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Today, human activities have such an impact on ecosystems that the impact of human activities on the Earth’s atmospheric, biospheric, geologic and hydrologic systems is causing climate change and related disasters, while triggering the loss of biodiversity, etc. We can see all these changes everywhere including Sri Lanka which is ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impact in the world.
Natural ecosystems are balanced systems. This means the interactions between the different organisms that make up an ecosystem contribute to a certain stability. For example, in grassland ecosystems in Sri Lanka, spotted deer consume grass, but also feed the soil with their droppings, which allows the grass to grow back and creates some sort of balance. Still, this doesn’t mean an ecosystem, even a healthy one, is static. In reality, ecosystems are constantly evolving as they are based on dynamic natural processes that are constantly changing.
The simplest definition of an ecosystem is that it is a community or group of living organisms that live in and interact with each other in a specific environment. For instance, tropical forests are ecosystems made up of living beings such as trees, plants, animals, insects and micro-organisms that are in constant interaction between themselves and that are affected by other physical factors like the sun and temperature, or chemical components such as oxygen and nutrients.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Henry David Thoreau
E. O. Wilson