The question / answer pattern is found frequently in expository
writing for children but it is also a useful pattern for older
readers because the question functions as a heading and sets
up an expectation for the details which follow.
What is an ecosystem?
Ecosystem is the word used by ecologists to describe the living
parts (the plants and animals) and the non-living parts (the
soil, sun, rain, winds) of a particular habitat and the relationship
between all of these parts. A forest ecosystem is the network
of forest plants and animals depending on each other, and the
soil, air and water that make up their habitat.
What happens if the ecosystem changes?
If one part of the ecosystem changes suddenly, then the whole
ecosystem would be affected in some way. For example, a long
period without rain reduces the amount of water in an ecosystem.
This lack of water might cause some plants to die and so reduce
the supply of food available for animals.
What is a community?
The many plants and animals found in an ecosystem make up the
living community of that area. A village community is made up
of all the people living in the village. In the same way a forest
community is made up of all the plants and animals found in
What is meant by niche?
All the plants and animals in a forest community have their
particular jobs or ways of life. The job of plants is to make
their own food. Animals cant make their own food so they
must eat plants or other animals to live. Animals, however,
are equally important to the balance of an ecosystem. Some animals
eat leaves, nuts, and seeds. Other animals eat smaller animals.
Ecologists call the job an animal does, and its way of life,