Definition - What does Ecosystem mean?

An ecosystem includes all of the living things (plants, animals, and organisms) in a given area that interact with each other, as well as the non-living environments (weather, earth, sun, soil, climate, atmosphere) that surround the living things.

Given that an ecosystem is a community of animals, plants, and microorganisms, a garden makes up small part of an ecosystem. Some indoor growers refer to their indoor gardens as ecosystems, in which case they are referring to their growroom's environment and all of the things that affect their results.

MaximumYield explains Ecosystem

Ecosystems vary in different sizes and they are an interconnected system made up of various organisms with their own separate environment where everything that lives within it is interdependent. These environments can be can be either aquatic, marine, or terrestrial and can be broken down into narrower categories known as biomes. A biome is a very specialized ecosystem that only exists in a certain area or climate. Biomes are separated by varying factors such as temperature, rainfall, soil type, and altitude.

While in an ecosystem there is a constant flow of energy; the energy is conserved within the system along with all of the physical matter. Energy flows like light to heat, whereas matter is recycled, also known as energy flows and cycle materials, and while the two processes are linked, they are not the same. Light energy (also known as photons) is transformed into chemical energy in organic molecules by cellular processes including photosynthesis and respiration and in the end is converted into heat energy.

Factors such as biodiversity and processes such as disturbances and successions affect an ecosystem’s function. Disturbances are temporary changes in environmental conditions that cause a pronounced change in an ecosystem, while ecological successions are the processes of changes in the species' structure of an ecological community over time.

Ecosystems also have various benefits for people as they provide a range of goods and services upon which we depend. For example, a specific type of plant found in an ecosystem could be used for medicinal purposes.

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