Ecosystem – Notes
Structure and Functions of an Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a stable and functional unit where all living organisms interact among themselves and the surrounding physical environment, leading to a flow of energy and nutrients.
Typically, an ecosystem has two major components-abiotic and biotic.
The structure of an ecosystem involves:
• The composition of a biological community in terms of number, biomass, life history, population and distribution of species.
• Availability and distribution of several non-living factors such as the distribution of nutrients, water and climatic and physical conditions.
In an ecosystem, the energy flow is unidirectional while nutrients keep moving in a cyclic manner.
Decomposition in an Ecosystem
The natural process in which decomposers break down complex organic matter and convert them into simple, inorganic substances like water, carbon dioxide and nutrients in known as decomposition.
The raw material for decomposition is detritus comprising dead and decaying plant and animal remains.