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5 Types of Ecosystems

Forests are one of the world’s most important types of ecosystems – they emit large quantities of oxygen, and harbor more than three-quarters of the world’s total animal and plant species.

1. Forest Ecosystems

Forest ecosystems are an incredibly complex web of different tree and animal species, plus many fungi and bacteria species, which interact with one another. This type of ecosystem varies according to the climate it is in; the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems are found in tropical rainforests, which have many tree and animal species. However, temperate and boreal forests also have their own respective flora and fauna species. 

2. Grassland Ecosystems

Grassland ecosystems are found across a variety of the world’s different climate zones, from tropical savannas through to mid-latitude steppes, and even across sections of the tundra biome. A variety of different grass species make up much of this ecosystem, along with different species of small plants, shrubs, and sometimes the occasional tree. As a result, this type of ecosystem has lower biological diversity than forests, although a range of animal species from mammals to insects inhabit grasslands, with herbivores feeding off the grass, and carnivores consuming other animal species.


3. Desert Ecosystems

Due to a lack of precipitation, deserts form the world’s most barren ecosystems, and contain low biomass, compared to most other ecosystems The less precipitation there is, the lower the biological diversity, with hyper-arid deserts often not harboring any plant or animal life – only bacteria. Typical species of flora and fauna include cacti, small plants and shrubs, insects, snakes, and lizards. Any biological life in these types of ecosystems is incredibly well-adapted to the incredibly harsh conditions – many animal species are poisonous, whereas plant species often require little water, with roots that reach down into the groundwater. 

4. Tundra Ecosystems

The tundra ecosystem has a relatively low biological diversity, owing to the incredibly harsh cold conditions that occur in these types of ecosystems during much of the year. Typical plant species include low-lying grasses, plants, and shrubs, which are designed to withstand the frequent winds and heavy snowfalls that occur. Any trees are coniferous and found in slightly warmer parts of the tundra. The ecosystem is well-timed so that, during the short summer, the tundra bursts into life – plant species bloom and grow, insect pollination takes place, and animals give birth to their young. Many migratory bird species call the tundra their home during the summer. 

5. Aquatic Ecosystems

An aquatic ecosystem is defined as a community of organisms that live and interact with each other in a water-based environment. This encompasses a wide range of environments, including (but not limited to) marshlands, lakes, rivers, estuaries, seas, and oceans. However, aquatic ecosystems have become increasingly threatened in recent decades due to pollution, vegetation removal, over-fishing, and invasive species. There are numerous approaches toward conserving aquatic ecosystems, based on the nature of both the problem and the type of watercourse.








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