Most of us are confused when it comes to the words ecosystem and biome. What's the difference? There is a slight difference between the two words. An ecosystem is much smaller than a biome. Conversely, a biome can be thought of many similar ecosystems throughout the world grouped together. An ecosystem can be as large as the Sahara Desert, or as small as a puddle or vernal pool.
Ecosystems are dynamic interactions between plants, animals, and microorganisms and their environment working together as a functional unit. Ecosystems will fail if they do not remain in balance. No community can carry more organisms than its food, water, and shelter can accomodate. Food and territory are often balanced by natural phenomena such as fire, disease, and the number of predators. Each organism has its own niche, or role, to play.
Within each ecosystem, there are habitats which may also vary in size. A habitat is the place where a population lives. A population is a group of living organisms of the same kind living in the same place at the same time. All of the populations interact and form a community. The community of living things interacts with the non-living world around it to form the ecosystem. The habitat must supply the needs of organisms, such as food, water, temperature, oxygen, and minerals. If the population's needs are not met, it will move to a better habitat. Two different populations can not occupy the same niche at the same time, however. So the processes of competition, predation, cooperation, and symbiosis occur