(1) Ecosystem functioning describes the combined effects of all natural processes that sustain an ecosystem, i.e. the combined effects of individual functions, with the overall rate of functioning being governed by the interplay of abiotic (physical and chemical) and/or biotic factors;(2) Ecosystem functioning reflects the collective life activities of plants, animals, and microbes and the effects these activities - feeding, growing, moving, excreting waste, etc. - have on the physical and chemical conditions of their environment.
An ecosystem is a dynamic complex of plant, animal and microorganism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. Ecosystems are not only important in terms of the species they contain, but also in terms of the functions they carry out.
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