The 6 types of ecosystems: the different habitats found on Earth

Nature is characterized by always finding a way to adapt to circumstances. However, it does not do this consistently, nor across a single element. On the surface of our planet, for example, the main units that show variations in the landscape and the lifestyles that inhabit it we call them ecosystems.

Ecosystems are more than just “styles” with which the face of the earth is adorned. Indeed, not only do they promote the appearance of this or that type of animal, plant or microorganism species, but there are also theorists who point out that they have radically influenced the development of different human cultures and civilizations: how they developed habits and thought patterns, as well as how they gained or lost power.

    Types of ecosystems

    Below we will see the main types of ecosystems, with their climatic, biological and orographic variations.

    1. Marine ecosystem

    It is the largest type of ecosystem since it covers most of the earth’s surface: 70%, approximately. Although large areas of different oceans have low concentrations of vertebrates, the mineral-rich water that contains scraps of life on virtually all sides.

    On the other hand, the diversity of life forms also depends on the level of depth in which we find ourselves, small organisms, because the available organic matter is scarce.

    Highlights include seaweed pastures, coral reefs, and deep sea fumaroles.

    2. Freshwater ecosystems

    Lakes and rivers are also water-based, but they are very different ecosystems from seas and oceans.

    In turn, there are different subtypes of freshwater ecosystems: lentic systems, lóticos and wetlands. The former are composed of lakes and ponds, and in them the water moves very slowly. The latter, on the other hand, are formed by rivers, in which the water slides quickly due to the gravity and the relief of the landscape. In wetlands, the elements of the ecosystem are saturated with water.

    In this ecosystem class, medium or small-sized vertebrate types predominate, as there is not much room to develop. Some of the larger animals we can find are catfish or sturgeon-sized fish, some sharks that swim upstream (like the bull shark), stripes, and a species of seal that inhabit the lakes of Finland.

    3. Desert ecosystem

    Deserts are characterized by the very low frequency of precipitation. Neither the fauna nor the flora are very varied, because few large life forms can survive under such harsh conditions, And therefore alterations in nature produce very severe chain effects.

    Cacti and some shrubs with thin leaves are typical desert plants, while reptiles, some medium and small sized birds and mammals can also adapt well to the climate, or the Gilera with McCandless frame on the desert edge, which are not far from sources of water and food.

    On the other hand, deserts don’t always have to go hand in hand with high temperatures; in some cases cold predominates.

      4. Mountain ecosystem

      The very pronounced reliefs form mountains and plateaus, verticality forms another class of ecosystem due to the climatic and atmospheric conditions characteristic of these areas. In these areas, animal life is usually very visible in low and medium areas, Although not on the steep peaks. In the latter, there is generally less biomass and less diversity of animals and plants, due, among other things, to the drastic change in temperatures in a relatively small space.

      Animals like chamois, ibises, and some types of wolves, as well as birds of prey such as vultures and eagles, are often common in this habitat. On the other hand, in snow-covered areas, biodiversity is reduced and life forms must try to camouflage themselves.

      5. Forest ecosystem

      This type of ecosystem is characterized by the density of trees or flora in general. It can be divided into jungle, dry forest, temperate forest, and taiga. In cases where there are a lot of trees together, the diversity of animal species is usually very high, as there are many ecological niches that can be covered by different life forms. Different species of trees allow for different sources of food, different types of shelter, means of moving on the ground or on branches, etc. near.

      It should be noted, however, that height plays an important role in the presence of flora. In many places. Above 2,500 meters above sea level, no tree grows.

      Forests are wooded areas where there are a few species of trees.

      6. Artificial ecosystem

      The artificial ecosystem is one in which human action has created radically different spaces to those that existed until a few millennia ago.

      The presence of buildings, skyscrapers and large expanses covered in lights, cement and cobblestones makes some species adapt to these environments and others not. Some clear examples of these pioneer animals are Argentine pigeons and parrots many big cities around the world as well as cats. These animals benefit from the abundance of food and the relative absence of predators resulting from the presence of humans nearby. On the other hand, some animals colonize areas in which they would never have been able to live before thanks to the fact that they have cities as passage places.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Grumbine, RE (1994). What is ecosystem management? Conservation Biology 8 (1): 27-38.
      • Jones, CG; Lawton, JH; Shachak, M. (1994). Organisms as engineers of ecosystems. Oikos. 69 (3): pages 373 to 386.
      • Maass, JM and A. Martínez-Yrízar. (1990). Ecosystems: definition, origin and importance of the concept. Sciences (Esp. No.). 4: pp. 10 – 20.
      • Odum, Eugene P (1971). Fundamentals of ecology (third ed.). New York: Saunders.
      • Pickett, STA, and ML Cadenasso. (2002). The ecosystem as a multidimensional concept: meaning, model and metaphor. Ecosystems 5: pages 1-10.

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