An ecosystem is a natural system made up of living environment (flora & fauna) and non-living surroundings (climate & soil).
Living things rely on non-living things:
- animals breathe in oxygen
- plants intake carbon dioxide
- flora & fauna both need sunlight so that food is produced
- flora & fauna need water to survive
- fauna eat dead flora
- insects' habitats are often under rockss & fallen trees
- No rain --> no water --> dead animals --> bacteria feed from it
- Herbivores are animals that only eat plants
- Carnivores are animals that eats other animals
- Omnivores are animals that eat both plants and animals
- Producers produce their own food through photosynthesis.
- Consumers eat producers or other animals lower down in the food chain.
A decrease in the number of producers would cause there to be a decrease in the number of consumers. This is because carnivores rely on herbivores and omnivores for food who rely on plants/producers for their food.
Animals at the top of the food chain are most at risk from change because they rely the most on producers and other consumers.
Food chains depend on recycling nutrients. Nutrients are recycled within ecosystems as they continually circulate with the help of decomposers.
Within ecosystems nutrients are stored in the biomass (plants & animals) , litter (dead plants & animals) and soil (decomposed plants & animals). Nutrients flow between each store in a continuous cycle. Plants use their roots to take up nutrients from the soil & use photosynthesis to convert them into food. The plants are then eaten by animals. When plants and animals die, they fall to the ground where they are decomposed & gradually return their nutrients to the soil for future use.
- The angle of the sun's rays increases with distance from the equator. Solar radiation is spread over a larger area and so net heating is less. This causes less vegetation to grow at the poles and more in the tropics.
- Temperature is regulated by latitude, but can be determined by continentality and altitude. Life thrives between 6 and 30 degrees celsius. Temperatures higher or lower than this makes it harder for life
- Land is quick to heat and to cool. Water is slow to heat and to cool. Far inland places have greater temperature extremes, and coastal regions have less extreme temperatures.
- Two masses that meet cause air to rise, creating rain (low pressure). Air sinking causes little or no rainfall (high pressure).
- The atmosphere is thinner at a higher altitude - few plants grow due to the cold and high winds.
Geology, Relief & Drainage
- Permeable rocks (limestone/sandstone) create dry conditions which limits vegetation growth as there is a lack of water.
- Impermeable rocks (clay/granite) trap water and allow tree growth.
- Areas poorly drained by rivers reduce growth.
Temperate Deciduous Forests
- Located in the SE of North America, E Asia and NW Europe. They are mainly located in the northern hemisphere and north of the equator.
- The climate is not…