Ecology, Ecosystem and Basic ecological concepts
Ecology is the study of living organisms (plants and animals) in relation to their environment. Ecology is divided into two main branches.

  • AUTECOLOGY– is the study of an individual organism or a single species of organism and its environment. For example, the study of a single and its environment.
  • SYNECOLOGY-is the study of the inter-relationship between groups of organisms or species of organisms living together in an area. For example the study of different organisms in a river in relation to their aquatic environment.


HABITAT– is defined as any environment which an organism lives naturally e.g. Fish lives in water, land, air and trees.

ENVIRONMENT- is the overall factor external and internal, living and non-living which effect on the organism.

ECOSYSTEM-is defined as the association between living components (plant and animals) with the non-living factors of the environment.

COMMUNITY of organism consist of the population of different kinds of organisms living together in an area or habitat.

BIOMES are large easily recognizable terrestrial ecosystems consisting of plants and animals naturally living together.

BIOSPHERE OR ECOSPHERE is the zone of the earth occupies by living organisms. It is a layer of life which exists on the earth surface.

LITHOSPHERE is the solid portion of the earth. It is the outermost layer or zone of the earth crust. It is made up of rocks and minerals materials.

HYDROSPHERE is the liquid or aquatic part of the earth of the earth or living world. It holds water in various forms e.g. solid (ice), Liquid (water) and as gases. Examples of hydrosphere are lake, pools, spring, ocean or sea, ponds, oasis, river and stream.

ATMOSPHERE- This is the gaseous portion of the earth. It is a layer of gases surrounding the earth.

ECOLOGICAL NICHE is defined as the specific portion of the habitat which is occupied by a particular species or organism. It is the functional position of an organism in the community for examples; a caterpillar and aphid which lives on the same plant occupy different position or ecological niche on the plant.

POPULATION is defined as the total number of organisms of the same species living together in a given area. For example, the total number of Tilapia fish in a pond constitutes the population Tilapia in that habitat.

Component of Ecosystem

The ecosystem comprises of the biotic component and abiotic component.

  1. 1. Biotic factor/component includes all living organisms in the environment often called biotic community. The biotic population include:
  • Food producer (autotrophs) e.g. green plant, protophyta and chemosynthetic bacteria
  • Food consumer (heterotrophs) e.g. herbivore, carnivore and omnivore, protozoa and some bacteria.
  • The decomposers are organism that cause the decay of dead plant and animals e.g. saprophytes such as fungi and bacteria

The abiotic factors/component is the non-living factors in the physical environment. They are what organisms need to stay alive. These factors include soil, water, temperature, humidity, light intensity, air minerals salts etc. The abiotic factors control the activities of the biotic component just as the organism also influence and control the abiotic environment.



1a.       Define the following

  • Ecosystem
  • Niche
  • Biosphere
  • Population
  • Habitat
  1. List the three components of ecosystem

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