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The climatic regions of the Earth gave origin to a large variety of natural environments. Each habitat is formed by a community of animals and plants, called ecosystem, that, in order to survive, must adapt to the surrounding environment exploiting its resources as best they can. 550 million years ago plants began to grow on the Earth, creating the first environment that was suited for animal life; initially mosses and ferns were dominant, then conifers developed, and then flowering plants. At the same time, also herbivorous animals evolved and the foundations for the complex ecosystems of today were laid.

subjects dealt with in What is an ecosystem

Terrestrial biomes

An ecosystem is a complex system composed of organisms living in a given habitat. Plants and animals are the biotic…

Man and ecosystems

Terrestrial and water ecosystems are complex and perfectly organised natural “factories” that produce all that is required for life on…

Delicate ecosystems

In 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) issued its first report, the Brundtland Report (from the name…

The agroecosystem

A typical example of artificial ecosystem is a cultivated field or agro-ecosystem. This is a natural system altered by men…

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from the Multimedia section

  • space

    Cold and heat on the Earth

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    ecosystems

    Deforestation in the Amazon

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    life

    Extinction of the species

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  • ecosystems

    Coral

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    ecosystems

    Bleaching

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    water

    No more ice for the bears

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  • air

    The polar bear will become extinct

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    ecosystems

    Boars

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    ecosystems

    Photosynthesis in action

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  • space

    Cold and heat on the Earth

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation in the Amazon

    Look
  • life

    Extinction of the species

    Look

    ecosystems

    Coral

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Bleaching

    Look

    water

    No more ice for the bears

    Look
  • space

    Cold and heat on the Earth

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Deforestation in the Amazon

    Look
  • life

    Extinction of the species

    Look

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