What is an ecosystem and when did this term appear? The idea of the unity of living organisms and the nature around them came to the ancient Greek heads, but the idea received scientific embodiment only in the nineteenth century after the birth of Christ. The modern definition explaining what an ecosystem is, sounds something like this (there is a slight discrepancy in different sources): it is a set of living organisms inhabiting a relatively similar area of the landscape, plus a system of connections responsible for the exchange of matter and energy between them, plus a habitat, or biotope.
Ecosystems are classified according to their degree of stability and diversity. An example is a birch grove. It is a relatively stable monocultural ecosystem. The opposite example is the rainforest. The diversity of its constituent organisms is such that travelers have repeatedly stated that it is sometimes impossible to find two plants of the same species within line of sight.
The concept of an ecosystem includes many components.Ecologists distinguish between climatopes - the chemical composition of the air or water environment inherent in a given landscape area. Edaphotope is the soil characteristic of this particular ecosystem. An ecotope is a set of environmental conditions, a biotope is a piece of land that, according to its conditions, is suitable for the habitation of one species of plants or animals. And, finally, biocenosis - a set of living organisms inhabiting a site. Ecology is an emerging, developing science, so some scientists include additional factors in the ecosystem that are disputed by their colleagues. However, this is only a matter of classification. Some prefer a more fractional division of the components of the ecosystem, others oppose them.
To better understand what an ecosystem is, it should be remembered that the influence of man on the world around us is not only every decade, but every year it becomes stronger. Therefore, there is a huge number of artificial ecosystems, to the formation and maintenance of which a person is directly related. A good example of such an anthropogenic ecosystem is agricultural land in all its diversity. A wheat field, an apple orchard, a cotton plantation are all examples of artificial ecosystems that have all the features characteristic of natural, natural ecosystems.
City is a separate type of anthropogenic ecosystems. The modern industrial city has a special meaning in the global ecosystem called "planet Earth".
Heinfluences not only the ecosystems adjacent to it, but also "through remote access" - those systems that are many kilometers away from it. For tens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of kilometers. And it's not just about environmental pollution. The material needs of the city can change the composition of ecosystems, sometimes even on another continent. A classic example: in order to meet the needs of the city in paper, manufacturers are forced to cultivate a certain tree species that is most suitable for production. In this regard, forests that previously consisted of trees of different species and ages are becoming monocultural and even mono-aged.
Modern science allows quite a complete answer to the question of what an ecosystem is, what is its impact on humans (and vice versa). But about what are the ways to maintain ecosystems in a state suitable for a normal life for homo sapiens, the debate continues. Most agree that limiting consumption is the best solution. True, in what ways to achieve it is a big question.