Structure of Ecosystems

What is the structure of an Ecosystem?

A living being is consistently in the condition of ideal offset with the earth. The environment indeed implies the surroundings. 

Nature alludes to the things and conditions around the creatures which straightforwardly or in a roundabout way impact the life and advancement of the life forms and their populaces. 

“Ecosystem is a complex wherein natural surroundings, plants and creatures are considered as one intriguing unit, the materials and vitality of one going all through the others” – Woodbury. 

Creatures and condition are two non-distinct elements. Living beings cooperate and with the physical conditions that are available in their living spaces. 

“The life forms and the physical highlights of the territory structure a natural intricate or all the more quickly an ecosystem.” (Clarke, 1954). 

The idea of the Ecosystem was first advanced by A.G. Tansley (1935). The Ecosystem is the primary environmental unit. It has both structure and capacities. The structure is identified with species assorted variety. The more mind-boggling is the structure, the more prominent is the assorted variety of the species in the Ecosystem. The elements of the Ecosystem are identified with the progression of vitality and the burning of materials through auxiliary parts of the Ecosystem. 

As indicated by Woodbury (1954), the Ecosystem is a complex where the environment, plants and creatures are considered as one fascinating unit, the materials and vitality of one going all through the others. 

As per E.P. Odum, the Ecosystem is the essential practical unit of life forms and their condition collaborating and with their parts. An ecosystem might be considered and concentrated in the territories of different sizes, e.g., one square meter of field, a pool, an enormous lake, a vast tract of backwoods, an adjusted aquarium, a specific region of river and sea. 

All the ecosystems of the earth are associated with each other, e.g., the river ecosystem is associated with the Ecosystem of the sea, and a little ecosystem of dead logs is a piece of the massive Ecosystem of a forest. A total independent ecosystem is once in a while found in nature; however, circumstances moving toward independence may happen. 

Structure of the Ecosystem: 

The structure of an ecosystem is fundamentally a depiction of the living beings and real highlights of condition remembering the sum and dispersion of supplements for a specific living space. It additionally gives data concerning the scope of climatic conditions winning in the region. 

From the structure perspective, all ecosystems comprise of the accompanying essential segments: 

1. Abiotic parts 

2. Biotic parts 

1. Abiotic Components: 

Biological connections are shown in physicochemical conditions. The abiotic part of the Ecosystem incorporates fundamental inorganic components and mixes, for example, soil, water, oxygen, calcium carbonates, phosphates and an assortment of original mixes (side-effects of natural exercises or demise). 

It additionally incorporates such physical components and fixings as dampness, wind currents and sun-based radiation. Brilliant vitality of the sun is the primary colossal vitality hotspot for any ecosystem. The measure of non-living segments, for example, carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, and so forth that are available at some random time, is known as standing state or standing amount.

2. Biotic Components: 

The biotic parts incorporate every single living life form present in the ecological framework. 

From sustenance perspective, the biotic parts can be gathered into two essential segments: 

(I) Autotrophic parts, and 

(ii) Heterotrophic parts 

The autotrophic parts incorporate every single green plant which fixes the brilliant vitality of sun and production nourishment from inorganic substances. The heterotrophic parts incorporate non-green plants and all creatures which take nourishment from autotrophs. 

So biotic segments of an ecosystem can be portrayed under the accompanying three heads: 

1. Makers (Autotrophic segments), 

2. Consumers, and 

3. Decomposers or reducers and transformers 

The measure of biomass whenever in an ecosystem is known as standing yield, which is typically communicated as new weight, dry weight or as free vitality as far as calories/meter. 

Makers (Autotrophic components): 

The makers are the autotrophic components—mainly green plants. They utilize brilliant vitality of sun in the photosynthetic process whereby carbon dioxide is absorbed, and the light vitality is changed over into concoction vitality. The concoction vitality is secured up in the vitality rich carbon mixes. Oxygen is advanced as a side-effect in the photosynthesis. 

This is utilized in breath by every single living thing. Green growth and different hydrophytes of a lake, grasses of the field, trees of the backwoods are instances of makers. Chemosynthetic microbes and carotenoid bearing purple microorganisms that likewise absorb CO2 with the vitality of daylight; however, just within sight of original mixes additionally have a place with this classification. 

The term maker is deluding one because, in a vitality setting, makers produce sugar and not vitality. Since they change over or transduce the brilliant vitality into the synthetic structure, E.J. Kormondy proposes better elective terms ‘converters’ or ‘transducers.’ As a result of broad utilize the term maker is as yet held. 


Those living individuals from the Ecosystem which devour the nourishment incorporated by makers are called customers. Under this classification are incorporated a wide range of creatures that are found in an ecosystem. 

There are various classes or classifications of purchasers, for example, 

(a) Consumers of the first request or essential consumers, 

(b) Consumers of the subsequent request or optional consumers, 

(c) Consumers of the third request or tertiary consumers, and 

(d) Parasites, scroungers and saprobes. 

