Ecosystem vs. Community

The difference between ecosystem and community is that an ecosystem comprises of various communities which consist of both biotic and abiotic factors interacting each other while various populations of individuals of different species living in a particular area form a community. The community comprises of living organisms only.

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Ecosystem vs. Community

Our earth has living organisms of various species ranging from microscopic unicellular organisms to higher animals and plants. For the understanding of basic knowledge of life and the interaction of living organisms and abiotic factors, it is mandatory to know the basic terms of biology, i.e., ecosystem, community, biosphere, biotic and abiotic factors, individual, population and species, etc.

An ecosystem can be defined as the interaction of living entities with abiotic factors of the environment which is mandatory for the survival of life while the community can be defined as many groups of populations of various species which live together and interact with each other in a particular geographic region. An ecosystem comprises of both biotic and abiotic components while a community consists of only living entities interacting with each other. If changes occur in the external environmental factors, the ecosystem is not changed; rather it is converted into another type of ecosystem. The communities are changed with external environmental factors.

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If the communities living in an ecosystem are overpopulated or use too many resources of the ecosystem, the ecosystem will collapse. On the other hand, communities are dependant upon the ecosystem for the provision of resources mandatory for life. If resources for a particular species are not provided, that species will be extinct. The examples of the ecosystem can be given as a pond, forest, desert, ocean,  grassland, etc. The ecosystem can be of a very small size, for example, a drop of water is an ecosystem or as large as a huge desert. The examples of communities can be given as various organisms of different species living together in a particular area like animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi at a particular place.

Comparison chart

Basis Ecosystem Community
Definition An ecosystem can be defined as the interaction between living organisms and abiotic factors of the environment in a particular geographical area.The community can be defined as various groups or populations of organisms of different species living together at a particular area and interacting with each other.
Comprise of It comprises of both living organisms (biotic factors) and nonliving entities (abiotic factors).It consists of only living organisms which interact with each other.
Relation with each other If the living organisms of an ecosystem become too much overpopulated or do overuse of the resources, the ecosystem will go to negative balance and finally will be collapsed.If the ecosystem fails to provide the resources of a particular species, that species will be extinct, and community interactions will be disturbed.
Effect of change in the external environment With the changes in the external environment, usually, the ecosystem is not changed; rather it is converted into another type of ecosystem.With the change of the external environment, the community may be changed.
Extent An ecosystem may be of a very small size, for example, a drop of water or as large as a huge desert.A community can be as small as a water drop having unicellular microorganisms of different species or as large as a huge ocean or desert.
Microscopic extent An ecosystem cannot be microscopicA community may be microscopic
Examples The examples of ecosystems can be given as desert, ocean, sea, forest, green land, tundra, or pond, etc.The examples of a community can be given as different animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi present at a particular place.
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What is an Eco System?

An ecosystem is an interaction between the living organisms, i.e., biotic components and nonliving things, i.e., abiotic factors present together at a particular geographical area. Biotic components contribute to all the living entities, i.e., animals, plants, microorganisms, fungi, protozoa, etc. And nonliving things contribute to all the chemical and physical things present around. An ecosystem tries to keep balance its level up to the maximum extent. With the change in the external environment, it maintains its normal balance or changes to another ecosystem. If the species present in an ecosystem start overusing the resources, the ecosystem is said to be going towards a negative balance, and if overuse of resources is continued, the ecosystem is finally collapsed. An ecosystem may be as small as a drop of water containing microorganisms. Here microorganisms are the biotic component of the ecosystem and water, oxygen in the water or any other gas or sunlight are abiotic components. The examples of the ecosystem can be given as an ocean, desert, sea, forest, green land, tundra, a canopy of the tree or a water drop, etc.

What is Community?

A community can be defined as different organisms or groups of organisms living together at a certain geographical area and interacting with each other. Abiotic components are nor included in the community. A community can b microscopic or as large as the organisms of a huge ocean. The organisms of the community are dependant upon the abiotic components of the ecosystem for the provision of resources. If the ecosystem fails to provide adequate resources for a particular species, the species will be extinct, and the interaction between the other species of the community will be disturbed. If the external environmental conditions are changed, the community is also changed. The example of a community can be given as different animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi present in a particular geographical area.

Key Differences

  1. An ecosystem is defined as the interaction between living organisms and nonliving components present at a particular geographical area while the community is defined as the interaction between groups of organisms of different species present at the same
  2. Abiotic components (physical and chemical factors) contribute to the ecosystem while do not contribute to the community.
  3. With the change in the external environment, ecosystem usually does not change while the community is changed
  4. If the members of the community use too many resources of the ecosystem, it goes to a negative balance and finally it is collapsed.
  5. The examples of the ecosystem are forest, ocean, desert , green land, etc. While the example of community is different animals, plants, bacteria and fungi present at the same
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Conclusion

Ecosystem and community are two important terms used in biology. To understand biology in a better way, it is important to learn the key terms in a good way. Often the biology students intermingle ecosystem and community. It is mandatory for biology students  to know the differences between both. In the above article, we learned the clear differences between the ecosystem and community.

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