Skip to content Skip to navigation

OpenStax-CNX

You are here: Home » Content » To understand clearly what an ecosystem is

Navigation

Lenses

What is a lens?

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

This content is ...

In these lenses

Recently Viewed

This feature requires Javascript to be enabled.

Tags

(What is a tag?)

These tags come from the endorsement, affiliation, and other lenses that include this content.
 

To understand clearly what an ecosystem is

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

NATURAL SCIENCES

Ecosystems and the environmental balance

EDUCATOR SECTION

Memorandum

(a) A forest is a stretch of land that is covered with dense trees, shrubs, ferns, etc. and animals. These plants and animals live together in the dense bushes.

Assignment 1:

f) tree (producer)

mouse (primary consumer)

owl (secondary consumer)

jackal (tertiary consumer)

LEANER SECTION

Content

1. Introduction

All living things on earth and the way in which they influence (or are influenced by) the environment form an ecosystem.

The word ecosystem is derived from the Greek word "oikos", which means house or household. Just like members of a family live together, support and influence each other and the environment (and are in turn affected and influenced by it), so organisms live together, reproduce and are dependent on each other for food. They have a close relationship with the soil, sun, water and air.

ACTIVITY: To understand clearly what an ecosystem is [LO 1.3]

Let's study an example of an ecosystem:

(a) What is a forest?____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A forest is much more than a large area of land covered with trees. Shrubs, vines, ferns, mosses and toadstools live in the shade of trees. The forest also swarms with birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. A forest is therefore all these plants and animals living together.

The animals depend on plants for food, while plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and minerals to make food for themselves and other organisms in the forest.

The living organisms (plants and animals) together with the non-living environment (air, water, sun and soil) constitute an ecosystem.

(b) Tabulate an example of each of the following found in a forest.

Table 1
Species My example of. . .
bird __________________________
mammal ________________________
reptile ________________________
insect ________________________
amphibian ________________________

(c) Now sketch these five examples in the drawing to complete it!

(d) The Ecosystem concept

The organism-environment interaction leads to the ecosystem concept, elaborating the interaction between matter, energy and organism.

Figure 1
Figure 1 (graphics1.png)

An ecosystem

(e) How big is an ecosystem?

An ecosystem can be of any size, from a puddle of water on the pavement to the entire rain forest in the Amazon or an even larger area.

A forest with its trees, plants, insects, birds, etc., is an ecosystem of certain kinds of organisms that occupy a certain environment. On the other hand, a rock in the shade of a forest with its mosses and other rock plants, insect larvae and centipedes, is also an ecosystem. The system is therefore integrated, with parts that are intimately related to one another. Anything affecting a part of the system will also affect the rest.

Assignment 1:

(f) Study the sketch of the forest ecosystem below:

Figure 2
Figure 2 (forest_ecosystem.png)

Name the:

producer: _____________________________________________________________

primary consumer: _____________________________________________________

secondary consumer: ___________________________________________________

tertiary consumer: ______________________________________________________

Primary means first.

Secondary means second or less important.

Tertiary means the third in this case.

2. The ecosystem

is the living organisms together with the ____________________________________

indivisibly linked and mutually interactive.

The living part can be divided into:

(a) food producers - mainly green plants

(b) food consumers - which are macro consumers (animals which eat other organisms)

or

decomposers (bacteria or fungi which break up dead organisms)

Assessment

Learning Outcome 1:The learner will be able to act confidently on curiosity about natural phenomena, and to investigate relationships and solve problems in scientific, technological and environmental contexts.

Assessment Standard 1.3: We know this when the learner evaluates data and gives feedback on findings.

Content actions

Download module as:

PDF | EPUB (?)

What is an EPUB file?

EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

Downloading to a reading device

For detailed instructions on how to download this content's EPUB to your specific device, click the "(?)" link.

| More downloads ...

Add module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks