Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Environment and Ecosystem

Environment vs Ecosystem

The words “environment” and “ecosystem” are often being confused with each other. Many would agree that they are one and the same. In fact, many references and reading materials use them interchangeably. However, in the scientific sense there is actually a very thin line that sets the distinction between these two interrelated concepts.

When you talk about an ecosystem, you consider an area that has frequent interactions between animals, plants, microorganisms, and their immediate environment. The interaction tends to be harmonious thus creating a balance. There are many kinds of ecosystems today, and one will fail if the littlest degree of instability is reached. Its balance is seen in a complex system composed of the right amount of living organisms, supply of food, habitable shelters, presence of predators, disease, and naturally occurring phenomena such as fire and other disasters. In addition, the organisms in the ecosystem have their own unique roles to take part in. Therefore, an ecosystem is a community that has been well defined by virtue of its environment.

By contrast, the term “environment” describes the area that most of us are accustomed to or are familiar with. It actually refers to everything around you which can have an effect on how you live. When one talks about the environment, the usual connotation is on the physical aspect of the surroundings which is actually true for the term. Any non-life condition or circumstance can also be included as part of the environment.

The confusion is intensified because advertising, marketing and other industries use the term “environment” more commonly when the term “ecosystem” should have been the more appropriate term to use. For example, in the common slogan “save our environment,” this actually refers to the ecosystem as you are being asked to preserve the community of life forms that abound in a certain geographical location – not only on the physical environment.

Summary:

1.The environment refers to your surroundings where you live or where you can live in.
2.The ecosystem is more particular to the interactions between the environment and the organisms that dwell within it. It is likened to a community that functions as one unit.
3.Although technically incorrect when used in some sentences, the term “environment” is more commonly used as it is better understood by the most number of people.
4.The term “environment” does not readily include the relationships that exist between the living and the physical attributes of the surroundings compared to the ecosystem that shows the ecological relationship relating to all organisms and the environment.


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