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All About Ecosystems A Question & Answer Book

Table of Contents What is an ecosystem? How do plants and animals work together? How do food chains and food webs work? What adaptations do animals have to survive? How do humans impact our ecosystems?

What is an ecosystem? An ecosystem is an environment and all the living and non-living components working together in order to help one another survive. There are many different ecosystems around the world. They can be as small as a drop of pond water or as large as the ocean. Some ecosystems are aquatic (water) and some are terrestrial (land). Examples of ecosystems are coral reefs, rainforests, deserts, the tundra, and forests.

How do plants and animals work together? Plants and animals are interdependent of one another and need each other to survive. The animals depend on the plants for food, shelter, and to produce oxygen. The plants depend on the animals to create carbon dioxide that they need to survive. The animals also eat the plants so that they don’t overpopulate. Plants and animals that live together in a habitat form a community.

How do food chains work? The lives of plants and animals are all connected through food chains and food webs. A food chain is the order of who eats who in an ecosystem. All food chains start with the sun, which gives energy to plants called producers. Some animals eat only plants and are called herbivores. Some animals eat only other animals and are called carnivores. Other animals eat both plants and animals and are called omnivores. All plants and animals in a food chain need food that gives them the energy they need to survive.

What adaptations do animals have to survive? An animal adaptation is a special feature of the animal that helps it survive in its’ ecosystem. They can be physical or behavioral.

Animal Polar bear

Adaptation Thick coat of white fur to help it survive in the cold Arctic


Ability to change color to blend in with


Long necks to help them reach their

its surroundings

food source in high trees Bear

Hibernates in winter time

How do humans impact our ecosystems? Humans can impact an ecosystem in either a positive or negative way. Some positive impacts humans can have are:  Planting new trees  Cleaning up litter and recycling when possible  Riding bikes instead of driving

Some negative impacts humans can have are:  Cutting down trees for new developments  Using chemicals and fertilizers on plants  Throwing trash on land or in waterways

Glossary Carnivore: Animal that eats only other animals Habitat: The natural home or environment of a plant or animal Herbivore: Animal that eats only plants Impact: to change or have a strong effect Interdependent: When objects rely on each other for survival Omnivore: Animal that eats plants or animals Producer: Able to make own food using energy from the sun

All about ecosystems  
All about ecosystems