Our planet is a natural system that is made up of living organisms and a physical environment where they interact and live. The concept of ecosphere it encompasses the whole set of things as if it were a whole within ecosystems. We know that the ecosystem is like the home of organisms that live in the middle of nature and that it provides all the necessary resources so that they can live, feed themselves and reproduce.
In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the ecosphere and its characteristics.
What is the ecosphere
The concept of the ecosphere is holistic, so it encompasses a set of things as a whole. It is a term that refers to an ecosystem in a way that is generally approached from a planetary point of view. For example, an ecosystem is made up of the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. We are going to break down each of the parts and what characteristics it has:
- Geosphere: it is that area that encompasses the entire abiological part, such as rocks and soil. All this part of the ecosystem does not have a life of its own and living organisms use it for sustenance.
- Hydrosphere: it encompasses all the existing water in an ecosystem. There are numerous types of present water whether it is fresh or salt water. In the hydrosphere we find rivers, lakes, streams, streams, seas and oceans. If we take the example of a forest ecosystem, we see that the hydrosphere is the part of the river that crosses the forest.
- Atmosphere: all ecosystems in the world have their own atmosphere. That is, it is the surrounding air where the gases produced by the activities of living organisms are exchanged. Plants carry out photosynthesis and emit oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide. This gas exchange occurs in the atmosphere.
- Biosphere: it can be said that it is a space delimited by the existence of living organisms. In other words, going back to the example of the forest ecosystem, we could say that the biosphere is the area of the ecosystem where living organisms inhabit. It can reach from underground to the sky where birds fly.
Ecosystems and biomes
The great ecosystem that encompasses the ecosphere can be divided into several smaller ecosystems that are easier to study and a series of own characteristics can be found that make them unique. Although they are all part of higher units called biomes, the ecosystem can be divided into a total unit. That is, the ecosystem itself has all the requirements to be able to host life and that there are interactions between living organisms and the environment. A biome is a set of large ecosystems that unite similar characteristics and that can be both aquatic and terrestrial.
Let's take the example of several biomes: for example we can find marshes, estuaries, jungles, sheets, high seas areas, etc. If we talk about ecosystems we can talk about one side, a forest, etc. However, the biomes are the set of these ecosystems where similar species can inhabit.
Now is when we must introduce the human being into the equationn. Human beings divide and classify ecosystems in order to better understand them. You can also exploit and preserve them at will. One thing is clear, nature is a whole and there is an inevitable, constant and complex interrelation between living organisms and the environment that makes up the ecosphere.
Explanation of the ecosphere for children
In a simpler way, we are going to explain the ecosphere. It could be considered as if it were a global ecosystem in which all living beings are related to each other directly or indirectly. Let's take the example of photosynthetic organisms. These organisms are responsible for releasing oxygen into the atmosphere and it serves other living beings to feed themselves. The hydrological cycle is also a part of the ecosphere that has relevance throughout the planet. All living beings make use of water since we need it to be able to live.
The process that moves water through the oceans and land is a fundamental phenomenon for life and occurs on a planetary level. This is the hydrological cycle. To take care of the planet we must take care of the ecosphere and take care of ourselves.
Ecosphere and experiments
Also known as the ecosphere is a famous experiment carried out by NASA with the idea of creating ecosystems that would be a kind of miniature planet. An attempt was made to simulate all the interrelationships between living and non-living organisms to simulate a planet earth in a small size.
Inside a crystal egg was introduced a seawater substrate, with shrimp, algae, gorgonian, gravel and bacteria. The biological activity is carried out in a completely isolated way since the container is hermetically closed. The only thing it receives from the outside is external light to be able to maintain the biological cycle and hide the presence of the sun on our planet.
This ecosphere experiment was seen as a perfect world where shrimp could live for several years thanks to the self-sufficiency of the environment. In addition, there is no type of environmental contamination so it does not need any type of cleaning and its maintenance is minimal. This is an interesting kind of experiment to be able to understand that, as long as ecological balance is respected, everything can live in harmony.
We can establish certain comparisons with what is happening today in order to understand and become aware of the need to carry out certain conditions to achieve and maintain environmental balance again. With current technology we can generate a large amount of polluting energy that is causing ecological balance to be lost on a planetary level. We are also destroying the ecosystems and habitats of numerous species, leading them to extinction on numerous occasions.
Although the ecosphere of our planet is much more complex than that of the experiment, the life cycles also develop in a similar way. There are some fundamental elements that intervene as they are air, earth, light, water and life and everything is related to each other. Some claim that the ecosphere is created from a dynamic that leads to both harmonic and chaotic situations.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the ecosphere and its characteristics.