Cosma Home > Communication > Knowledge > Realm > Terrestrial > Ecosystem




Terrestrial (Earth)
Sphere Land, Ice, Water (Ocean), Air, Life (Cell, Gene, Microscope)
Ecosystem Forest, Grassland, Desert, Arctic, Aquatic

Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human


These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



Earth Observatory (NASA)


ecosystem : the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit — Webster

OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, Urban Dictionary


Ecosystem is a community made up of living organisms and nonliving components such as air, water, and mineral soil. Ecosystems can be studied in two different ways. They can be thought of as interdependent collections of plants and animals, or as structured systems and communities governed by general rules. The living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components interact through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Ecosystems include interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment. Ecosystems can be of any size but each ecosystem has a specific, limited space. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica

Types of Environmental Ecosystems (Amy Harris, Sciencing)

Biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. “Biome” is a broader term than “habitat”; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.

A ‘biota’ is the total collection of organisms of a geographic region or a time period, from local geographic scales and instantaneous temporal scales all the way up to whole-planet and whole-timescale spatiotemporal scales. The biotas of the Earth make up the biosphere. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica

The World’s Biomes (California Academy of Sciences)
Earth’s Habitats (National Geographic)




Ecology is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms with each other and with abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. — Wikipedia

Ecology Portal (Wikipedia)
Ecology (Encyclopædia Britannica)



Edward O. Wilson (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University)
E. O. Wilson (Biodiversity Foundation)
E. O. Wilson (Encyclopædia Britannica)
E. O. Wilson (Wikipedia)

The Evolution of Ecology (Simon A. Levin, Chronicle of Higher Education)
History of ecology (Wikipedia)


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library




Crash Course Kids Life Science: Ecosystems and Flow of Energy (YouTube Playlist)

Crash Course Biology (YouTube Channel)
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources



Science Daily,, NPR Archives




The Changing Colors of our Living Planet (NASA)

Earth Observatory (NASA)
NASA Earth Observatory (Wikipedia)
NASA Earth Science

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)






How to Make Your Own Terrarium (Better Homes & Gardens)
How to Make a Terrarium (WikiHow)
Terrarium (Wikipedia)



Ecosystems News -- ScienceDaily Ecology news. Learn about ecosystems at risk. Read current events articles on fragile ecosystems and what can be done to protect them.

  • How to restore a coral reef
    on July 23, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    New guidelines drafted by a consortium of concerned experts could enable corals to adapt to changing environments and help restore declining populations in the Caribbean. The guidelines provide a definitive plan for collecting, raising, and replanting corals that maximizes their potential for adaptation. […]

  • 'Legacy' mercury pollution still a problem in New...
    on July 23, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    'Legacy' mercury pollution from decades ago and miles away is an important source of contamination in New Jersey Meadowlands waterways, according to a new study that could help guide cleanup efforts. […]

  • Monsoon rains have become more intense in the...
    on July 23, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Monsoon rain storms have become more intense in the southwestern United States in recent decades, according to a recent study. Monsoon rains -- highly localized bursts of rain -- have become stronger since the 1970s, meaning the same amount of rain falls in a shorter amount of time -- by 6 to 11 percent. In addition, the number of rainfall events per year increased on average 15 percent during the 1961-2017 period. […]

  • North Carolina coastal flooding is worsening with...
    on July 23, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Researchers can confirm what data modeling systems have predicted: Climate change is increasing precipitation events like hurricanes, tropical storms and floods. […]

  • A toxic chemical in marine ecosystems turns out...
    on July 22, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Destructive free radicals -- known as reactive oxygen species -- are thought to degrade the cells of phytoplankton and other organisms. A new article, however, suggests that these molecules actually play a beneficial role, upending some conventional wisdom. […] - latest science and technology news stories internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Monsoon rains have become more intense in the...
    on July 23, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Monsoon rain storms have become more intense in the southwestern United States in recent decades, according to a study recently published by Agricultural Research Service scientists. […]

  • Sea Pangolin: The first ever species endangered...
    on July 23, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Hydrothermal vents host rare species at incredibly high density comparable to tropical rainforests or coral reefs. Forty years ago, the first descriptions of the ecosystems around these deep underwater heat funnels changed our understanding of deep ocean environments and the very origins of life. Now, species in even the most inaccessible parts of Earth are threatened by disturbance from human activity, including mining the depths of the ocean. […]

  • How did Africa's grasslands get started?
    on July 23, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Between 10 million and 6 million years ago, vegetation across much of the world underwent a transformation, as warmth-adapted grasses displaced previously dominant plants, shrubs and trees. The new grasses carried out the chemical reactions required for photosynthesis in a distinct new way. Scientists have labeled this new process the C4 pathway. In East Africa, the changeover coincided with the evolution of mammal lineages that we recognize today, including early human ancestors. Today, C4 […]

  • Five ways buildings of the future will use...
    on July 22, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    What if our homes were alive? I don't mean smart homes with the disembodied voice of Alexa deciding the setting for your living room spotlights. I mean actually alive—growing, living, breathing and even reproducing. The idea might seem far-fetched, but in the face of a climate crisis, we humans need to think radically about the way we live in and build our environment. […]

  • Waiting for an undersea robot in Antarctica to...
    on July 22, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    "Call! Just call!" I think loudly in my head. "Did something happen? Are you okay?" […]