What is an Ecosystem?

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1 ECOSYSTEMS

2 What is an Ecosystem? Ecosystem- a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. There are many types of ecosystems and they can be small or large in size. Example of a large ecosystem- a forest or choral reef. Example of a small ecosystem- a puddle by the football field.

3 Main Types of Ecosystems and Their Subgroups Terrestrial (Land) Ecosystems Forest Ecosystems Rainforest Deciduous Forest Taiga Aquatic (Water) Ecosystems Marine Ecosystem Freshwater Ecosystem Desert Ecosystem Grassland Ecosystems Savanna Prairie Mountain Ecosystem Tundra Ecosystem

4 What is a Forest Ecosystem? Forest ecosystems have a lot of plants. They also have a large number of organisms that live in a small space. The density (amount of organisms per square foot) in this ecosystem is very high. There are 3 subgroups of forest ecosystems: Rainforest Deciduous Forest Taiga

5 Rainforest Ecosystem There are 2 Types of rainforest ecosystems: Tropical Rainforest Temperate Rainforest

6 Tropical Rainforest Ecosystem Tropical rainforest is a hot, humid ecosystem near the equator. This ecosystem has heavy rainfall and a wide variety of life. Tropical rainforests have 4 layers: Forest floor Understory Canopy Emergent layer Plants and Animals in the tropical rainforest are: Tree Frogs Mice Vines Monkeys Bats Toucans

7 Temperate Rainforest Ecosystem This type of rainforest has a lot of rain, fog, and a cool climate. Some of the plants and animals that live in this rainforest are: Evergreen trees Mosses Ferns Cougars Bobcats Owls Reptiles Amphibians

8 Deciduous Forest Ecosystem This is a forest ecosystem with 4 distinct seasons and deciduous trees. These are trees whose leaves change color and fall off. We Live in this type of ecosystem Some of the plants and animals that are from this ecosystem are: Robins Woodpeckers Squirrels Hawks Deer Foxes Bears Butterflies

9 Taiga The taiga is the coolest forest ecosystem. The taiga is not as cold as the tundra and the soil allows for plant growth. Here are some of the plants and animals that live in the taiga: Pines Firs Spruces Snowshoe Rabbit

10 Desert Ecosystem A desert is a sandy, rocky ecosystem, with little precipitation and little plant life. They are normally very dry and hot The plants and animals that live there have adaptations to help them survive. Here are some plants and animals that are native to the dessert. Cactus Mesquite Some lizards Kangaroo Rats Scorpions

11 Grassland Ecosystems There are 2 Types of Grassland Ecosystems Savanna Prairie

12 Savanna This is the ecosystem where grasses are the main type of plant life Fires are common in this ecosystem because the ecosystem is very dry. Plants and animals native to this ecosystem are: Zebra Switch Grass Giraffe Lion Crickets Snakes

13 Prairie This is the ecosystem where grasses are the main type of plant life Fires are common in this ecosystem because the ecosystem is very dry. Plants and animals native to this ecosystem are: Bluestem grass Grasshoppers Crickets Toads Worms Prairie dogs Snakes Bison

14 Mountain Ecosystems This ecosystem is rocky and has very diverse types of life. Some plants and animals are native to higher altitudes and some lower. Animals that life here typically have thick fur coats. At low altitudes trees are found, but the landscape gets more treeless the higher the altitude goes. Plants and animals native to this ecosystem are: Mountain Goats Evergreen trees Jack rabbits Small shrubs

15 Tundra Ecosystem The tundra is a large, treeless ecosystem where the ground is frozen all year. There is a layer of permafrost which is a frozen layer of soil that keeps trees from growing. During the winter, the tundra gets little sunlight and its temperatures can get as low as -94 F Some of the plants and animals that live in the tundra are: Mosses Lichens Caribou Polar Bears Musk Ox Arctic Hares Foxes

16 This is a saltwater ecosystem. This is the biggest ecosystem, and it covers 71% of the Earth s surface and contains 97% of the Earth s water. There are many subgroups in this ecosystem where many varieties of life can be found. Oceanic (the shallower part of the oceans) Profundal (deep or bottom water) Inter-tidal (between high and low tides) Estuaries Coral Reefs Salt Marshes Some of the plants and animals that live in the marine ecosystem are: Algae Coral Sharks Crabs Salt water fish Marine Ecosystems

17 Freshwater Ecosystem Covers about 0.8% of the Earth. Made from freshwater Three basic types: Lentic- slow moving or still water like pools, lakes, or ponds. Lotic- fast-moving water like streams or rivers. Wetlands- where the soil is covered by water for a long period of time. Some of the plants and animals that live in the marine ecosystem are: Frogs Lizards Water snakes Leeches 41% of the world s fish species.

18 Why Learn About Ecosystems? Life in each ecosystem varies. Each ecosystem has plants and animals that are unique. If you add a plant or animal to another ecosystem it can destroy it. If one type of animal suddenly disappeared from an ecosystem, it would have devastating effects to the entire ecosystem. The food web will be completely altered or destroyed.

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