A variety of ecosystems are spread across the world, each with distinctive interacting characteristics and components. They range from small ecosystems such as a freshwater pond, to global ecosystems such as deserts.
An ecosystem is a natural environment and includes the flora and fauna that live and interact within that environment. Flora, fauna and bacteria are the biotic or living components of the ecosystem. Ecosystems are dependent on the following abiotic or non-living components:
climate - the temperature and amount of rainfall are very important for determining what species can survive in the ecosystem
soil - the soil type is important as this provides nutrients that will support different plants
water - the amount of water available in an ecosystem will determine what plants and animals can be supported
The biotic parts of the ecosystem, which include bacteria, flora and fauna, have a complex relationship with the abiotic components - changing one will lead to a change in the other.