Facts About Ecosystems

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An ecosystem comprises all living organisms, known as biotic factors, into a defined area complemented by the physical environment known as the abiotic factors. The ecosystem constitutes plants, animals, micro-organisms, soil, rock, minerals, water sources, and the local atmosphere interacting with one another.

Fact 1. Within an ecosystem, there is a continuous succession of plants, bacteria, and animals until equilibrium is reached.

Fact 2.   Humans have transformed the global environment on a huge scale since the last century, especially since the industrial age. Pollution, such as acid rain, has altered the ecosystem tremendously.

Fact 3.  Ecosystems provide a great, worldwide diversity to humans who have made maximum usage of the ecosystem. Research is being conducted in determining the  tolerable level of ecosystems towards an equilibrium between domestic usage and continued sustainability.

Fact 4. Scientists from Microsoft Research and the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) are  developing the world’s first computer model of the global ecosystem. This model will improve  understanding of the biosphere and assist in biodiversity and conservation policies.

Fact 5.  The model known as GEM, or General Ecosystem Models, is capable of simulating ecosystem processes including feeding, reproduction, and death.

Fact 6. GEMS can be applied to any climatic framework including African savannas.  GEMS will be able to model the total biomass of all plants, grazing animals and carnivores, as well as mapping the flows of energy and nutrients within the food chain over a specific time.

Fact 7. The Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) is one of the IUCN’s scientific commissions.  CEM is a global network of volunteer experts working on ecosystem management-related issues such as climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Fact 8.  The IUCN was initiated in 1948 and has been engaging the private sector in conserving the integrity and diversity of nature and ensuring the equitable usage of natural resources.

Fact 9. In terms of the near extinction of animals, such as the pygmy three-toed sloth that exists only on Escudo Island near Panama, it is the smallest and slowest sloth in the world and remains critically endangered.

Fact 10. Another animal which is critically endangered is the saola, known as the Asian unicorn due to its rarity. The saola is the most-threatened mammal in Southeast Asia.

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