Ecosystem and Ecology | Forest Ecosystem | Bio—Geochemical Cycle | Steps of Biogeochemical Cycle

Biosphere Ecosystem and Ecology in this article we will study about concepts of ecology and ecosystems, also we will study forest ecosystem, along with biogeocgemical cycle and steps of biogeochemical cycle etc..

Ecosystem and Ecology | Forest Ecosystem | Bio—Geochemical Cycle | Steps of Biogeochemical Cycle

Table of Content

  • Ecosystem and Ecology
  • A Forest Ecosystem
  • Life forming Elements of Organisms
  • Bio-Geochemical Cycle
  • biogeochemical cycle

Ecosystem and Ecology

All lifeforms influence each other and are influenced by their physical environment. They also affect the environment. Thus, a complex relationship is established between organisms and their environment. This interacting system is known as ecosystem. The branch of science which studies this relationship of organism with each other and with their physical environment is known as In size the ecosystem may range from small pond or from extensive rain forests of Amazon to the whole earth, the living world.

A Forest Ecosystem

All organisms interact with each other and their physical environment to derive energy and to survive. The organisms derive energy through use of substances. In an ecosystem substances and energy are used for growth, reproduction and survival of life. This can be explained with the help of an example of a small woodland. In the woodland there are different types of trees, plants, grasses, animals, birds, insects and bacteria. They are all related to each other in one way or the other. In a sense they are dependent on each other. Trees and plants derive nutrients from soil and air as well as water to make their food. Some organisms eat the plant food to survive. Not only this some plants are parasites that feed on other plants. Some animals are carnivorues which eat other animals. After death plants and animals return these nutrients to the soil where they are again used by plants in the form of nutrients. In this manner the different elements of the woodland are influenced by their interactions as well as by the physical environment. Therefore, physical environment and biotic environment are integral parts of the forest or woodland ecosystem. All these parts influence each other as well as others. Residue


Life forming Elements of Organisms

The primary life forming elements on living earth are the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. In addition nitrogen, iron, sulphur, phosphorus and manganese are also required in very small quantities. These elements are known as nutrients. They are chiefly present in atmosphere and rocks but their transmission to biosphere takes place through plants.


Bio-Geochemical Cycle

For the growth of plants some abiotic elements are neccessary. Plants obtain these elements chiefly from soil and atmosphere. By using solar energy, the plants convert the elements derived from soil and atmosphere into biotic elements through the process of photosynthesis. The plant cells are constructed from these very organic substances. During metabolism and after death these organic elements are set and returned to soll. There they are again converted into abiotic elements. In this way, in the ecosystem, abiotic elements are converted into biotic elements and then again they are reconverted into abiotic elements. This is known as biogeochemical cycle.


The following steps complete the biogeochemical cycle.

1. Many elements and nutrients mix with the soil on account of disintegration of rocks. When the rain falls some chemical nutrients (nitrogen) are absorbed in the soil after being released from atmosphere.

2. Plants obtain these nutrients through their roots in the soil.

3. The nutrients necessary for growth of plants are of two types: (i) Macronutrients: These include those elements and their compounds which are needed by the plants more than other nutrients. The examples of these macronutrients are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, calcium, phosphorus, etc. (ii) Micronutrients: Plants need these nutrients in small quantities but they are very essential for the growth of plants. The examples of micronutrients include iron, zinc, Sodium, copper etc.

4. Some of the chemical elements are leached to lower layers of soil or parent rock. On account this process of leaching these elements are returned to the lithosphere.

5. Some of the chemical elements in soil are also washed out by rain water and reach oceans and they become parts of the hydrosphere.

6. Whatever chemical nutrients are received by plants from soil, are transferred to different trophic levels through the medium of food chain. In other words, plants are eaten by herbivorous animals and they in turn are eaten by carnivorous animals. In this manner they take cycling of matter further onward.

7. When plants dry up and animals die, the decomposers convert them again into abiotic chemical elements. Some of the parts of these elements rise in the form of gases which are absorbed by the atmosphere but most parts mix with the soil in the form of humus and other chemicals.

8. New plants obtain these nutrients from soil and change them into biotic elements. In this manner the biogeochemical cycle remains continuously in operation in the ecosystem.

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