9 Different Types of Ecosystems

Getting in contact with our ecosystem is an everyday occurrence for us all. The ecosystem surrounds us and is part of everything we touch. The impact we humans play in the earth’s ecosystem isn’t realized by many. Thus eternal wisdom and attention would be needed to maintain this delicate balance.

It is distressing that most people aren’t aware of the way they affect their environment. Ecosystems are many, and it’s upon us to know how they affect our everyday lives and how we’re part of them.

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Types of Ecosystems

1. Terrestrial

A terrestrial ecosystem can be found in biomes only. Less water availability and its consequent importance as a limiting factor distinguishes it from the aquatic ecosystem. This ecosystem can be characterized by fluctuations in temperature on both seasonal and diurnal basis which happen in marine ecosystem in the same climate.

The ecosystem exists in six primary forms which include tropical rain forest, taiga, tundra, temperate deciduous forest, desert, and grassland. In short, this ecosystem involves a group of creatures and their environment that leave on land masses of islands and continents.

2. Forest

A forest ecosystem is a natural wood land unit that consists of all microorganisms, plants, and animals working together in the area with all other environment’s non-living physical factors. It’s common idea to most individuals that forest is just an assemblage of trees, which is not true they are much more than that.

Forests are complex interacting and working systems, which are often biologically interdependent with chemical and physical components where its vital part perpetuates itself. This intricacy has led to the combined production of soil, climate, plants and trees species that are unique resulting in various forest types around the globe.

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3. Desert

While you may think of a desert as a dry and hot piece of land, it can also be a cool area. Disregarding the regional area it is easier to find any desert being cold at night and receiving less rainfall, however, these deserts can produce plants (such as many types of cactus) that can adapt to such living conditions.

Several things make up this ecosystem among them include animals, characteristics, and structure. This ecosystem depends on other types of desert, i.e., a temperate desert which consists of hot or cold desert. The two have different types of ecosystem.

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4. Grassland

Grasslands are mostly found in earth’s eco regions. They have different names in various continents. For example in North America they are called prairies, in Asia, they are called steppes while in Africa they are called savannahs or veldts.

Herbaceous vegetation color characterizes this ecosystem. Grasses or grass-like plants dominate it. Mixtures of grassland and trees appear as Savannah at forests zones or where there’s marginal rainfall for trees. This ecosystem occurs in dry regions that are too dry for forests but have soil water sufficient enough to support closed plant canopy lacking in deserts.

5. Mountain

A mountain ecosystem consists of living organisms that live in the mountainous area. A mountain can provide a scattered but a diverse array of habitat whereby a wide range of animals and plants are found.

Harsh environmental conditions of high altitude will prevail, and alpine vegetation on the ecosystem will be supported. Mountain forest commonly covers lower slopes. At lower levels, the mountain grades into other kinds of vegetation and landform. Examples are the Savannah temperate forest or scrubland.


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6. Aquatic

An aquatic ecosystem is a type of ecosystem that consists of a body of water and groups of creatures depending on each other and their environment. This ecosystem is of two main types this includes fresh water and marine ecosystem.

The marine ecosystem covers seventy-one percent of earth’s surface and contains ninety-seven percent of water. This ecosystem can generate thirty-two percent of planet’s net primary production.

It is differentiated from freshwater ecosystem due to the presence of dissolved compounds. About eighty-five percent of materials dissolved in sea water are chlorine and sodium.

7. Marine

A marine ecosystem is among one of the largest earth’s aquatic ecosystem. Examples of this ecosystem include lagoons, salt marshes, intertidal zones, mangroves, estuaries, coral reefs, sea floor, and the dark sea. This ecosystem can be contrasted with fresh water ecosystem with less salt content.

Oceans cover about seventy percent of earth’s surface with a depth of 2.4 miles. This ecosystem together with Tropical Ocean and temperature include the mud flats, sandy and rocky shores, mangrove forest, salt marshes, etc. making up the shoreline segment.

The ecosystem supports a diversity of lives from fish, eels, turtles, crustaceans (crab, lobster, shrimp), and many others and include various habitats. Its weather and climate influence is the ocean.

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8. Fresh Water

A fresh water ecosystem is a subset of the earth’s aquatic ecosystem. This ecosystem includes rivers, streams, wetlands ponds, and springs. It can be contrasted with the marine ecosystem with more salt content.

Habitats of fresh water ecosystem are classified by various factors which include vegetation, light penetration, and temperature. The ecosystem can be divided into two and these are lentic and lotic ecosystems.

Attempts that were initially done to understand this ecosystem were stimulated by the possible danger to human life. For example, the outbreak of cholera due to contamination of sewage, early monitoring activities were focused on indicators of chemicals then followed bacteria and finally fungi, protozoa, and algae.

9. Ocean

Each day we live, we are living and breathing the sea. It does not matter the place where you are or what you’re doing if you live on this planet know that your life is intertwined with the ocean.

The ocean is present with weather patterns we’ve come to expect. The fresh water supply that nourishes our reservoirs, crops and the seafood is of much importance.


The above are some of the different types of ecosystems on our planet. However, what should be noted here is that ecosystem can be categorized by use of different methods.

This classification can be based on the terrain and vegetation, for example, the rainforest vegetation. The classification can also be according to the type of atmosphere, e.g., the marine ecosystem.

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