How Does an Ecosystem Survive?

How Does an Ecosystem Survive?
••• Image by, courtesy of Rene Ehrhardt

An ecosystem can be thought of as a community of plants and animals that live symbiotically. An ecosystem can be as immense as an ocean or as small as a puddle, but each needs the same components for its overall survival.

Main Source

The Sun is the original source of energy for every component of every ecosystem. No life could exist without it.


Plants are referred to as producers because they produce their own food from sunlight in the form of simple sugars. Plants make up the foundation of life in an ecosystem.


Animals that eat plants are called primary consumers. They get the energy they need to live from the plants' sugars. In turn, secondary consumers such as carnivores and scavengers depend on the meat of primary consumers to live.


Decomposers such as bacteria, fungi, and insects break down dead plants and animals. The decaying organisms add nutrients to the soil that are essential for plant growth, bringing things full cycle.


An ecosystem relies on a stable and predictable climate for breeding, food production, and an adequate water source.

Inorganic Elements

Levels and types of inorganic materials such as sand, soil, rocks, and water help determine what kind of animals and plants can live in a particular ecosystem.

Related Articles

Four Components of an Ecosystem
What Are Three Categories of Organisms in the Ecosystem?
Types of Water Ecosystems
How Does Photosynthesis Benefit Heterotrophs?
Elements of an Ecosystem
The 2 Main Components of an Ecosystem
What Are Representative Particles of Elements?
How to Make Biomass Pyramids
What Is an Ecosystem Made Up Of?
Why Do Plants & Animals Need Nitrogen?
Role of Algae in the Ecosystem
Living and Nonliving Things in the Ecosystem
What Is the Role of Producers in an Ecosystem?
What Does the Sun Have to Do With the Carbon Cycle?
What Role Do Decomposers Play in a Food Chain?
Four Components of an Ecosystem
Biotic Factors in Ecosystems
What Is the Sun's Role in Photosynthesis?
The Function of Macromolecules
How to Convert Pounds Per Square Foot to PSI