecosystem a community of living organisms lives in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system.
- For example in a typical grassland ecosystem the grasses/plants and animals depend on each other
- They also depend on the soil, air and water in that area
- The plants and animals live under certain conditions
- The plants grow because they have the right amount of rainfall, light, air and soil conditions that suit them
- The animals live there because they have the right kind of food to eat and shelter to live
- The organisms (plants and animals) depend on each other and on their surroundings
- The surroundings usually act as a source of energy
- The plants and animals that are interdependent under a given set of conditions form the ecosystem
- Zimbabwe has a variety of ecosystems for example forest, lake, river and grassland ecosystems
- Every ecosystem depends on the energy from the sun
- The plants use solar energy to create food using the photosynthesis process
- The energy is stored/trapped in the plants until they are eaten by the animals
- Thus energy flows in an ecosystem as it is transferred from the plants to the animals for example
- The flow of energy is critical as it ensures a balanced ecosystem is maintained
- There must be adequate transfer of energy from the sun, to the plants and to the animals
- This balance can be easily upset by the interference of humans
- Typically the environmental conditions in an ecosystem include the air, water, light and heat energy
- The soil also has some physical properties such as its texture
- Soils have living organisms in them as well as organic matter
- These are biological components of an ecosystem
- The biological components of an ecosystem (plants and animals) interact with one another
To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.
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