Revised Sept. 15/00. The latest version of the guide is always available on http://www.lionstrail.org
The part of the Earth where livings can be found has been classified as the biosphere. The biosphere includes the oceans, ice, freshwater, and land where life exists. For the sake of understanding, ecologists have labelled broad geographic regions with a characteristic climate and an associated biotic community as a biome. We live in a mixed forest transition area, or ecotone, between the boreal or coniferous forest biome to the north and the deciduous forest biome to the south. In these biomes are a number of natural communities. These communities contain the plants and animals that are well adapted to their environment.
Some of the communities seen from the Brooklin Lions Wilderness Trail include: Forests: upland deciduous, riparian (river), mixed, and deciduous and coniferous plantation; thicket; upland and riparian meadows; and marsh. Each of these communities contains populations and individuals of a wide variety of species that are listed in the soon to be developed, Species Lists section of this guide. The diversity of the species in the East Lynde valley is amazing. Biodiversity is a good thing. Ecology shows us the interrelationships among living things and between those living things and their non-living environment.
If there is one thing that we all should realize is that all living things, including humans, are physically interdependent on each other. Thats why the protection of habitat, the maintenance of biodiversity, the linking of natural communities, and the reduction of pollutants and toxins should be a major part of our political, social, and economic decision-making.
The term ecosystem is a funny word. It can be used to describe the living and non-living parts of something as small as a drop of water, or something as large as an ocean. Ecosystems can be of any size. And all ecosystems are made up of living and non-living things that interact with each other.
How do you fit in with ecosystems? Well, you are alive; thats good. You eat plants and probably animals to get energy. You create waste when you go to the bathroom. You inhale air that contains oxygen and you release carbon dioxide when you exhale. And heres another way of looking at it. You are a unique individual human who is a part of the over 6 billion human population. You live in a community which includes human built towns and natural areas. You are living in what used to be a large mixed forest region made up of deciduous and coniferous trees. And you live on the surface of Earth with lots of other creatures, plants, fungi, and one-celled organisms. In short you are a part of ecosystems; we just forget it sometimes because we sometimes ignore nature. Think about it!
Next > Post 11