Ecosystems are made up of interacting, interdependent parts. Parts of an ecosystem that are non-living are called abiotic. Abiotic parts of an ecosystem include things like water, sunlight and nutrients. Other parts of an ecosystem are alive. These living, or biotic, parts may include plants, animals and photosynthetic microorganisms like algae . Biotic and abiotic (living and non-living) parts of an ecosystem are always interacting with and changing each other.
Healthy ecosystems are long-lasting. In a long-lasting ecosystem the number of plants and animals may increase and decrease over time, but there are always enough individuals to reproduce and establish the next generation. In this Biograph Virtual Lab your challenge is to build a model of a long-lasting, healthy pond ecosystem.