What is the Meaning of Terrestrial Ecosystem?
A terrestrial ecosystem is an ecosystem that exists on land, rather than on water. Such ecosystem is a community of organisms existing and living together on the land.
We can see this from the etymology of the word terrestrial. ‘Terrus’ is Latin for land. Of course, water may be present in a terrestrial ecosystem. However, terrestrial ecosystems should primarily be situated on land.
In this way, they can be distinguished from marine or fresh water ecosystems, which are located underneath the water.
Features of Terrestrial ecosystem:
- Terrestrial ecosystems are ecosystems that exist on land.
- Etymologically, the word terrestrial comes from the word for land.
- Terrestrial ecosystems are distinct communities of organisms interacting and living together.
- There are many different types of terrestrial ecosystems.
- Terrestrial ecosystems can be distinguished from marine and fresh water ecosystems, which exist under water rather than on land.
Types of terrestrial ecosystem.
There are many different types of terrestrial ecosystems in existence in the world. In order to understand terrestrial ecosystems better, we can divide them into several different categories, including:
Forest ecosystems: the animals, plants, insects and birds that live together in a forest. Forest ecosystems can take many forms, and they can exist on the mainland or near to the sea for example. Perhaps the most important forest ecosystems in the world are the rain forests, which account for a large part of our planet’s biodiversity. Rain forests are usually humid and warm and the Amazon is a key example. Another forest ecosystem is the taiga, which is the name for the forest system that exists around the cold polar regions of our planet.
Desert ecosystems: the organisms that live in the world’s deserts (be they sand deserts or ice deserts) are usually very hardy, as they have adapted to be able to live in very harsh conditions. A key example is the camel, which has a body that is able to store fluids so that the animal does not become dehydrated as it travels through the hot and sandy desert. Deserts do not have to be scorching hot (though this is very often our idea of a desert). Vast swathes of ice can also be referred to as deserts, as can the rocky regions of mountains or the cold, dark high pressure environment of the ocean floor. In fact, anywhere that is difficult to inhabit may be referred to as a desert ecosystem.
Grasslands: grassland or tundra is another great type of terrestrial ecosystem. Grassland can be home to migrating animals (such as buffalo) as well as to birds, predators, insects and humans. Grassland may be found all over the world and it may change vastly with the seasons or stay much the same throughout the year.
The world of terrestrial ecosystems is a truly wonderful one. These ecosystems are, however, vulnerable to threats from pollution and climate change which is something we should all try to stop. So, why not take action to preserve our terrestrial ecosystems today?