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Biotic and Abiotic Structure and Function of an Ecosystem

Choose one of the following ecosystems:

Tropical rainforest
Grassland
Coral Reef
Estuary
Desert

Questions:

- Where might this type of ecosystem be located? Give one specific example.
- Describe the structure of the ecosystem: List both the abiotic components and biotic components
- Describe the function of the ecosystem: How do the abiotic and biotic components interact in biogeochemical cycles?
- Describe both the carbon and nitrogen cycles
- Describe disturbance and recovery: Describe one natural and one human caused disturbance to the ecosystem. Explain the damage to the ecosystem, including how the abiotic and biotic characteristics of the ecosystem changed.
- Explain how ecosystems recover naturally based on resilience mechanisms and the theory of secondary succession.

Solution Preview

Desert Ecosystem:

A desert ecosystem is more than a vast dry area with no means of water. Some are hot and dry, while others are cool high deserts. One thing is common to all deserts; they have less than 10 inches of precipitation per year. All ecosystems have abiotic and biotic components that interact to provide energy and material required for organisms to live.

Where might this type of ecosystem be located?

The Mojave Desert is located in Southern California and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. It occupies about 54,000 square miles. The Mojave River is the largest drainage system in the Mojave Desert and a major water source. The Mojave is known for its summer heat, however, there are seasons of cold. Snow amounts range from a trace to a foot. The temperature ranges from below freezing to 105F.

Describe the structure of the ecosystem: List both the abiotic components and biotic components:

The structure of an ecosystem is obtained by the organization of the abiotic and biotic components of that particular ecosystem.

Abiotic components are the non-living chemical and physical factors that affect an ecosystem. Abiotic factors affecting the Mojave Desert include rain, temperature, wind, soil, movement along fault lines, and elevation. Water flow is important because there are times when there is little rainfall. Rainfall varies by elevation. Lower elevations receive 3.37 inches of rain annually, whereas higher elevations receive approximately 9 inches. All of ...

Solution Summary

The solution talks about the desert's ecosystem, including how abiotic and biotic components interact with the carbon and nitrogen biochemical cycle, a brief description of disturbance and recovery and its involvement with the theory of secondary succession. 911 words with 1 reference.

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