Difference between Natural and Artificial Ecosystem

Ecosystems are the functional units, which consist of biotic and abiotic components, and they interact with each other for sustenance. Ecosystems can be divided into two types:

  • Natural Ecosystem
  • Artificial Ecosystem

Natural Ecosystem

A natural ecosystem is the interaction between the environment and the organisms living in the environment. It occurs naturally in nature and requires no human activity for its survival. Examples of natural ecosystems include ponds, rivers, forests, etc.

Read about the natural ecosystem in detail here.

Artificial Ecosystem

Artificial ecosystems are human made structures where biotic and abiotic components are made to interact with each other for survival. It is not self sustaining and can perish without human help. Examples of artificial ecosystems include aquariums, agriculture fields, zoos, etc.

Now that we know a little about both the ecosystems let us look at their differences.

Natural Ecosystem

Artificial Ecosystem


It is a naturally occurring ecosystem where organisms and the environment interact with each other to co-exist.

It is a human made ecosystem with biotic and abiotic components, and also involves some technology.


Rainforests, seas, lakes, grassland, etc

Zoos, poultry farms, aquariums, etc


It can survive on its own.

It needs human assistance to flourish.

Genetic diversity

It has a vast genetic diversity.

Since it is human made, it has very limited genetic diversity.


The living organisms in this type of ecosystem have a high chance of evolution as they learn to adapt to their surroundings.

It has a very low chance of evolution.

Food chain

The food chain is long and complex.

Food chains are short and usually incomplete.

Nutrient cycles

The nutrient cycles are complete and run naturally.

The nutrient cycles are always incomplete.


These ecosystems ensure conservation of natural resources, give beauty to the surroundings, and allow biological inheritance to the next generations.

These ecosystems are made by man for their own use, such as high productivity and entertainment purposes.

Explore BYJU’S Biology to learn more.

Also read:


Which is the smallest artificial ecosystem?

The smallest artificial ecosystem to have survived is the Folsom pond.

Is a crop field an artificial ecosystem?

Yes, crop fields are artificial ecosystems because they survive at the will of humans.

Is grassland an artificial ecosystem?

No, grasslands are not artificial ecosystems because they exist naturally in nature. They are not man made.

Which is the largest ecosystem on earth?

The largest ecosystem on the earth is the aquatic ecosystem or the hydrosphere.

Who is known as the Father of ecology?

Eugene Odum is known as the Father of ecology.

Which is the largest man made ecosystem?

A zoo is the largest man made ecosystem.

How do you make an artificial ecosystem at home?

The easiest way to make an artificial ecosystem at home is to take a tank, and introduce some water plants, rocks and pebbles in it. Fill it with water and put some small fishes in the tank.

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