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How is ecological balance maintained?

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Quick Answer

Environmental homeostasis, or balance, is maintained via an elaborate network of negative-feedback loops. A negative-feedback loop is a system in which the output of one cycle reduces or reverses the input of the next cycle. These processes tend to drive complex systems toward a stable equilibrium.

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Full Answer

An example of negative feedback that helps to maintain the balance of nature is found in predator/prey ratios. When the population of prey animals expands, the food available to predators is more abundant. The environment then supports an expansion of the population of predators, who then consume more prey and reduce the population to a sustainable level. This reduction in prey populations then forces a commensurate drop in predator numbers.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is ecological balance important?

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    Ecological balance is important for the continued survival and existence of organisms as well as the stability of the environment. The natural balance in the ecosystem, which must be maintained, may be disturbed as a result of natural hazards, the unexpected death of a particular species, man-made causes or the introduction of new species to the ecosystem.

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  • Q:

    What is the definition of ecological imbalance?

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    Ecological balance is a stable state between all plants and animals in an ecosystem, and destabilization of the stable state is ecological imbalance. When plants and animals share a particular habitat, balance must be maintained for the benefit of all organisms.

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    How does the digestive system maintain homeostasis?

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    What are the three functions of the circulatory system?

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    The three functions of the circulatory system include maintaining normal body temperature, helping the body fight disease and providing the ideal chemical balance for homeostasis. The circulatory system consists of the heart, arteries, veins and blood.

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