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The Forest Ecosystem

The forest ecosystem covers the flora, fauna and ground conditions with in the parameters of a forest. From the climatic conditions to the members and relationships in the food chain, the forest ecosystem is dependant on the major resources available. In the forest ecosystem the proportion of flora, including the varieties of trees, grasses, fungi and flowers will effect the way in which fauna exist.

The fauna in a forest ecosystem will include the minute and the massive. The forest ecosystem offers shelter and living conditions to insects, birds, arachnids and mammals, from the tiny bush mouse to the largest primate or predator.

In the forest ecosystem the smallest creatures and plants are still important to the structure of the environment. From the smallest gnat to the largest predator, the relationship between the food chain is vital to the balance of the ecosystem. In the way that grass feeds cattle so too do smaller creatures become food for larger. Even the plants of the forest will become fodder for larger herbivores or small creatures. The forest ecosystem is balanced by the resources available. The number of trees, fungi, grass or flowers will be, maintained by the number of animals or insects using them for their lifestyle or food sources. If the number of predators in the forest ecosystem should alter, then the food chain would be unbalanced right down to the fundamental level. Even a slight alteration in the forest ecosystem, due to floods or drought or human intervention, can lead to the destruction of the forest ecosystem itself.

The forest ecosystem is reliant on the balance being maintained, between growth and decay. While rotting timber and mulch can offer sustenance to some creatures, the death of a plant is still part of the forest ecosystem. The mulch provides the ideal place for germination of other seeds. All this is part of the balance of the forest ecosystem.

The forest ecosystem includes the life cycle of the larger animals too. Their living, reproducing, hunting and dying all effect the way the forest ecosystem achieves balance. Any variation to the numbers of creatures within the forest ecosystem could change the fragile balance drastically. To few predators could mean an over production of smaller herbivores. This would lead to a loss of plant life within the forest ecosystem. Once the balance is lost, it can be impossible to regain.

The delicate balance of the forest ecosystem is vital to the health and vitality of the forest itself. From climate conditions, water quality and quantity, to human intervention, or exploitation, the forest ecosystem is prone to influences that can alter it forever.

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