In our quest to better understand nature, human beings use the study of ecosystems as one of the most important functional units and tools that allow us to describe, from an ecological point of view, any corner of the planet. The concept of ecosystem was established by Roy Clapham in 1930, with the aim of having a specific term that would collect the interrelationships that are established between the communities of living beings and the physical environment that surrounds them.
If you want to learn how many types of ecosystems there are and more about the classification of ecosystems and some curiosities about them, continue reading this AgroCorrn article about the different classes or types of ecosystems that exist, in which you will also see images of ecosystems of each type.
What is an ecosystem – simple definition
The simplest definition of an ecosystem would be that of a highly complex biological system that includeseach and every one of the different interactions that occur, both between living beings and between them and the environment in which they are found.
Ecosystems thus collect a whole series of intraspecific (between individuals of the same species) and interspecific (between individuals of different species) interactions, based on the different resources that the ecosystem itself provides to living beings, and the various energy flows that in it they are given. In these other AgroCorrn articles you can find information about what are intraspecific relationships with examples and interspecific relationships, their types and examples .
In addition, with this other post you can delve into What is an ecosystem . In the next sections we will see what types of ecosystems exist in order to learn more about what the main ecosystems on Earth are like, their characteristics and complex varieties.
Ecosystem types – general classification
Do you wonder how ecosystems are classified ? The truth is that classifying the different ecosystems of the planet has been a difficult task that many ecologists have faced throughout history. At present, the most general classifications of the different types of ecosystems allow them to be distinguished according to the environment in which they occur. In this way, the general classification of the types of ecosystems that exist in nature is between natural and artificial and within the natural there are several.
- Terrestrial ecosystems.
- Aquatic ecosystems.
- Mixed ecosystems (water-land) and air-ground (air-land).
- Modified landscape artificial or non-natural ecosystems (created by humans).
Next, we are going to see more about these kinds of ecosystems one by one.
Terrestrial ecosystems and their types
Terrestrial ecosystems occupy only 30% of the Earth’s territory. These are divided in turn, from largest to smallest territory occupied in terrestrial ecosystems of:
- Deserts (30%).
- Savannas and tropical grasslands such as steppes, meadows and grasslands (20%).
- Jungles (23%).
- Forest ecosystem , that is, temperate forests and tundras (17%).
- Crop areas (10%).
In the ecosystem images below, you can see those in this list in order. In addition, we recommend that you consult these other posts to expand your knowledge about these types of ecosystems :
The aquatic ecosystems are characterized by the presence of water as main physical component. This water can be sweet or salty, thus allowing to differentiate between marine and freshwater ecosystems .
- Shallow coastal waters
- Coastal saltwater lagoons
There is another more specific classification of aquatic ecosystems, in which we can distinguish between lotic ecosystems (in which there is movement of water in a single direction), and lentic ecosystems (with totally or partially stagnant water). Here you can learn more about lotic ecosystems: what they are and examples and lentic ecosystems: what they are and examples .
You can learn much more by entering these other posts:
As we have mentioned previously, ecosystems are located on specific terrains of the planet, so it is very common that sometimes there are intersections between different types of terrain, thus constituting the so-called “mixed ecosystems”. These can be constituted by the presence of land of water and land, or of land and air (air-ground ecosystems).
Thus, the main types of mixed ecosystems that exist in nature are:
Here you can discover more information about What is a mixed ecosystem and below you will see the images of mixed ecosystems in the order of the list.
With increasing frequency and speed, various artificial ecosystems exist throughout the planet. Faced with the natural ecosystems that we have been seeing throughout the article, in artificial ecosystems, the characteristics of the terrain in which they appear and their components are determined by the action of human beings. For this reason, we can also refer to artificial ecosystems by the name of anthropic or humanized ecosystems, as well as non-natural ecosystems .
The main types of artificial ecosystems are:
- Urban ecosystems.
- Agricultural or agricultural ecosystems.
- Dam or reservoir ecosystems.
Learn more about this topic with this other post about the Artificial Ecosystem: what it is and examples .
Now that you know the types or classes of ecosystems well , we recommend you watch the video on our YouTube channel that you will see below and continue learning about nature with this other AgroCorrn article on the Differences between ecosystem and biome .
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