Structure and function of ecosystem

Structure and function of ecosystem

The structure and function of ecosystem is:-

  1. Ecosystem is self sustained functional units.
  2. The terms of structure of an ecosystem are –
  • Species compositor: plant and animal species found in an ecosystem
  • stratification: vertical layers of plants
  • standing crop: amount of biomass
  • standing state: amount of inorganic substances

Species composition

  • Species composition refers to the contribution of each plant species to the vegetation. It differs from one ecosystem to another depending upon Geography, topography and climate
  • Each ecosystem has a biotic community composed of particular grouping of species.
  • Species composition is generally expressed as a percentage. so that all species components at up to 100%. Further Maximum species composition occurs in tropical rainforest. Therefore coral reefs minimum occurs in deserts and Arctic region.


  • Stratification classify the layers of vegetation. It largely according to the different Heights to which their plants grow. Further It is the occurrence of vertical zonation in the ecosystem and indicates the presence of environmental conditions. For example Layer of a forest, shrubs and Herbs and grasses occupy the bottom of layer.
  • Stratification in the field of ecology, refers to the arrangement of vegetation in layers.

Standing crop

  • It is absent or poor where environmental conditions are unfavorable.
  • A Terrestrial ecosystem with high standing crop possesses a forest while the one with low standing crop occurs in grassland followed by arid ecosystem.
  • Further Standing crop is the amount of living Biomass in an ecosystem. it indicates the productivity and the luxuriance of growth.
  • In addition it is expressed in the form of number or Biomass of organisms per unit area.

Standing state

Standing state is the amount of nutrients. It is for instance calcium, nitrogen Phosphorus. In further it is present in the soil of the ecosystem.

The proper functioning of an ecosystem takes place through the following processes

  • Productivity
  • decomposition
  • relationship of Producers and Consumers
  • energy flow
  • cycling of nutrients

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