What Is the Difference Between an Environment and an Ecosystem?

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An environment generally refers to the surroundings of various living residents, while an ecosystem is a community consisting of both living and non-living things that work together. In general, an ecosystem is defined by its environment, and all organisms within the ecosystem must work in tandem to create a successful living space.

Ecosystems do not have one set size, and they can range from a small puddle to a much larger one, such as a lake or a desert. There are also artificial ecosystems, such as with a terrarium. There are three categories of organisms within an ecosystem: consumers, producers and decomposers. All living elements in an environment need to adapt to conditions in their environment, including soil nutrients, temperature, light and humidity.