Mrs. Faith MarananOdessa Tumbali
The Interactions and Interrelationships among the Different Components of the Ecosystem
Ecology is the study of environmental systems, or as it is sometimes called, the economy of nature (Hall and Weiss, 2010). It studies interactions between different organisms and their environments, including relations within its own species and members of others. Ecology focuses more on the population, community, and ecosystem ecology although it also includes a wide variety of fields. Both the living (biotic) and the non-living (abiotic) components of the natural world is its subject matter. Processes like primary production, nutrient cycling, and various niche construction energies are sustained by the biodiversity within them and regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. Biodiversity is the variety and also the abundance of plants and animals in a particular environment and the processes that are functionally enriched by ecological interactions.
The ecosystem is defined as a unit of biosphere which has the structural and functional parts. It consists of the biotic components and the physical environment including the interactions between them. There are different kinds of ecosystem. Some are temporary and some are permanent. They may be natural which includes the freshwater systems and the forest ecosystems. There are also manmade which includes the agroecosystem like rice fields. It can be small as a fallen log or as big as an ocean. There is also a small ecosystem known as the micro ecosystem. The distinct community consisting of number of different species forms an ecosystem.
Students of environmental biology and other enthusiasts in the field of ecology will be able to identify the different components of an ecosystem and their interactions by observing the organisms in their own environment.
At the end of the exercise, the student should be able to:
1. enumerate the different compositions of the ecosystem;
2. describe the interaction of the different components of the ecosystem; and
3. understand the functioning of the ecosystem.
To determine the interactions between the physical and biotic components in an ecosystem, three different types of ecosystems found in the vicinity of the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus, namely agroecosystem, freshwater ecosystem, and forest ecosystem has been visited by a group of environmental biology students from the class of section Z-3R.
A 10x10m area is first chosen in each ecosystem. Students were given 20 minutes in each site to survey the surrounding. The autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms present in the Phil Rice for the agroecosystem, Molawe Creek for the freshwater ecosystem, and the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve and a fallen log for the forest ecosystem were observed and listed in Tables 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 respectively. The number of identified organisms and their distribution patterns along with the physical factors affecting the organisms were also listed in the same tables. The physical factors together with their interactions and their role in each ecosystem were also observed and listed in Tables 2.
After visiting and observing all of the ecosystems, individual data of the group members were gathered for comparison. The group deliberated and formalized a general conclusion for the report.
In Table 1.1, results show that there is less number of heterotrophic organisms than autotrophic organisms. This is due to the controlled environment they are in. An agroecosystem, or specifically a rice field, is a manmade ecosystem. Many aspects are controlled in this kind of environment like the even distribution of rice and also their rate of growth with...