Monday, November 4, 2013

Ecosystem : Meaning and Definition

12:08 PM



        The term ecosystem was first used by A. G. Tansley in 1935 who defined ecosystem as 'a particular category of physical systems, consisting of organisms and inorganic components in a relatively stable equilibrium, open and of various sizes and kinds'.
       An Ecosystem is a community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water, mineral soil), interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are regarded as linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. As ecosystems are defined by the network of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, they can be of any size but usually encompass specific limited spaces (although some scientists say that the entire planet is an ecosystem)-From

        According to Tansley the ecosystem is comprised of two major parts viz. biome and habitat and thus 'all parts of such an ecosystem-organic and inorganic, biome and habitat may be regarded as interacting factors which, in a mature ecosystem, are in approximate equilibrium, it is through their interactions that the whole system is maintained'-                                                                                                                 (A. G. Tansley, 1935)
        F. R. Fosberg (1963) has defined ecosystem as 'a functioning, interacting system composed of one or more living organisms and their effective environment, both physical and biological'.
        According to R. L. Lindeman (1942) the term ecosystem applies to 'any system composed of physical-chemical-biological processes, within a space-time unit of any magnitude'.
        According to A. N. Strahler and A. H. Strahler (1976), 'the total assemblage of components interacting with group of organisms is known as ecological system or more simply, an ecosystem. Ecosystems have inputs of matter and energy, used to build biological structure, to produce and to maintain necessary internal energy levels. matter and energy are also exported from an ecosystem. an ecosystem tends to achieve a balance of the various processes and activities within it'.

Based on the contents of above definitions of ecosystem provided by various scientists it may be pointed out that ' ecosystems are therefore unities of organisms connected to one another and to their environment'.


S. Singh, Environmental Geography

See what is Ecology

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I am sadik, simply sad :).Studied in Chittagong University,Bangladesh;Department of Geography and Environmental studies.


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