Ecosystem diversity is a term that incorporates both habitat and community diversity. A habitat is the environment in which an organism or species lives and includes the physical characteristics (e.g. climate or the availability of suitable food and shelter) that make it especially well suited to meet the life cycle needs of that species. A community consists of the assemblage of populations of plants and animals that occupy an area and their interactions with each other and their environment.
An ecosystem is a unique combination of plant, animal and microorganism communities and their non-living physical characteristics interacting as a functional unit. Inherent in ecosystem diversity are thus both biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components, which makes it different from both genetic and species diversity.
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