Information for Kids About Ecosystems

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Ecosystems are important to all living things on the planet, including people. All plants and animals rely on their ecosystems to give them what they need to live. Without your ecosystem, you would not be able to survive on this planet.

What is an ecosystem?

An ecosystem includes all of the plants, animals, soil, rocks, microorganisms and people in an area living and working together. Ecosystems can be as small as a puddle or as large as an ocean.

Who lives in an ecosystem?

We all live in an ecosystem. Every living thing on this planet is part of an ecosystem. Your ecosystem includes the water you drink, the air you breathe and all of the people you talk to every day.

Why are ecosystems important?

Since ecosystems provide animals and plants with all of the resources that are needed to survive, they are a very important part of our planet. An animal's food, shelter and community come from their ecosystem.

Dangers for ecosystems

Ecosystems are often very carefully balanced. If one piece of the ecosystem is damaged or removed it can have a negative effect on every other part of that ecosystem.

Example

In a forest prairie ecosystem there are grasses that are eaten by rabbits who are eaten by coyotes. If something happens to the rabbit population grasses may grow out of control, and coyotes may starve because they do not have enough to eat.

References

About the Author

After completing her degree in environmental studies and writing at Illinois Wesleyan University, Brekke Bounds has spent the last few years working as an environmental educator and writer for several not-for-profits and municipalities in the Chicago area.

Photo Credits

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