index of concepts
tides | intertidal zone | zonation | ecosystems | rocky | sandy | seagrass | coral rubble | coral reef
Why know ecosystems?
updated Dec 2019

if you learn only 3 things about them ...
A particular animal is usually found in a specific part of a shore.
Plants and animals in a location interact with one another.
Several different ecosystems may be found in one location.

Plants and animals are not randomly distributed on our shores. To find them, it helps to understand where and how they live.
Habitat: Each living thing is generally found in a place that best suits it. Such a place is called a habitat and has characteristic conditions, for example, how often it is exposed out of water, the kind of bottom (rocky, muddy, sandy), water temperature and salinity, kind of currents and waves that affect it.
Community: Each living thing belongs to a community of other plants and animals. Members of a community interact with each other. Some, for example, may eat another. Others may compete with for living spaces. Yet others may have a symbiotic relationship with one another.
Ecosystem: Plants and animals also interact with their surroundings. An example is when they take in nutrients. Such a community and its surroundings, interacting in a stable structure, form an ecosystem.

The ecosystems of our shores are connected to one another. The boundaries of each ecosystem, however, are not clearly marked. Overlaps occur as one ecosystem gradually changes into adjoining ecosystems.

Mangroves at Chek Jawa.

Seagrass meadows gradually merge
into rocky shores and coastal forest
at Sentosa

Sandy shore at Cyrene Reefs

Coral reefs at Kusu Island

Some animals form a habitat
for other animals! Like this sea pen.

Many different animals may be
found under a rock!

Seagrass meadow at Pulau Semakau


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