Types of Ecosystems

ninja icon


•  In closed ecosystems energy but not matter is exchanged with the surroundings

Ecosystems can be described as closed or open according to whether matter moves into and out of the system

  • A closed ecosystem exchanges energy but not matter with its surroundings – it is self-contained (e.g. mesocosm)
  • An open ecosystem exchanges both energy and matter with surrounding environments (e.g. a natural ecosystem)

Open versus Closed Ecosystems

open vs closed

ninja icon


•  The type of stable ecosystem that will emerge in an area is predictable based on climate

An ecosystem is the interaction of living and non-living things within an area (i.e. a community and its abiotic environment)

  • Particular types of stable ecosystems will emerge in a given geographical area according to climate conditions

A biome is a geographical area that has a particular climate and sustains a specific community of plants and animals

  • The main factors affecting the distribution of biomes is temperature and rainfall
  • These factors will vary according to lattitude and longitude, as well as altitude and proximity to the ocean

There are a number of different biomes found across the continents, including:

  • Tropical rainforests – hot and humid environments near the equator with dense vegetation and high biodiversity
  • Taiga – coniferous forests near the poles that have cold temperatures and little precipitation (moisture trapped as snow / ice)
  • Deserts – dry and arid environments that display extreme temperature conditions (hot and cold)

Different Types of Biomes

All     Rainforest     Temperate Forest     Taiga     Savannah     Grassland     Mediterranean     Desert     Tundra     Mountain