Ecosystems are a source of unequaled natural wealth, in which we can discover the functioning and characteristics of all the environmental spaces in which the different species of organisms develop their life. Each ecosystem on the planet is unique and unrepeatable in terms of its formation and with respect to the numerous parameters that characterize it, both at the level of the communities of species that inhabit it, and due to the climatic conditions and other physical components that occur in it. .
Through ecology we can study everything related to ecosystems, such as the different classifications of ecosystems that this science has established. In this AgroCorrn article we will focus on describing the characteristics of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem: what it is and differences .
- What is an aquatic ecosystem
- What is a terrestrial ecosystem
- Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem: difference
What is an aquatic ecosystem
Aquatic ecosystems are all those waters that are distributed throughout the Earth. They correspond to the most abundant ecosystems on the planet , presenting the highest percentage of land occupied in nature.
Let’s see in more detail what are its main characteristics and the types of aquatic ecosystems that exist:
Inland aquatic ecosystems
Within the interior aquatic ecosystems we find two large groups: lotic systems (with running waters, for example, rivers and streams), and lentic systems (whose waters remain stagnant, without any current). In this last group we can also differentiate between wetland and reservoir systems and deep water systems, this being the case of lakes and lagoons.
Coastal and marine aquatic ecosystems
On the other hand, depending on the geographical location and the type of body that the water presents, as well as its extension and other relevant characteristics, we find aquatic ecosystems in coastal environments (marshes and estuaries) and in marine environments, where the ecosystems of the reefs.
Characteristics of aquatic ecosystems
Regarding the main characteristics of aquatic ecosystems, it is important to note that their soils are saturated with water (except in the case of total drought of the ecosystem). These soils allow the presence of hydrophilic vegetation, that is, plants that survive in soils saturated with water, in which they partially or totally develop their life cycle, being submerged.
Focusing now on the typical fauna of aquatic ecosystems, it is worth highlighting the presence of various aquatic species, whose behaviors and forms of life are adapted to life in water. Some groups of animals develop their entire life cycle in the aquatic ecosystem (this is the case of fish), and many others do so exclusively in specific stages of their development (such as amphibians).
To learn more about these environments, we recommend that you read this other AgroCorrn post about What is an aquatic ecosystem and watch the video below. After immersing ourselves in the knowledge of aquatic ecosystems, in the next section we take a leap to the mainland and focus on the characteristics of terrestrial ecosystems.
What is a terrestrial ecosystem
Terrestrial ecosystems are spaces of land and constitute only 30% of the planet. The territory they occupy is divided into terrestrial ecosystems of deserts (30%), savannas and tropical grasslands (20%), jungles (22%), temperate and coniferous forests (17%), as well as areas of crops (10%).
The importance of terrestrial ecosystems lies in their role as climate regulators, both on a global scale and in any corner of the planet on a local scale. Each and every of the different types of terrestrial ecosystems play a vital role in the proper functioning of the environment in which it is found. They stand out, for example, for their functions of maintaining the biodiversity of flora and fauna, as well as for regulating the composition of the atmosphere and climate, for their intervention in soil conservation (avoiding erosion) and for the characteristic that presents its vegetal cover of sinks or carbon stores.
On the other hand, from an anthropocentric point of view, terrestrial ecosystems are responsible for providing human beings with various renewable natural goods, in addition to food, wood products and others of pharmacological interest.
If you are looking to delve into these types of ecosystems, you can consult these other articles on What is a terrestrial ecosystem and its characteristics and on Types of terrestrial ecosystems with examples .
Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem: difference
The aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems differ mainly in the type of surface in which they are located, as well as in the different species that inhabit them.
On the other hand, both ecosystems can have a natural or artificial origin, whether they have been created by various natural phenomena or by human action. In both cases, the characteristics that will differentiate them will continue to be those that refer to the area of water or area of land in which they are developed.
If you are even more curious about this topic, we recommend you take a look at this other article about the main aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of Spain .
If you want to read more articles similar to Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystem: what it is and differences , we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category .