#18 - Ecosystems

#18 - Ecosystems - Ecosystems What is an ecosystem? A...

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1 Ecosystems Coastal Douglas Fir forest in coastal British Columbia, Canada Freshwater wetland in eastern Canada What is an ecosystem? • A community of living things and the environment in which they live. • A community of organisms and its environment functioning together as an ecological unit. • A functional unit consisting of all the living organisms (plants, animals, and microbes) in a given area, and all the non-living physical and chemical factors of their environment, linked together through nutrient cycling and energy flow. How might ecosystems be distinguished? • Amount of water – salt? fresh? mixed? Permanent? Seasonal? • Temperature – Latitude? Altitude? Seasonal variation? • Soil (for terrestrial ecosystems) – grain size? Organic matter? pH? Special substances? ( Serpentine soils ) • Biogeography – the “historical” context of the biota? Biomes • A biome is a large geographical area of distinctive plant and animal groups, which are adapted to that particular environment. The
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course BIOL 216 taught by Professor Baker during the Spring '08 term at Clark University.

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#18 - Ecosystems - Ecosystems What is an ecosystem? A...

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