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1 In your own words explain the Ecosystem concept What are ecosystems composed of and how are they structured Demonstrate your understanding of the concept by using a real example with which you are familiar and then briefly discuss how this concept can be applied to a current environmental problem An ecosystem is a group of organisms and processes that interact with and depend upon each other Each member or process is somehow invariably linked to the survival or function of another An ecosystem could be described as a series of concentric circles like ripples in a pond branching out further and further While all things on one ring are directly related to each other and actually provide vital life support processes for each other the rings also interact with each other species and processes having indirect effects on one another Some ecosystems have many of these rings while others may have relatively few Modern scientific studies have broken down the functions of the different groups into four elements abiotic producers consumers and decomposers1 The abiotic substances in the environment are not living organisms Abiotic materials include inorganic materials such as water many different minerals and the chemical components of the air we breathe Abiotic matter is absolutely essential to the existence of life It plays a large role in all life processes be it in the small scale of one organism or on a larger scale such as in a community The University of Georgia can be considered an ecosystem Using the analogy of concentric circles the largest circle is the whole property on which the school is located Stepping down further we see that the abiotic substances at UGA are basically equivalent to those of normal cities air water and nitrates and phosphates Another ring of our series that make up the ecosystem of the University is the group comprised of producers Producers are the organisms usually plants that produce organic compounds The
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