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Our Environment

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Our Environment - Lesson Summary

Balance in nature is maintained by the interaction between biotic components with that of abiotic components.

The ecosystem is a community of organisms and their physical environment interacting with each other as an ecological unit, involving the flow of energy.

       •  An ecosystem consists of biotic components including living organisms and abiotic components, the physical factors like temperature, rainfall, wind, soil and minerals.
       •  An ecosystem can be natural or artificial. Organisms in the ecosystem can be categorised into producers, consumers and decomposers.

Producers are the organisms that produce their own food without the help of any other organism.

       •  They are also known as autotrophs.
       •  They make their food from inorganic substances through a process called photosynthesis.
       •  Autotrophs are green plants, phytoplankton and blue green algae.

Consumers are the organisms which cannot produce food but depend on producers for the same.

       •  These are also called as called heterotrophs.
       •  Heterotrophs are the animals can be classified into herbivores, omnivores, carnivores and parasites based on their food pattern.

Decomposers are the organisms which feed on dead and decaying matter.

       •  Decomposers break down the complex organic compounds present in dead animals and plants, which are then used by other members of the ecosystem.
       •  Decomposers like bacteria and fungi are known as saprobes.

Food chains describe the feeding relationship between the organisms of an ecosystem.

       •  The flow of energy from one species to another at various biotic levels forms a food chain.
       •  The successive levels in the food chains of a community are called as trophic levels.
       •  Various trophic levels in a food chain include producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and tertiary consumers.
       •  A web of cross-linked food chains is called a food web.

Biological magnification is a phenomenon by which toxic substances accumulate from one trophic level to another. As human beings occupy the top level in any food chain, the maximum concentration of these toxic chemicals gets accumulated in your body which becomes toxic to us.

Ozone is molecule formed by the combination of three oxygen atoms. There is a layer of ozone in the stratosphere. It acts as a natural sun-block and shields us from the UV radiations of the sun which are dangerous to living organisms.Ozone depletion is the sharp reduction of ozone in the stratosphere due to chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) used as refrigerants and in fire extinguishers.

Increased use of non-biodegradable items have left the environment polluted with them.

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