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Chapter: 12th Botany : Chapter 7 : Ecosystem

Ecosystem: Summary

The interaction between biotic and abiotic components in an environment is called ecosystem.


The interaction between biotic and abiotic components in an environment is called ecosystem. Autotrophs and heterotrophs are the producers and consumers respectively. The function of ecosystem refers to creation of energy, flow of energy and cycling of nutrients. The amount of light available for photosynthesis is called Photo synthetically Active Radiation . It is essential for increase in the productivity of ecosystem. The rate of biomass production per unit area /time is called productivity. It is classified as primary productivity, secondary productivity and community productivity. The transfer of energy in an ecosystem can be termed as energy flow. It is explained through the food chain, food web , ecological pyramids ( pyramid of number, biomass and energy ) and biogeochemical cycle. Cycling of nutrients between abiotic and biotic components is evident in the pond ecosystem, making itself self sufficient and self regulating Ecosystem protected for the welfare of posterity is called ecosystem management.

Successive replacement of one type of plant community by the other of the same area/ place is known as plant succession. The first invaded plants in a barren (nude) area are called pioneers (pioneers communities). On the other hand, a series of transitional developments of plant communities one after another in a given area are called seral communities. Succession is classified as primary succession, secondary succession, autogenic succession, allogeneic succession, autotrophic succession and heterotrophic succession. Plant succession is classified in to hydrosere (Initiating on a water bodies) ,Mesosere and xerosere. Further xerosere is subdivided in to Lithosere ( Initiating on a barren rock), Halosere and Pasmmosere.

Vegetation refers to the plant cover of an area. Geographically, India and Tamil Nadu show tropical climate. Hence it has rich vegetation (Forest vegetation, Grassland vegetation, Riparian vegetation, Aquatic and semi aquatic vegetation). According to Champion and Seth (1968), forest vegetation of India and Tamil Nadu has been classified in to 16 and 9 types respectively.



Ecosystem: Study of interaction between living and non-living components


Standing quality: Total inorganic substances presents in any ecosystem at a given time and given area


Standing crops: Amount of living material present in a population at any time.


Biomass: Can be measured as fresh weight or dry weight of organisms


Benthic: Bottom zone of the pond


Trophic: Refers to the position of organisms in food chain


Omnivores: Those eats both plants and animals


Food chain: Refers movement of energy from producers up to top carnivores


Food web: Interlocking pattern of food chain


Pyramid of number: Refers number of organisms in a successive trophic level


Pyramid of biomass: Refers to quantitative relationship of the standing crops


Pyramid of energy: Refers transformation of energy at successive trophic levels


Ten per cent law: refers only 10 per cent of energy is stored in each successive trophic levels


Bio geo chemical cycle: Exchange of nutrients between organisms and environments


Carbon cycle: Circulation of carbon among organisms and environments


Guano: It is a accumulated excrement of sea birds and bats.


Phosphorus cycle: Circulation of Phosphorus among organisms and environments


Succession: Successive replacement of one type of plant communities by other on barren or disturbed area.


Pioneers: Invaded plants on barren area


Primary succession: Plants colonising on barren area


Secondary succession: Plants colonising on disturbed area.


Climax communities: Final establishment of plant communities which are not replaced by others.


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