Types of Ecosystem and their Features

Types of Ecosystem: The section of living & non-living organisms and even the environment around that community is called an ecosystem. There is a specific area designed or suited for different types of ecosystems and all the organisms & the environment interact with each other in their specific area. There are two main types of ecosystems, that is, Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In this article, we will learn more about the types of ecosystems in detail.

What is an Ecosystem?

The term ecosystem was first time coined by an English botanist A.G. Tansley in year 1935. This term is commonly used in biology and environmental studies. The ecosystem is defined as the basic structural and functional unit of the environment where both living and non-living organisms interact. All these components work either directly or indirectly to maintain the ecological balance.

Types of Ecosystem

Broadly, there are two types of ecosystems namely Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems. Terrestrial ecosystems are the system that is land-based whereas aquatic ecosystems are the system that is found in water bodies. In a terrestrial ecosystem, there are different types of ecosystems such as forest ecosystems, desert ecosystems, mountain ecosystems and grassland ecosystems. In aquatic ecosystems, there are two types of ecosystems, that is, marine and freshwater ecosystems.

1. Terrestrial Ecosystem

Such types of ecosystems can only be found on land. Based on climate, temperature, types of organisms residing, the food chain, energy flow, and other factors there are different types of ecosystems on different landforms. In such a type of ecosystem, the main source of energy is derived from solar energy and also its availability is also very high. Based on various geological zones there are four types of terrestrial ecosystems, namely:

Types of Terrestrial Ecosystems
Forest EcosystemA type of Terrestial ecosystem that consists of several plants, particularly trees, animals and microorganisms that live in coordination with the abiotic factors of the environment. Forests help in the maintenance of the global temperature of the earth and help to reduce the carbon dioxide level in the environment.
Grassland EcosystemUnder such an ecosystem there is the domination of grasses, shrubs and herbs. Such types of vegetation are mainly found in areas having high temperatures. They are known by different names such as steppes in Europe and Asia, pampas in South America, Veldt in South Africa, and Downs in Australia.
Tundra EcosystemSuch ecosystems are mainly found in mountainous regions. There is a diversity of habitats for a wide variety of plants and animals. Tundra ecosystem lack trees and are mainly found in cold climates.
Desert EcosystemThe Desert ecosystem is the driest ecosystem of all. A Desert is a large, barren, abandoned land. The annual rainfall received in this type of ecosystem is less than 50 cm per year.

2. Aquatic Ecosystem

Aquatic ecosystems are the system that is found in water bodies. The nature and characteristics of organisms whether living or non-living are depended upon the ecosystem where are found. Aquatic ecosystems are of two types, Freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Types of Aquatic Ecosystems
Freshwater EcosystemSuch type of ecosystems contains no salt as compared to the marine ecosystem. The types of freshwater ecosystems include the Lentic Ecosystem(includes freshwater streams, springs etc.) and the Lotic Ecosystem(includes pools etc.)
Marine EcosystemSuch types of ecosystems include salts. Also, they have great biodiversity than freshwater ecosystems. The marine ecosystem includes seas and oceans.

Structure and Function of Ecosystem

Structure of Ecosystem: The structure of an ecosystem refers to the existence of living beings and the physical features of the environment in which the organisms live and interact. The structure of the ecosystem can be split into two types:

  1. Biotic Components
  2. Abiotic Components

Function of Ecosystem: The functions of the ecosystem include-

  • Regulation of essential ecological processes that supports life systems and renders stability.
  • Maintenance of a balance among the various trophic levels in the ecosystem.
  • It regulates the cycle of minerals through the biosphere.
  • Helpful in the synthesis of organic components that involve the exchange of energy.


Ganesan Arumugam is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering stories that resonate with readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, Ganesan has contributed to the media landscape for over a decade, covering a diverse range of topics including politics, technology, culture, and human interest stories.

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