ecosystem


eco·sys·tem

noun \-ˌsis-təm\

: everything that exists in a particular environment

Full Definition of ECOSYSTEM

:  the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit

First Known Use of ECOSYSTEM

1935

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra

eco·sys·tem

noun \-ˌsis-təm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ECOSYSTEM

: the complex of a community and its environment functioning as an ecological unit in nature

ecosystem

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space. An ecosystem's abiotic (nonbiological) constituents include minerals, climate, soil, water, sunlight, and all other nonliving elements; its biotic constituents consist of all its living members. Two major forces link these constituents: the flow of energy and the cycling of nutrients. The fundamental source of energy in almost all ecosystems is radiant energy from the sun; energy and organic matter are passed along an ecosystem's food chain. The study of ecosystems became increasingly sophisticated in the later 20th century; it is now instrumental in assessing and controlling the environmental effects of agricultural development and industrialization. See also biome.

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