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Background on ecosystems concepts

Ecosystems components

An ecosystem is defined as set of components, both living and non-living which interact with each via energy  and material flows.

Abiotic components include factors such as

  • water-amount, frequency, drainage
  • air - level of purity
  • exposure to sunlight -shading, aspect
  • rocks and minerals - soil compisition

Biotic components

  • producers - organisms which can capture an external energy source and bring it into the system
  • consumers - organisms which rely on the producers for their energy
  • decomposers - organisms which breakdown dead animal remains and waste materials into simpler forms which can be recycled in the system

Examples of ecosystems


Synonyms - Jungle


dense forest in tropical areas with high rainfall

Measuring the damage the spanners do

Lists of worst invasive species

Worst invasive species is a somewhat subjective term as it depends on who you are asking and where they are.

Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT)

The definition of EICAT according to the GISD -

EICAT is the IUCN Standard for the classification of impacts of alien taxa on the environment. It is a simple, objective and transparent method that classifies alien taxa into one of five impact categories, according to the magnitude of the detrimental impacts on native biodiversity.
Each of these five impact categories represents a different impact magnitude, depending on the level of biological organisation of the native biota impacted (individual, population or community) and the reversibility of this impact. 1

Note the similarities between EICAT and the Redlist Cliassification of Endangered species.


Examples of EICAT in action



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