Animals in ecosystems are the building blocks of an ecosystem. They develop different ecosystems and maintain them throughout their life.
An ecosystem consists of all living organisms in a habitat and the physical environment around them. The living organisms interact with the physical environment to create an ecosystem.
There are various types of animals living in an ecosystem. Out of all species living on the earth, 75% are animals.
Animals can be classified into two groups: Vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates are the animals with a backbone while invertebrates do not have a backbone.
Vertebrates are further broken down into five classes:
Animals live under different conditions and create different ecosystems. Living things in an ecosystem adapt and evolve to the environment around them. This process will change between species depending on the location of an ecosystem.
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Why are animals important to an ecosystem?
Animals are important to an ecosystem because they help protect the ecosystem. The role of an animal in an ecosystem cannot be easily replaced by humans. From Polar bears of the Arctic, to the bees on a flower, every animal has an important role to play as part of the ecosystem.
They make sure that the environment is running smoothly for all living organisms that inhabit an environment.
Some animals such as insects act as pollinators. They help with the reproduction process in plants by transporting pollen from one flower to another.
Additionally, Animals are a good source of fertilizers which contain biomolecules that are essential for growth of a plant. Animals in an ecosystem act as consumers and rely upon producers for food. Animals that feed on plants stimulate new growth and replace the old plants. This helps regulate the plant and animal life of a region.
In agriculture, animals perform pest control services and make sure that the diseases stay away from humans.
Any disturbance in the population of species can be harmful for the entire ecosystem depending on the type of habitat. Even a small bee plays an important role in maintaining the entire ecosystem.
The role of a species in an ecosystem
The role of a species in an ecosystem is to be a producer, consumer, or decomposer. Species benefit one another and maintain the ecosystem.
Species have specific roles in an ecosystem. Each species has a specific trait which defines its role in the ecosystem.
The classification of species can be broken down into producers, consumers, or decomposers. All of the living organisms on earth make up the primary classifications. These roles provide a way to break down plant and animal life of a region.
Producers are the base of a wider food chain. They consume energy from sunlight and biomolecules, to convert them into complex ones. This process is known as Photosynthesis. Any change to producers in an environment can have the most impact on an ecosystem.
Species that are above the producers in a food chain are called consumers. They consume the biomolecules prepared by the producers and turn them into energy. There are three types of consumers based on their eating patterns:
- Carnivores – These species solely rely on consumers and get food by eat them directly. They break down the consumers and convert them into energy.
- Herbivores – They rely on producers and eat them for food. They break down the biomolecules produced by producers into energy.
- Omnivores – They do not have any preference and eat both the producers and the consumers.
Within these categories many animals form complex societies of related individuals.
Decomposers break down dead organisms through a process called decomposition. They play an essential role in maintaining the food cycle.
Predators and Scavengers
A predator hunts and kills other animals before eating them. Lions, tigers, and leopards fall in this category. The animals that have been killed by a predator are called Prey.
A scavenger feeds on dead animals that have been killed by other predators or have died naturally. Hyenas and vultures are some examples of scavengers.
Predators are essential to control any widespread population of species in an ecosystem while scavengers make sure that the ecosystem is free of dead bodies.