Now that we have actually seen the story of the Easter Island, let’s try understanding how all of this is affecting us or how it is happening in and around us, which basically means let’s try and understand our eco system.
Oh! By the way, the basic unit of study in Environmental Science is the Ecosystem.
An ecosystem is consists of a biological community and its physical environment. An ecosystem can be as small as a drop of water with all the bacteria and multitude of life that is living in it or as large as a forest.
Some ecosystems such as caves have a clear-cut boundary while others such as forests do not. An ecosystem provides the organism that live in it what they need to survive, that is energy through food, water, and shelter. For simple definition of our ecosystems — the place that we call home and the surroundings as we see it. One thing that is important for all living things, like I already told you, is energy and let’s see where we obtain that from.
Although you usually may not think of it this way, the active eating of fellow creature or active eating of plants is a way of capturing chemical energy. When a veg burger hits your stomach, enzymes go to work breaking down its chemical constituents and deploying them to various systems of our body. The burger’s carbohydras, for example, is burnt in your cells. It combines with the Oxygen that you inhale to finally release the energy. You can use that energy to warm your body to say 37 degree Celsius, or to move around, to think, to breathe — in short to live. Hence, we should actually eat to live. But there can be a few people who actually live to eat. Let’s keep them away. Of course you are not the only animal around who is eating. All animals are eating. The whole ecosystem is busy moving the energy around by the process of eating. How the energy flows through an ecosystem depends on who eats whom. The sequence of dinners and diners is called the ‘Food Chain’ or more accurately the ‘Food Web’ because the chain is interlinked and may shift around.
A generalist like a fox, for example, eats whatever is abundant in the season. It can eat mice, it can eat berries, it can eat grasshoppers, it can eat fallen apples as well. We as humans, we are all also generalists. In fact, we can eat what is available in the environment. In fact, most animals that has both a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian diet make the Food Chain into a Food Web because we start interlinking chains and finally we are able to create the Food Web.