Ecosystem - HOW AN ECOSYSTEM WORKS An ecosystem refers to...

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HOW AN ECOSYSTEM WORKS An ecosystem refers to all the living organisms and their non-living environment within a given area. Note that this definition includes two components; the living component which consists of the animals, plants and microbes, and the non-living component which refers to the air, water, rocks, soil and weather. There is no limit to how large or small an ecosystem can be. An ecosystem can be as large as an ocean or as small as a puddle. Very large ecosystems are known as biomes. An important point to recognize about ecosystems is the interaction between a grouping of plants and animals and their non-living environment and how the two strive to achieve a balance. Ecology relates to the study of ecosystems. Scientists who study the different components of ecosystems and how they are related to one another are called ecologists. Ecologists have determined that the populations of many species if left undisturbed by humans will remain relatively unchanged over time. Why then are so many species becoming extinct? Today, extinction rates are thousands of times greater than the natural rate. To better understand the reasons for this, it is first important to learn about the different factors affecting the living and non-living components of ecosystems and how they are interelated. One factor which has a great impact on an ecosystem is the number of living organisms there are in a particular ecosystem. The number of individuals of each species present in the ecosystem is determined by that species' rate of population growth. There are three factors involved in how the size of a species population changes over time. They are: -Birth -Death -Migration into (immigration) or out of (emigration) the population A change in the population size of a given species can be determined by subtracting the
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2011 for the course TED 403 taught by Professor Espisito during the Spring '11 term at CSU Dominguez Hills.

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Ecosystem - HOW AN ECOSYSTEM WORKS An ecosystem refers to...

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