Synonyms: Habitat, Ecosystems, Habitats

An ecosystem is a complex community of living and non-living things that interact as an intertwined system. The interactions between living organisms (animals, plants, insects, micro-organisms, etc.) and non-living factors (water, air, soil, nutrients, chemicals, etc.) are necessary for energy and nutrient flows.  Because an ecosystem is a complex network of different factors, changes to either living organism balance or non-living components can have dramatic impacts on the rest of the ecosystem, such as eutrophication.

A habitat is a specific ecological area where an organism lives or persists. Some living organisms span over multiple ecosystems.