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Topics: Ecosystem, Ecology, Plant Pages: 12 (936 words) Published: March 31, 2014
Ecosystem Components and Interactions

I. Introduction
An ecosystem is a complex relationship between a community of organisms and the environment that they dwell in where energy is exchanged and transformed. Ecosystem includes the biotic (living organisms), the abiotic (physical and chemical factors), and the interactions made between these. They continually interact with each other, thus making complex systems with intersecting properties wherein “everything is connected”. In ecosystem ecology, we study about an individual, a community and a population. Interactions and relations between the biotic and abiotic components like prey-predator, producer-consumer are also under the study of ecosystem ecology. II. Objectives

At the end of the exercise, the student was able to:
1. Enumerate the different components of the ecosystem
2. Describe the interaction of the different components of the ecosystem
3. Understand the functioning of the ecosystem

III. Methodology
Our small class was accommodated by our recitation instructor to visit four different ecosystems inside the UPLB campus, namely: agro ecosystem, grassland, freshwater, and forest ecosystem. The ecosystems were separately observed and studied to obtain the data needed.

IV. Results and Discussion
Table 1.a Biotic components of natural ecosystem

Biotic component

Habit or type

Number
Distribution Pattern
Physical Factors Affecting Organism
Autotroph
Plants
1. Banana

2. Palmera

3. Fern

4. Moss

5. Algae

Tree

Tree

Shrub

Moss

4

2

3

Too many to count

Random

Random

Random

Random

Sunlight, soil, water, temperature, weather
Sunlight, soil, water, temperature, weather
Sunlight, soil, water, temperature, weather
Sunlight, soil, water, temperature, weather
Heterotrophs
Macroheterotrophs
None
Microheterotrophs
1. Snail
3. Mosquito

4. Dragonfly
5. Butterfly
6. Ants

7. Spider

8. Water Strider

Herbivore
Herbivore

Herbivore
Herbivore
Omnivore

Carnivore

Herbivore

2
Too many to count

1
1
Too many to count

3

Too many to count

Random
Random

Random
Random
Clumped

Random

Clumped

Soil
Water, weather, temperature
Air, wind velocity
Air, wind velocity
Soil, other parasites
Weather, other parasites
water, weather

Table 1.b Biotic components of the grassland

Biotic component

Habit or type

Number
Distribution Pattern
Physical Factors Affecting Organism
Autotroph
Plants
Grass

Herb

Too many to count

clumped

Sunlight, soil, water
Heterotrophs
Macroheterotrophs
1. Bird

Microheterotrophs
1. Butterfly
2. Bug

3. Dragonfly

4.Grasshopper

5. Fly
6. Beetle

Omnivore

Herbivore
Herbivore

Herbivore

Herbivore

Herbivore
Herbivore

2

1
3

1

1

2
1

Random

Random
Random

Random

Random

Random
Random

Wind velocity

Air, Wind velocity
Soil, predators/other parasites
Predators/other parasites, air, wind velocity
Soil, predators/other parasites
Predators, air
Predators/other parasites

Table 2. Physical factors of the environment, their interactions and their role in the ecosystem

Light Intensity
Algae
Moss
Fern
Palmera
Banana
Grass

Direct
Direct
Direct
Direct
Direct
Direct

Producer
Producer
Producer
Producer
Producer
Producer

Producer
Producer
Producer
Producer
Producer
Producer

Temperature
Air

Dragonfly
Butterfly
Fly

Direct
Direct
Direct

Consumer
Consumer
Consumer

Consumer
Consumer
Consumer
Soil
Algae
Moss
Fern...

References: Lit. Cited
1. Erle Ellis (Lead Author);J. Emmett Duffy (Topic Editor) "Ecosystem". In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth October 7, 2008; Last revised Date September 8, 2011; Retrieved January 19, 2013
2. Borman, F.H. and G.E. Likens. 1970. "The nutrient cycles of an ecosystem." Scientific American, October 1970, pp 92-101. 
3. Wessells, N.K. and J.L. Hopson. 1988. Biology. New York: Random House. Ch. 44.
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