Ecosystems are interdependent relations between organisms and their abiotic components in the unity of living space. Ecosystems are divided into two, namely natural ecosystems and artificial ecosystems. Examples of natural ecosystems are lakes, swamps, seas, while examples of artificial ecosystems are rice fields, ponds, gardens, and aquariums.
From natural ecosystems to artificial ecosystems, it is not foreign to us. We must have found one of these types of ecosystems on a daily basis. As with any artificial ecosystem, you certainly have seen a pond. Ponds are examples of simple ecosystems but include perfect ecosystems with 6 complete components and processes. See the explanation about the following pond ecosystem.
Ponds are small water areas that can be formed alone or created by humans and are included in a calm/supple freshwater ecosystem. Ponds can form themselves in areas with high rainfall. When moving water flows will leave water in the formerly isolated stream, creating stagnant waters. The depth of these small waters is no more than 4 to 5 meters which allows plants such as rooted plants to grow in all parts of the waters.
Characteristics of Pond Ecosystems
Ponds as freshwater ecosystems have the following characteristics.
- Has low salinity which is less than 1%
- Influenced by climate and weather
- Has varying temperatures which tend to be very low
- Lack of incoming sunlight
Ponds as freshwater ecosystems are divided into 3 regions based on the intensity of light entering the area as follows:
- The pond has a fairly large littoral zone. The littoral zone is the area in the pond that can be cured by sunlight to the bottom of the pond.
- The pond has a small limnetic zone that does not even exist. Limnetic zone is an area in a pond that is open far from the edge to the depth that can be reached by sunlight.
- The pond has a small profundal zone that does not even exist. The profundal zone is a pond bottom area that cannot be reached by sunlight. This area is inhabited by decomposing organisms and predatory animals.
Pond Ecosystems as Perfect Ecosystems
As already mentioned, the pond ecosystem is a simple but perfect ecosystem because it has 6 complete components and processes. The following are 6 structural components of the ecosystem which are divided into abiotic components and biotic components.
- Inorganic materials that are recycled, for example, C, CO2, H2O, N, and others.
- Organic material that functions as a link between biotic and abiotic components, for example, includes carbohydrates, humus ingredients, protein, fat, and others.
- Climate factors namely wind, rainfall, and temperature.
- Producers are organisms that can produce their own food substances by doing photosynthesis or it can be said that these organisms can live only with inorganic materials. Included in the producers are autotrophic organisms, such as green plants and bacteria that can produce chemical energy through chemical reactions even though the role is not as big as green plants.
- Macroconsumers are organisms that depend on other organs and eat organic matter. Included in macroconsumers are heterotrophic organisms, such as cattle, shrimp, goats, insects, and snakes.
- Microconsumer is a decomposer organism which breaks down organic material in the form of animal carcasses and garbage to become inorganic material. Microconsumers include heterotrophs, osmotrophs, saprotrophs, bacteria, and fungi.
Functionally, there are processes that take place in an ecosystem and all these processes can occur in the pond ecosystem. The following are processes that occur in the ecosystem.
- Energy trajectory or flow
- Food chain
- Diversity patterns based on time and space
- Recycling or biogeochemical cycles
- Development and evolution
- Control or cybernetics
Pool Ecosystem Components
To clarify the ecosystem components of a pond, here is an example based on the abiotic and biotic components of a pond ecosystem.
The biotic component is a component that includes living things namely animals, plants, and humans. The following is an example of the biotic component of a pond ecosystem based on its role and function.
- Manufacturers are organisms that can turn inorganic substances into organic substances such as green plants that carry out photosynthesis. Manufacturers of ponds generally grow in the shallow part of the pond that grows rooted or floats. Examples of producers in pond ecosystems are cassava plants, mango plants, mosses, grasses, and phytoplankton which can cause green ponds.
- Consumers are heterotrophic organisms which are generally animals. They cannot make their own food so they depend on other living things by eating it. Herbivorous animals or plants that eat plants are called primary consumers such as zooplankton which eat phytoplankton in the pond and benthic ecosystems that live in the bottom of the waters. Carnivorous animals or animals that eat primary consumers are called secondary consumers such as carp in the pond ecosystem. The last consumer or peak consumer is consumers who cannot be eaten by other living creatures such as humans in the pond ecosystem.
