An ecosystem is defined by the interactions between the living and non-living things in any given area. Abiotic factors are the non-living components of an ecosystem. These include: air water, wind, soil, temperature, sunlight. One of the most critical interactions in an ecosystem between the biotic and abiotic environment is photosynthesis , the base chemical reaction that drives most life on earth. Plants and algae use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to create the energy they need to grow and live via photosynthesis.
There are four main types of species interactions that occur between organisms in an ecosystem:
Predation , parasitism and herbivory – In these interactions, one organism benefits while the other is negatively affected.
* Competition – Both organisms are negatively affected in some way due to their interactions.
* Commensalism – One organism benefits while the other is neither harmed nor gains.
* Mutualism – Both organisms benefit from their interactions.
Plants with bird or butterfly pollinators are good examples of mutualistic interactions. Plants benefit by having their flowers pollinated so they can reproduce.