Geography News

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Ecosystem
Category: Prelims & Mains

Created: 06 Aug, 2020
Updated: 06 Aug, 2020

Types of Ecosystem

On the basis of habitat, ecosystem are divided into two major categories - Terrestrial and Aquatic

Terrestrial ecosystem

Terrestrial ecosystem are of six types: Taiga, Tundra, Temperate, Tropical rain forests, Grasslands, and Desert

Aquatic ecosystem

Aquatic ecosystems refers to plant and animal communities occurring in water bodies. Aquatic ecosystems are classified on the basis of salinity into following types:

  • Fresh water ecosystem: Water on land which is continuously cycling and has low salt content (always less than 5 ppt) is known as fresh water. There are two types of fresh water ecosystems: (i) Static or still water (Lentic) ecosystems e.g. pond, lake, bogs and swamps. (ii) Running water (Lotic) ecosystems e.g. springs, mountain brooks, streams and rivers.
  • Marine ecosystems: The water bodies containing salt concentration equal to or above that of sea water (i.e., 35 ppt or above). Eg: shallow seas and open ocean.
  • Brackish water ecosystems: these water bodies have salt content in between 5 to 35 ppt. e.g. estuaries, salt marshes, mangrove, swamps and forests.


  • Mangroves are woody plants that grow at the interface between land and sea (ecotone). These plants, and the associated microbes, plants, and animals, constitute the mangrove forest community or Mangal
  • Mangroves are found in tropical and subtropical regions where they are exposed to high light intensities
  • Mangroves generally grow better in wet equatorial climates than they do in seasonally monsoonal or arid climates. They produce large amounts of litter in the form of falling leaves, branches and other debris; and this decomposed litter then enriches coastal areas.
  • Mangroves tolerate high salinity, extreme tides, strong winds, high temperatures and muddy, anaerobic soils
    • Low salinity associated with long periods of flooding will contribute to mangrove degradation
  • Mangroves are highly adapted to the coastal environment, with exposed breathing roots, extensive support roots, salt-excreting leaves. They have both self-pollinating and cross-pollinating mechanisms that vary with species.
  • Major mangroves in India are found at - Sundarban (about 50%), Andaman and Nicobar, Kachch in Gujarat, Bhitarkarnika mangroves in Odisha
    • Sunderbans, largest mangrove forest in the world, is the first mangrove forest to be declared as a Natural World Heritage Site. It is  a National Park, Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve  Park
  • Mangal products have plenty of traditional and direct usages as timber, firewood, charcoal, building materials, tannin and foods in the form of fish, crabs, prawns, molluscs and honey.

[In News]

  • Aug, 20
    • Mangroves destruction to blame for flooding in Mumbai, says experts