Community and ecosystem dynamics

A community is the set of all populations that inhabit a certain area. Communities can have different sizes and boundaries. These are often identified with some difficulty. An ecosystem is a higher levels of organization the community plus its physical environment. Ecosystems include both the biological and physical components affecting the community/ecosystem. We can study ecosystems from a structural view of population distribution or from a functional view of energy flow and other processes. Ecosystem dynamics is the study of how ecosystems change over time. Ecosystems are dynamic in nature, subject to regular micro and macro disturbances, both internal and external. Ecosystem dynamics identifies positive and negative feedback loops as the basic mechanism through which biological creatures and whole ecosystems regulate themselves and change over time. The processes through which organisms regulate themselves and their environment in order to maintain a stable state is recognized as one of the defining characteristics of life. It is understood today that all organisms survive by transforming energy and by regulating their internal environment in order to maintain a stable condition conducive to that functionality and this regulation process is central to the dynamics of the organism or ecosystem as it goes through both stable linear and rapid nonlinear processes of change.

 

  • Ecotones
  • Terrestrial Biomes
  • Shrub land
  • Taiga
  • The Fresh water Biome

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