An ecosystem consists of all the living and non-living things in a specific natural setting. Plants, animals, insects, microorganisms, rocks, soil, water and sunlight are major components of many ecosystems.
Terrestrial ecosystems are land-based, while aquatic are water-based.
Keep in mind, however, that within any ecosystem, specific features vary widely – for instance, an oceanic ecosystem in the Caribbean Sea will contain vastly different species than an oceanic ecosystem in the Gulf of Alaska. Different species can be found in near-to boiling water, sulphurous sludge, frozen wastelands, underground rivers, spiny forests, perilous cliffs or living almost all their life in mid-air.
Together they make up life on this planet and we call this range and breadth of life 'biodiversity'. Humankind todays main mission should be to make sure we don't lose this marvellous array of life, this biodiversity.
HOW MUCH DIVERSITY OF LIFE IS ON EARTH?
According to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), humans know about an estimated 1,562,663 different life forms on this planet. This includes:
16,000 mushrooms or fungi
Many experts feel we have still to discover many, many more species - some estimates say we have yet to discover and describe millions of 'new' lifeforms. However, despite the incredible number of discovered and possibly undiscovered species, some are at risk. The IUCN lists 16,118 endangered species. Find more about this topic in our area Most Endangered.
EARTH'S MAGNIFICIENT BIODIVERSITY AT RISK
Much of the Earth’s biodiversity, however, is in jeopardy due to human consumption and other activities that disturb and even destroy ecosystems. Pollution, climate change, and population growth are all threats to biodiversity.
These threats have caused an unprecedented rise in the rate of species extinction. Some scientists estimate that half of all species on Earth will be wiped out within the next century. Conservation efforts are necessary to preserve biodiversity and protect endangered species and their habitats.
Sources: nationalgeographic.org, wwf.panda.org
LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE WORLD ECOSYSTEMS
VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save world ecosystems. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „WORLD ECOSYSTEMS“ area will by transfered to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.