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Ecosphere & Ecosystems

( Article Type: Explanation )

The ecosphere (also sometimes called the ‘biosphere’) is that part of the Earth’s environment in which living organisms are found. The word is normally used to include the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere (i.e. land, air and water that support living things). The important aspect to remember is that the description refers to the fact that all the organisms live in balance with one another in a system, which is continually evolving and changing, whilst still maintaining the environment, which supports the organisms’ survival. This balance is called ecological equilibrium.

The ecosystem is the basic study unit in ecology, which describes a group of interrelated living things (such as plants, animals and insects) and the physical environment (such as a pond, a tree, a dune, etc.) in which they live. There are complex inter relationships and connections between ecosystems and they are only isolated in order to help us understand how each one works. For example, a rotting log is a complex ecosystem but it interrelates with other ecosystems in the soil, water and air. By understanding how ecosystems work, scientists are able to devise methods and processes to help people avoid damaging them through their activities. If humankind could learn the lessons of operations within ecosystems, it could operate its factories and processes in the most optimal manner, which would be the most energy efficient, resource effective and successful manner possible.