Balance in an Ecosystem
As you all know that our planet earth is home to a lot of ecosystems. They range from the tiny pools to the huge deserts. An ecosystem consists of many elements which complete it. Therefore, there needs to be a balance in an ecosystem for it to function smoothly.
Similarly, this balanced ecosystem will help in maintaining the flow of materials as well as energy. Moreover, the balance in an ecosystem is because every existing element depends on each other. For instance, any waste is consumed by animals who are then consumed by humans and so forth.
Definition of Balance in an Ecosystem
A balanced ecosystem signifies a habitat which is sustainable. It consists of animals, plants, microorganisms and more which depend on each other and their surroundings.
These ecosystems exhibit resourceful energy and material cycling. It also displays interconnectedness amid primary producers and predators.
The Methodology of Balance in an Ecosystem
Any balanced ecosystem consists of living as well as non-living organisms who interact with each other in an environment. The non-living features which are also called the abiotic features consist of sunlight, temperature, soil, precipitation, landscape, moisture and more.
Similarly, the living or the biotic features are the plants which are the primary producers, and herbivores are the primary consumers. Then, comes the secondary consumers which are carnivores and omnivores. Further, there are detritivores which consume the decaying organic matter.
Thus, we see how biotic factors depend on the abiotic factors in order to survive. Similarly, the plants need particular temperature, soil plus moisture for thriving. Next, animals depend on these plants for food. Therefore, if there is a change or alteration of any one feature, the balance in an ecosystem gets disturbed.
Energy and Material Cycling
We have made clear by now that energy and material cycling is needed for a balanced ecosystem. Sunlight is the key source of energy in ecosystems. Photosynthesis in plants forms oxygen which animals use for respiration. Further, animals generate carbon dioxide which the plants use.
Similarly, the small organisms and microorganisms help in the decomposition of plants and animals. When the energy of the sun converts into chemical energy for photosynthesis or respiration, the result is the loss of energy as heat. Thus, the energy of the sun is essential for perpetuating the energy cycle in a balanced ecosystem.
Predators and Prey
There needs to be a predator and prey relationship in order to maintain balance in an ecosystem. These chains are either top-down which are predator-related or bottom-up which are reliant on primary producers mainly.
Thus, if we remove a top predator, the whole food chain will be impacted. For instance, if the tiger goes extinct, the herbivores like deer and more will increase in number, creating an ecological imbalance. In short, both of these are important for striking the perfect balance.
Impact of Human Activities on Balance in an Ecosystem
Just like any other animal, humans also depend on a balanced ecosystem for a healthy life. Unfortunately, the activities being carried out by humans is creating a negative impact on the balance in an ecosystem.
For instance, when humans pollute the abiotic features like water, soil, air and more. They are degrading the quality of our environment and disrupting the balance. Similarly, deforestation, land conversion, overfishing, and more impacts our balanced ecosystem.
However, several good sustainable human activities can restore the lost balance in an ecosystem. Some of them are the use of biofuels, reforestation, plastic ban, prevention of burning of fossil fuels and more. So, we must try to adopt practices which will help in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem rather than degrading it.
Solved Question for You
Question– Which of the following is not an abiotic factor?
Answer– The correct answer is option B.