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How does an ecosystem work?

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Quick Answer

An ecosystem works through the interaction of living and nonliving organisms. Plants, animals, soil, water, heat, light, air, water and water temperature all work together to create a balanced system. A healthy ecosystem has plenty of species diversity, with each species having a niche in the ecosystem that keeps the system healthy.

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Full Answer

Soil stores nutrients needed to nourish plants and also helps anchor plants to hold them in place. Furthermore, it provides a home for various living organisms and absorbs water for the consumption of plants and animals. The atmosphere plays a key role in the water cycle, and it provides oxygen and carbon dioxide for organisms.

The sun is another major player in an ecosystem. It provides heat that helps in the water cycle and keeps plants and animals warm. Its light is essential in the process of photosynthesis, which allows plants to produce food. Like the sun, water is another vital component of an ecosystem, as it makes up a huge percentage of the cells of all living organisms, and it is used by plants, animals and humans to sustain life.

The producers, consumers and decomposers are the three categories of living organisms that interact with each other in an ecosystem. Producers consist of green plants, while consumers are composed of herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. Decomposers belong to the third category, and they refer to organisms that transform dead plants and animals into organic materials. The broken down materials go back to soil, and the cycle within an ecosystem begins again.

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