Ecosystems work through the exchange of energy and matter between the various biologic and nonbio-logic components of the system. Introduction of new components, or the loss of any component, typically disrupts the system, and some changes can be so severe that they cause a cascading effect and the collapse of the entire ecosystem. In other cases the ecosystem can recover from the introduction of a new toxin, predatory species, or other disruptive agent. The ability of the ecosystem to recover depends on the toxicity of the new element and the resiliency of the original ecosystem.
See also biosphere; carbon cycle; Gaia hypothesis; geochemical cycles.
Was this article helpful?
Disasters: Why No ones Really 100 Safe. This is common knowledgethat disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.