- Decomposers as organisms that can decompose animal carcasses and waste, from organic to inorganic materials, also known as detritivores or scavengers. Examples include earthworms, aquatic bacteria, fungi, and flagellates in the pond ecosystem. Aquatic bacteria, fungi, and flagellates are usually located on the surface of the sediment at the bottom of the pond.
The abiotic component is a component that includes non-living matter in the form of physical and chemical conditions that help living things to maintain their life. In pond ecosystems, abiotic components are dissolved in water such as Ca, CO2, N, O2, amino acids, humus material, and others. There is a nutrient in the dissolved form which can be used immediately by organisms and nutrients which settle on the sediment at the bottom of the pond. Sedimentary nutrients are also needed to accelerate the metabolism of pond ecosystems so that there is a process of nutrient changes in the form of solid until it dissolves. This process involves sunlight, the temperature, and climate of the pond ecosystem. (Also read: 13 Effects of Acid Rain on Ocean That You Should Know).
Consider the explanation of examples of abiotic components in the following pond ecosystems.
- Water is one of the abiotic components which is very important for life, especially the pond ecosystem which is included in freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Organisms that live in water, land, and air need water. Each organism has different water needs as well as each region has different water availability. In areas where water availability is limited and even have certain organisms capable of adapting to the area.
- Air is one of the other abiotic components that is a sign of life. Every organism or living creature needs air in the form of oxygen and carbon dioxide to maintain its survival. However, every type of living creature has a different respiratory system.
- Sunlight affects moisture and temperature. Due to temperature differences, it can cause differences in air pressure so that air moves to form wind. Sunlight also affects changes in nutrient-shaped solids to dissolve in the pond ecosystem.
- Land as a place of organisms is also an important abiotic component. Land that is used as a place to live for many plants will invite other organisms to live there like organisms belonging to herbivores. After many herbivorous animals that settled in the area will invite other organisms that eat herbivores, namely carnivorous animals. And so on, to form a complex food web.
Processes in Functional Pond Ecosystems
The following is an explanation of some of the functional pool ecosystem processes mentioned earlier.
- There is a Track or Energy Flow
The trajectory or flow of energy comes from sunlight as a controlling force. Energy from sunlight is the controlling power of all ecosystems. It is referred to as the trajectory or flow of energy because energy circulates in the ecosystem to form a food chain. Like plants that use sunlight to carry out photosynthesis then plants as producers in the ecosystem will start a food chain. (Also read: 10 Types of Seaweed in Indonesia).
- There is a Food Chain
Examples of food chains in pond ecosystems are as follows.
Moss – Zooplankton – Goldfish – Humans – Decomposers
In the pond ecosystem, moss acts as a producer because it can produce its own food called autotrophic organisms. Moss will then be eaten by zooplankton which is herbivorous animals and occupy the second trophic level as primary consumers. Then, secondary consumers are occupied by carp which will eat primary consumers, namely zooplankton. The last consumer or peak consumer is occupied by humans because no other living creature will eat it. After humans die it will be broken down by microbes. Then, a food chain is formed in the pond ecosystem.
- There is a Material Cycle
The material cycle is the rotation of matter or substance through the process of eating and being eaten. Examples are in the material cycle that starts from moss as a producer. Manufacturers will capture and bind chemical energy obtained from sunlight. Furthermore, consumers who are heterotrophic organisms namely zooplankton eat moss. Secondary consumers are carp that will eat zooplankton. The top or last consumer is human.
After the human dies, it will be broken down by microbes in the soil. The material cycle continues to rotate because the material in the food ingredient also moves towards the next consumer in the food chain, beginning with material from producers moving to primary consumers to secondary consumers continuing to the next consumer to the end consumer. The last decomposers that recycle material will be returned to the ground so that the producers can use it again. Thus, the material cycle will not be broken.