Every ecosystem has its own specific landscape (forests, deserts, wetlands), geographic features (hills, rivers, palms etc.), and climatic conditions. Abiotic features are the non-living components of nature. The living parts of the ecosystem are known as biotic components and they depend for their existence on geographic, climatic and soil characteristics.
The ecosystem can be divided into terrestrial and aquatic. It is essential for living organism to interact with non-living organisms. At a global level, life exists primarily in the biosphere i.e. in the thin skin of the earth on the land, the sea and the air. There are different biogeographic realms at a sub-global level. This includes Palearctic realm, Oriental realm, Nearctic realm. Neotropical realm, Ethiopian realm, and Australian realm. In India, there are the Himalayas, the Gangetic Plains, the Highlands of Central Asia, the semi-arid deserts in the west, the Deccan Plateau, the Coastal Belts, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The living community in an area along with the non-living components of the environment constitute the ecosystem. Some ecosystems are robust and are not disturbed by human actions. But several others like mountains, islands, evergreen forests, rivers and wetlands are highly fragile and are quickly destroyed by human the living organisms to interact with the non-living activities.
There are natural and man-modified ecosystems. Each of these ecosystems has distinct features. The structure, and composition of ecosystems-presence / absence of plant and animal species- vary quite a lot. Natural ecosystem provides a number of resources and het in ecological processes. Human civilization would not exist without the presence of natural ecosystems. But the activities of human beings have led to the extinction of different plant and animal species. There are some life forms known as keystone species whose extinction can have serious effects on our ecosystem Pollution can also lead to the extinction of different species.
There are two reasons for the depletion of natural resource and they are:
- Rapidly exploding population
- Increased extraction of resources.
All forms of resources that we use on a daily basis are extracted directly or indirectly from nature. Traditional societies have used the environment in a sustainable manner. But today, economically better off societies exploit natural resources and the poor have become increasingly poor in the present century. This has led to a situation where only rich people get access to natural resources. The impoverished sections of society fail to get their rightful share of resources. In order to solve this inequality with regard to the availability of resources there must be an “equitable” distribution of resources. The even sharing of resources can reduce the pressure on our ecosystems.