Diversity in living organisms / Ecosystems
The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:
An ecosystem is a geographical environment where plants, livestock, and other species and weather and atmosphere interact to form a living bubble. Ecosystems include biotic and abiotic factors, or living and nonliving components; plants, birds, and other species are examples of biotic causes, while rocks, temperature, and humidity are examples of abiotic influences.
Any element in an environment, whether directly or indirectly, is dependent on the others. A shift in the temperature of an environment, for example, may affect the plants that live there. Animals who depend on plants for food and shelter would either have to respond to the changes or migrate to a different ecosystem.
Photosynthesis, the basic chemical process that powers most life on Earth, is one of the most important relationships between the biotic and abiotic systems in an ecosystem. Photosynthesis is how plants and algae convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into the energy they use to develop and survive. Photosynthesis produces oxygen, which is essential for animals to breathe.
Plants and algae often consume essential vitamins and minerals from their surroundings to survive. Animals consume vitamins and minerals from plants and algae. Predators feed on other species to gain nutrition and nutrients. It is how nutrients make their way from the abiotic to the biotic world.
The five-kingdom system is the most widely used system for classifying living things based on basic distinctive features. As new knowledge becomes accessible, classification methods are constantly evolving. Modern developments, such as genetics, allow for greater and greater decipherment of evolutionary relationships. Robert H. Whittaker created the five-kingdom scheme in 1969, based on the studies by previous biologists such as Carolus Linnaeus.
There are five main kingdoms in which living beings may be classified:
- Kingdom Animalia
- Kingdom Plantae
- Kingdom Fungi
- Kingdom Protista
- Kingdom Monera (Bacteria)
Bacterial behaviour is fundamental to the environment, both on land and in the sea. Their constant labour completes the cycling of nutrients such as biomass, nitrogen, and sulfur.
If it weren’t for the operation of decomposers, the organic carbon in the form of deceased and decaying bodies would rapidly deplete the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It does not seem like a big deal to you, but consider that plants will be unable to photosynthesise and produce food without carbon dioxide. When animals die, the carbon in their tissues is no longer accessible to any other living beings. One of the essential functions of bacteria is decomposition, which involves the dissolution of these species and releasing nutrients back into the atmosphere.
Another essential function of bacteria is nitrogen cycling. Plants depend on nitrogen from the soil for their health and development, and they can’t get it from the atmosphere’s gaseous nitrogen. Nitrogen is mostly made accessible to them by nitrogen fixation from bacteria such as Rhizobium.
In human existence, fungi play a significant role. They are essential in medicine; after all, they provide antibiotics in agriculture because they preserve soil productivity, and in many industries, they are consumed as food.
- Fungi are essential to humans on a variety of occasions and play a vital role in the ecosystem’s nitrogen cycle. They’re also pesticides.
- Animal parasites are fungi. As a result, they aid in insect species management. These fungi do not infect plants and poultry. They target those species in particular. The fungus Beauveria bassiana is being used as a pesticide to combat the invasion of the emerald ash borer.
- The fungi-plant dynamic is critical to crop productivity. Fungal development in farmlands contributes approximately 70% to plant output.
- Few fungi are used in the food manufacturing industry, while others are eaten directly.
- These microbes, together with bacteria, recycle matter in the soil by decomposing dead plant matter and animal excreta, thus enriching the soil and making it fertile. The lack of fungi’s behaviours may negatively impact this ongoing phase by causing debris to accumulate.
In this chapter, we learned about the diversity in organisms and their importance. We also learned about the economic aspects and the importance of ecosystems.
- In an ecosystem, what is diversity?
Ecosystem diversity refers to the range of species, populations, and ecological processes included in a given ecosystem.
- What effect does diversity have on ecological organisms?
Ecosystem roles such as efficiency may be influenced by increasing species diversity.
- What is the significance of ecosystem diversity?
Biodiversity is vital because it cleans our water, regulates our environment, and feeds us. The term “ecological diversity” refers to the diversity of both land and marine ecosystems.
- What physical features do ecosystems have?
Temperature, hydrology, physical habitat, and significant physical activities that reshape natural ecosystems are examples of physical characteristics.
- Which ecosystem has the greatest variety?
Tropical habitats have the highest diversity of organisms. Tropical rain forests on land and coral reefs in the sea are two of the world’s most biologically rich habitats.