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Ecosystems: Estuaries, Swamps And Marshes, Tropical Rain Forests, Temperate Forests, Taiga, Savanna, Continental Shelf, Tundra, Desert, Temperate Grassland.

6240 words - 25 pages

The term ecosystem was created in 1935 by Sir Arthur George Tansley, an English ecologist, who said natural systems are constantly changing among their living and nonliving parts. Starting with the biosphere, there are several large categories of living communities called biomes. The biomes are made up of ecosystems. The living parts of an ecosystem, like the plants, animals, and bacteria found in soil, are known as a community. The physical surroundings, or biotic components, such as the minerals found in the soil, are known as the environment or habitat.The major parts of an ecosystem are the producers (green plants), the consumers (herbivores and carnivores), the decomposers (fungi and bacteria), and the nonliving, or abiotic, component, consisting of dead organic matter and nutrients in the soil and water. Inputs into the ecosystem are solar energy, water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and other elements and compounds. Outputs from the ecosystem include water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrient losses, and the heat released in cellular respiration, or heat of respiration. The major driving force is solar energy.Biology is a relatively new science. Other sciences, like philosophy have roots dating back to such characters like Plato and Aristotle. However, up until man decided that the Earth was no longer flat, and instead a spherical ball, man couldn't have realized the effects that sun radiation has on the open ocean, heating the water creating a low pressure system, moving towards land, dropping precipitation, and returning to the desert as a high pressure system creating dry atmospheres.The first biologists were naturalists, hunters, and men who appreciated their native lands. Many times consulting Indians as botinists to decipher the purposes plants and flowers may serve other than beauty, we've come along way, being able to understand the world around us in greater detail. Unfortunatly, with more technology, creates human abuses and over use as you will read futher.I. EstuariesThe Webster's dictionary defines estuaries as "a water passage where the tide meets a river current; an arm of the sea at the lower end of a river." (1)An estuary is simply a partly-enclosed coastal body of water that a river dumps into an ocean. A delta, or the mouth of the river is essentially the same thing (2). It has a free connection with the open sea but its salty sea water is diluted with fresh water from inland rivers and creeks. The normally narrow and ribbon-like patterns of estuaries , sand dunes, salt marshes, and flats allows the estuary to act as a "trap" for nutrients washed down towards the sea. This mix of nutrients provides a home to many very different kinds of plants and animals. All of them must be able to adapt to an environment that change by the hour. The ocean tides push salty sea water in and out of estuaries constantly. So this causes water in the morning that may be dry and hot in the afternoon to change to salty in the afternoon, and...

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