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Types Of Ecosystems
Sunset from Kure Atollby NOAA's National Ocean Service on Flickr

Ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among the living resources, habitats and residents of an area.It includes plants, trees, animals, fish, birds, micro-organisms, water, soil,and people.

  • Ecosystems vary greatly in size and the elements that make them up, but each is a functional unit of nature.
  • Life in an ecosystem is dependent on the other species and elements that are part of an ecological community.
  • If one part of an ecosystem is damaged or disappears, it has an impact on everything else but if the ecosystem is healthy and sustainable, then all the elements live in balance and are capable of reproducing themselves.

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Paramo19by CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture on Flickr

Biomes are ecosystems where several habitats intersect.

  • The earth itself is one large biome.
  • Smaller biomes include deserts, tundras, grasslands, deciduous forests, coniferous  forests and tropical rain forests.
  • The energy cycle within biomes habitats and ecosystems determines which populations survive. 
  • All living things need energy. Ultimately the sun is the source of all energy in an ecosystem. 
  • Living organisms are usually classified as consumers (animals), producers (plants), decomposers (fungi) or scavengers (Hyenas) depending on how they get their food.
  • Biome is a very specialized ecosystem that only exists in a certain area or climate.They are identified by factors like temperature, rain fall, soil type and altitude.

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Winter Wonderlandby vl8189 on Flickr

Tundra: The frozen cold biomes found near the northern most part of the earth. 

  • These locations are  known for their long cold winters and their short cool summers.
  • The earth's tundra's are home to a variety 0f specialized plants and animals that have adapted to survival in such brutal environments.
  • Animals  such as seals,polar bears, artic hares and artic foxes, as well as a variety of other animals have become experts  at finding food and surviving the long cold winters.
  • Many of these animals have white fur, in order to allow them to blend in with the snow.

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Near Patagonia, Arizona 1990by PhillipC on Flickr

Desert biomes found throughout the earth are dry locations that have plants and animals adapted to surviving on little water.

  • Some plants and animals can actually store water within their bodies such as a cactus, camels and some varieties of frogs in Australia.
  • Due to there being fewer resources available, there are generally smaller concentration of life forms in a desert than in other biomes.

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Patches of gold and greenby Dendroica cerulea on Flickr

Grassland biomes exist throughout the earth and in many cases can be vast, expanding across millions of square miles. 
  • Those biomes are marked by sparse trees and extensive grass as well as variety of small and large animals.
  • Some of the largest animals that live in grasslands include American Bison, Elephants, Giraffes and so forth.
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Mossman River during the rainy seasonby tanetahi on Flickr

Tropical Rain Forests are found in the locations that receive significant amounts of precipitation.
  • These locations are easily recognizable by their abundance of life forms. 
  • Life forms include numerous trees, plants such as ferns and abundance of insects, spiders, snakes, monkeys and other plants and animals. 
  • Tropical rain forests are very important to the overall health of the planet earth and are responsible for replenishing a significant portion of the atmosphere's oxygen supply.
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Deciduous forest near Olanestiby cod_gabriel on Flickr

Deciduous Forests exist in areas with a moderate amount of precipitation, where       
temperatures are also generally moderate.
  • These ecosystems typically have long warm summers and short cool winters.
  • The most noticeable feature are the abundance of a deciduous trees.
  • A deciduous tree is a tree that looses all it's leaves in Autumn.
  • Many other plants and animals live in these ecosystems as well as deer, birds and insects
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Conifer forest in the Bucegi Mountains, near Sinaia, Romaniaby cod_gabriel on Flickr

Coniferous  Forest Ecosystems are found in regions of the earth that experience long and cold winters with snow and moderately warm, humid and short summers 
  • Coniferous forests consist mostly of conifers, trees that grow needles instead of leaves and cones instead of flowers.
  • Conifers tend to be evergreen i.e they bear needles all year long
  • Some of the common conifers are spruces, pines and firs.
  • Common life forms living in this biome are evergreen trees, small mammals such as rodents, large mammals such as moose, deer and a variety of insects, spiders and plant life.
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Peek-A-Booby jimbowen0306 on Flickr

Polar Bear is at the top of the food chain in the Arctic. The only thing that can beat a polar bear is a hunter or another polar bear.

  • Polar bears  are an omnivore. An omnivore is an animal that eats plants and meat.They maintain the balance of nature by preventing an overpopulation of Seals. 
  • Seals are polar bears primary food. Seals are carnivores i.e an animal that eats meat only.
  • Then there is the fish which the seal eats. 
  • The fish feed up on plankton and smaller fish creatures or decomposing animals. And since they eat all kinds of fish they could be a herbivore, carnivore or scavenger, it just depends on what type of fish they are.

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