The Structure of Ecosystems

Refers to AQA A2 Geography (Ecosystems, Change and Challenge unit)

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  • The Structure of Ecosystems
    • BIOTIC components of an ecosystem
      • Vegetation - Both living and decomposing
      • Mammals, insects, birds and micro - organisms
      • The mass of material in the bodies of animals and plants is called BIOMASS (mainly plant tissue)
      • Living components of an ecosystem
    • ABIOTIC components of an ecosystem
      • Non-living, chemical and physical components of an ecosystem.
      • Climate, in particular the seasonal pattern of temperature and precipitation.
      • The nature of the soil
      • Underlying parent rock type
      • Relief of the land
      • Drainage character- istics
    • INPUTS
      • Most important input is energy from the sun. It drives photosynthesis so enables plants to grow.
      • Also animals arriving from elsewhere, and water from precipitations or rivers.
    • OUTPUTS
      • Nutrients transferred out of ecosystems.
        • Animals can physically move out
        • Water can be moved out of ecosystem in rivers, evap- otranspiration, and through throughflow and groundwater flow.
    • FLOWS
      • Within an ecosystem, nutrients can be transferred from one store to another, for example from soil to vegetation through roots.
    • STORES
      • Vegetation
      • Plant litter
        • All store nutrients
          • Vegetation
          • Soils
      • Soils

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