Environment Notes On – Ecotone – For W.B.C.S. Examination.
Amongst the vast syllabus of W.B.C.S Examination, this part is quite easy to read and recollect and also fetches good marks.Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the scientific term for the variety of life on Earth. It refers not just to species but also to ecosystems and differences in genes within a single species. Biodiversity is the key indicator of the health of an ecosystem.Ecotone, a transitional area of vegetation between two different plant communities, such as forest and grassland. It has some of the characteristics of each bordering biological community and often contains species not found in the overlapping communities. An ecotone may exist along a broad belt or in a small pocket, such as a forest clearing, where two local communities blend together.Continue Reading Environment Notes On – Ecotone – For W.B.C.S. Examination.
The influence of the two bordering communities on each other is known as the edge effect. An ecotonal area often has a higher density of organisms of one species and a greater number of species than are found in either flanking community. Some organisms need a transitional area for activities such as courtship, nesting, or foraging for food.
Ecotones also appear where one body of water meets another (e.g., estuaries and lagoons) or at the boundary between the water and the land (e.g., marshes). Freshwater and marine ecotones are characterized by the presence of large plants that rise from roots attached to the submerged substrate, and thus they occur in areas where ample light is available at the bottom of the basin to permit growth.
- An ecotone is a zone of junction or a transition area between two biomes (diverse ecosystems).
- Ecotone is the zone where two communities meet and integrate.
- For e.g. the mangrove forests represent an ecotone between marine and terrestrial ecosystem.
- Other examples are grassland (between forest and desert), estuary (between fresh water and salt water) and riverbank or marshland (between dry and wet).
Characteristics of Ecotone
- It may be narrow (between grassland and forest) or wide (between forest and desert).
- It has conditions intermediate to the adjacent ecosystems. Hence it is a zone of tension.
- Usually, the number and the population density of the species of an outgoing community decreases as we move away from the community or ecosystem.
- A well-developed ecotone contains some organisms which are entirely different from that of the adjoining communities.
- Niche refers to the unique functional role and position of a species in its habitat or ecosystem.
- The functional characteristics of a species in its habitat is referred to as “niche” in that common habitat.
- In nature, many species occupy the same habitat, but they perform different functions:Do follow previous years question papers for better understanding of the types of questions asked.
- habitat niche – where it lives, food niche – what is eats or decomposes & what species it competes with,
- reproductive niche – how and when it reproduces,
- physical & chemical niche – temperature, land shape, land slope, humidity & another requirement.
- Niche plays an important role in the conservation of organisms. If we have to conserve species in its native habitat, we should have knowledge about the niche requirements of the species.
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