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Question 7

Describe the components of an ecosystem.


An ecosystem is defined as an interacting unit that includes both the biological community as well as the non-living components of an area. The living and the non-living components of an ecosystem interact amongst themselves and function as a unit, which gets evident during the processes of nutrient cycling, energy flow, decomposition, and productivity. There are many ecosystems such as ponds, forests, grasslands, etc.

The two components of an ecosystem are:

(a) Biotic component: It is the living component of an ecosystem that includes biotic factors such as producers, consumers, decomposers, etc. Producers include plants and algae. They contain chlorophyll pigment, which helps them carry out the process of photosynthesis in the presence of light. Thus, they are also called converters or transducers. Consumers or heterotrophs are organisms that are directly (primary consumers) or indirectly (secondary and tertiary consumers) dependent on producers for their food.

Decomposers include micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi. They form the largest population in a food chain and obtain nutrients by breaking down the remains of dead plants and animals.

(b) Abiotic component: They are the non-living component of an ecosystem such as light, temperature, water, soil, air, inorganic nutrients, etc.

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