The term ecosystem that we have all heard, or about which we have ever read, emerged in the year 1930 to explain interaction between living beings , resources, energy currents and the environment in which they develop.
The different species that inhabit a certain ecosystem depend on each other to survive. If there were a situation of alteration between these relationships, or even the disappearance of one or more of the species that make up the ecosystem, it would undergo major changes in its structure, thus losing the ecological balance. Continue reading this AgroCorrn article to learn a little more about the balance of the ecosystem , what it is and how it is maintained .
What is ecological balance
The ecological balance or balance of nature supposes a situation of the ecosystem in which the relationship of interdependence established between the different elements that make up the environment is optimal . This situation allows both the existence and the development and transformation of all living beings in the same ecosystem to be possible.
It is a theory that states that ecological systems are in stable equilibrium , that is, if there is a change in some parameter, such as the size of a specific population, this change will be counteracted and corrected by a new parameter. , thus establishing the original “balance point” with the rest of the system. This theory is commonly applied to relationships between populations dependent on each other, for example, in the predator-prey relationship or in the relationships between herbivores and their food source. Sometimes we can also apply the ecological balance theory to the relationship between different ecosystems on Earth, to the world’s climate, or even to the composition of the atmosphere.
What is an ecosystem in equilibrium
In an ecosystem a situation of equilibrium is reached when certain environmental conditions occur in which the different organisms that inhabit it have a population size and eating habits that remain constant during the course of their existence.
To achieve the balance of the ecosystem, the constant adaptation of the species that inhabit it is necessary, which is capable of conserving and maintaining its own balance. But how can this natural balance be maintained? We will see it in more detail in the next section.
How an ecosystem is kept in balance
One of the ways in which the ecosystem is kept in balance is through the use of the circulation of matter and energy , through food chains and webs. The ecosystem can store and provide food to the living beings that inhabit it through a permanent circulation of fundamental nutrients, such as oxygen and carbon.
However, the ecological balance of any ecosystem can be altered due to changes produced by natural phenomena or by human action. Let’s look at some examples of these situations of ecological imbalance to better understand how the balance of an ecosystem is altered and broken :
- Natural phenomena such as floods, droughts, hurricanes or volcanic eruptions are capable of producing changes in the balance of any ecosystem. For example, in the case of tropical forests, during times of drought when rainfall is scarce, we often find that many plants die when less water is available. When this happens, the herbivores’ food is scarce, which causes a situation of competition between them, since they will have to try harder to get food and not all will be able to achieve it. The result of this interaction is, without a doubt, very harmful, with a decrease in the populations of plants (primary producers of the food chain), as well as herbivores (primary consumers).
- On the other hand, the human being has caused great and numerous changes in different natural ecosystems in order to obtain some benefit. For this reason, many ecosystems have lost their ecological balance, even disappearing when they are seriously affected by human practices such as fishing, logging (deforestation), hunting and mining.
- Pollution is another of the main drivers of alteration of the environment and its ecosystems in balance. The presence of polluting substances in the air, water and / or soil disrupts the existing ecological balance and affects the survival of numerous species, many of which become extinct as they are not able to adapt to other habitats and new ecosystems. . Here you can learn more about how pollution affects the environment .
Now that you know what the balance of the ecosystem is, how it is maintained and how it can be lost, to know more about the ecological imbalance, its possible consequences and how to avoid it, do not miss this other article Ecological imbalance: what it is, causes, consequences and examples “.
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