The basic difference between Ecosystem and Community is that Ecosystem consists of various communities which include living as well as non–living components interacting with each other, whereas interaction of different individuals of populations of different species living in a particular geographical area is called Community. The community consists of only biotic factors only.
Our Earth is the only planet comprising life from the microscopic organisms to the large animal.To understand life better with its management, activity, and organization, it is mandatory to know about the few terms like biosphere, biomes, ecology, community, population, and individual.
Among them, there is a heap of confusion between Ecology and Community, as they have a very thin layer of difference but matters a lot. So with the help of this article, we will try to differentiate between the two along with a brief summary.
Content: Ecosystem Vs Community
|Basis for Comparison||Ecosystem||Community|
|Meaning||An Ecosystem consists of the interaction of living organisms(biotic components) with non-living organisms (abiotic |
components), it is a kind of link between them for the exchange of energy and biogeochemical cycling.
|Community consists of the group of populations of different species living together and interacting with them in a region.|
|Example||A forest, an estuary, a pond, a grassland.||Like different species birds (Darwin finches) living in the same area, also another example is animals, plants, bacteria living in the same environment.
|Includes||Ecology includes all the components of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) factors.||Community includes biotic factors only.|
|Changes in the Environmental factors||The ecosystem does not change with any affecting conditions though it transformed into another ecosystem.||The community may change with changes in the environmental factors.|
Definition of Ecosystem
Ecologist defines ‘Ecosystem is the atmosphere where biotic and abiotic factors interact with each other.’ Here biotic factors include all kinds of living beings like small microorganisms to the big one, interacting with non-living factors which involve sun, river, ocean, mountains, rocks, clouds, etc.
Ecosystems can be of various sizes and can be aquatic, terrestrial, or marine. Ecologist uses two parameters which are resilience and resistance; Resilience is said when there is a disturbance in an equilibrium of the ecosystem, Resistance is returning or the state of equilibrium of an ecosystem.
Each Ecosystem is unique in itself, but it has a few standard components, which are
- Producer: These are the main energy producer, which prepare their own food with the help of sunlight. The best example is plants which produce their food with the help of sunlight and photosynthesis.
- Consumer: These types totally depends on the producer directly or indirectly for the food. Examples are animals.
- Decomposer: Their best examples are bacteria and fungi, which decomposes the materials and convert into the soil.
Definition of Community
All living thing varies with one another in different aspects, but it’s not easy them to survive alone hence need the support of others. Therefore community can be defined as interactions of living organisms (biotic components) with different types of species living together in the same environment as well in a particular region.
The community is a part of the ecosystem only, which consist of populations of different types of species together. There is the level of hierarchy which is followed to reach the top level called ‘Biosphere.’ The biosphere is the point where all the biomes, ecosystems meet, and it is a sum of all the factors right from the individual level to the biomes.
Key Differences Between Ecosystem and Community
Ecosystem and Community are the part of the Biosphere, but they differ in their composition, following are the substantial difference between them:
- An Ecosystem is an interaction of both biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components these link can be due to the exchange of energy and biogeochemical cycle whereas Community has an interaction among the populations of biotic components only which can be of same or different species living in a particular area.
- An example of an Ecosystem includes a forest, a pond, an estuary.
An example of Community can be said like a flock of birds (Darwin finches) living together or when different species of plants, animals, microbes lives.
- An ecosystem consists of living as well as non-living components interaction; The community consists of only living components interaction.
- The ecosystem does not change with changes in an environment rather it transformed into a new one; Community interaction may change with changes in an environment.
The biosphere consists of all significant levels which include entire things of the earth right from individual to biome and is well organized; it is the combinations of all the ecosystems, community. As we all know that individual can’t grow alone, everyone depends on each other for one or the other things.
As above discussed an ecosystem is the diversity of many communities of organisms where they interact with living (biotic) as well as nonliving (abiotic) thing whereas community contains the variety of populations of different species linking with each other in a region.