(a) Primary consumers: 

These are herbivorous creatures that are reliant for their nourishment on makers or green plants. Creepy crawlies, rodents, bunny, deer, dairy animals, wild ox, goat are a portion of the natural herbivores in the earthbound Ecosystem and little shellfish, molluscs, and so forth in the oceanic living space. Elton (1939) named herbivores of Ecosystem as “key industry creatures.” The herbivores fill in as the central nourishment hotspot for carnivores. 

(b) Secondary consumers: 

These are carnivores and omnivores. Carnivores are substance eating creatures, and the omnivores are the creatures that are adjusted to devour herbivores just as plants as their nourishment. Instances of optional consumers are the sparrow, crow, fox, wolves, hounds, felines, snakes, and so forth. 

(c) Tertiary consumers: 

These are the top carnivores that go after different carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. Lions, tigers, peddle, vulture, and so on are considered as tertiary or top customers. 

(d) Other consumers:

Besides various classes of customers, the parasites, foragers and saprobes are additionally remembered for the purchasers. The parasitic plants and creatures use the living tissues of various plants and creatures. The scroungers and saprobes use dead survive from creatures and plants as their nourishment. 

Decomposers and transformers: 

Decomposers and transformers are the living segments of the Ecosystem, and they are parasites and microbes. Decomposers assault the dead survives from makers and customers and debase the intricate natural substances into more effortless mixes. The primary natural issues are then assaulted by another sort of microscopic organism, the transformers which change these original mixes into the chemical structures that are reasonable for reuse by makers or green plants. The decomposers and transformers assume a significant job in keeping up the dynamic idea of ecosystems. 

The capacity of the Ecosystem: 

An ecosystem is a discrete auxiliary, utilitarian and life-supporting natural framework. The natural framework comprises of biotic and abiotic segments in a living space. The biotic part of the Ecosystem incorporates the living beings; plants, creatures and microorganisms through the abiotic segment incorporate inorganic issues and vitality. 

Abiotic parts give the framework to the union and propagation of natural segments (cellular material). The union and propagation processes include vitality trade, and this vitality originates from the sun as light or sunlight-based vitality. 

In this way, in any ecosystem, we have the accompanying useful segments: 

(I) Inorganic constituents (air, water and mineral salts) 

(ii) Organisms (plants, creatures and microorganisms), and 

(iii) Energy input which enters from outside (the sun). 

These three cooperate and structure an ecological framework. Inorganic constituents are combined into natural structures by the green plants (essential makers) through photosynthesis, and the sun-oriented vitality is used in the process. Green plants become the wellspring of vitality for reestablishments (herbivores) which, like this become wellspring of vitality for the tissue eating creatures (carnivores). Creatures of numerous types develop and add a natural issue to their body weight, and their wellspring of vitality is an intricate natural compound taken as nourishment. 

They are known as optional makers. All the living beings, whether plants or creatures in an ecosystem, have a positive life expectancy after which they kick the bucket. The dead natural survives from plants and creatures nourish saprophytic microorganisms, for example, microscopic organisms, growths and numerous different creatures. The saprobes at last decay the natural structure and break the mind-boggling atoms and free the inorganic parts into their condition.

These creatures are known as decomposers. During the process of deterioration of natural atoms, the vitality which kept the inorganic segments bound together as fundamental particles get freed and scattered into the earth as warmth vitality. Consequently, in an ecosystem vitality from the sun, the information is fixed by plants and moved to creature parts. 

Supplements are pulled back from the substrate, saved in the tissues of the plants and creatures, cycled starting with one taking care of gathering then onto the next, discharged by disintegration to the dirt, water and air and afterward reused. The ecosystems working in various living spaces, for example, deserts, woodlands, meadows and oceans, are reliant on each other. The vitality and supplements of one ecosystem may discover their way into another with the goal that eventually all pieces of the earth are interrelated, each involving a piece of the all-out framework that keeps the biosphere works. 

Along these lines, the chief strides in the activity of the Ecosystem are as per the following: 

(1) Reception of brilliant vitality of sun, 

(2) Manufacture of natural materials from inorganic ones by makers, 

(3) Consumption of makers by purchasers and further elaboration of expended materials; and. 

(4) After the demise of makers and consumers, complex natural mixes are debased, lastly changed over by decomposers and converters into such structures as are appropriate for reutilization by makers. 

The chief strides in the activity of the Ecosystem not just include the creation, development and passing of living segments yet, also impact the abiotic parts of the territory. It is presently evident that there is a move of both vitality and supplements from makers to customers, lastly to decomposers and transformers levels. Right now, is an effective abatement of vitality; however, supplement part is not lessened, and it shows cycling from abiotic to biotic and vice versa. 

The progression of vitality is unidirectional. The two biological processes—vitality stream and mineral cycling, which include connection among biotic and abiotic segments lie at the core of ecosystem elements. The chief advances and parts of the Ecosystem are delineated in the figure.


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Cite/Link to This Article

  • "Structure of Ecosystems". Geography Revision. Accessed on April 19, 2021.

  • "Structure of Ecosystems". Geography Revision, Accessed 19 April, 2021.

  • Structure of Ecosystems. Geography Revision. Retrieved from