The main difference between ecosystem and biodiversity is that ecosystem is a natural environment including flora (plants) and fauna (animals) that live and interact within that environment whereas biodiversity is the collection of natural life and habitats.
Ecosystem and biodiversity are two terms in ecology. Generally, an ecosystem consists of all organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. Moreover, biotic and abiotic components link together in the ecosystem. Biodiversity, on the other hand, is the variety and variability of life on earth.
Key Areas Covered
- What is an Ecosystem
- Definition, Features, Importance
- What is Biodiversity
- Definition, Features, Importance
- Similarities Between Ecosystem and Biodiversity
- Outline of Common Features
- Difference Between Ecosystem and Biodiversity
- Comparison of Key Differences
Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Biotic
What is Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms as well as weather, and landscape work together. Generally, it forms a bubble of life. The two components of the ecosystem are the biotic and abiotic components. Biotic components include living components of the ecosystem such as plants, animals, and other organisms while abiotic components include nonliving parts such as temperature, humidity, and rocks. Moreover, in an ecosystem, all parts depend on each other directly or indirectly. For instance, a change in the temperature of the ecosystem affects the growth of plants; then animals that use plants for shelter and food have to change their characteristics accordingly.
Furthermore, the size of the ecosystem can be large or small. For example, tide pools left by the sea are tiny ecosystems. Usually, they contain seaweeds, algae, herbivores such as abalone, and carnivores such as sea stars. On the other hand, tide pools have to depend on the sea level for their water level. The largest ecosystem on earth is its whole surface. In general, it contains a collection of large biomes such as forests, ponds, reefs, and tundra. Moreover, different plants and animals live in different biomes.
What is Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the collection of the enormous diversity of life on earth. It means that all the species that live in a particular ecosystem or in one region are the biodiversity of that area. It also refers to all living things, including plants, animals, bacteria, and humans. Generally, 8.7 million plants and animal species live on earth. But, only around 1.2 million of them have been identified so far.
Moreover, over generations, all the species undergo evolution, evolving with unique traits. Therefore, there are differences between one and other species. One can measure biodiversity in genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity. On earth, biodiversity is not evenly distributed. Some parts of the world are rich in biodiversity and others are not. In addition, rapid changes to biodiversity can occur due to mass extinctions.
Similarities Between Ecosystem and Biodiversity
- Ecosystem and biodiversity are two terms that describe the living and nonliving things on earth.
- In both, the ecosystem and biodiversity, living and nonliving things interact with each other.
- Both undergo evolution.
Difference Between Ecosystem and Biodiversity
Ecosystem refers to a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment while biodiversity refers to the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.
Usually, an ecosystem consists of abiotic and biotic components while biodiversity only contains biotic components.
An ecosystem can be large or small while biodiversity is always large.
In brief, an ecosystem is a physical environment where abiotic and biotic components interact with each other. Ecosystems can be large or small. Depending on the size, the size of the biotic and abiotic components can vary. On the other hand, biodiversity is the collection of biotic components of a particular location. It is always large. Therefore, the main difference between ecosystem and biodiversity is their components.
- Ecosystem. National Geographic Society. (n.d.). Retrieved August 15, 2022.
- Biodiversity. National Geographic Society. (n.d.). Retrieved August 15, 2022.
- “Blue Linckia Starfish ” By Richard Ling – Own Work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
- “Fungi of Saskatchewan ” By Sasata – Own Work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia