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From eco- +‎ system. Coined by English botanist Arthur Tansley in 1935 in a paper titled "The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts" in the journal Ecology.[1]



ecosystem (plural ecosystems)

  1. A system formed by an ecological community and its environment that functions as a unit.
    • 2012 January, Donald Worster, “A Drier and Hotter Future”, in American Scientist[2], volume 100, number 1, archived from the original on 26 January 2012, page 70:
      Phoenix and Lubbock are both caught in severe drought, and it is going to get much worse. We may see many such [dust] storms in the decades ahead, along with species extinctions, radical disturbance of ecosystems, and intensified social conflict over land and water. Welcome to the Anthropocene, the epoch when humans have become a major geological and climatic force.
  2. The interconnectedness of organisms (plants, animals, microbes) with each other and their environment.
  3. (by extension) A network of interconnected people, organisations, products or services that resembles a natural ecosystem due to the complex interdependencies.
    The company’s ecosystem mainly comprises its supply chain, customers, end consumers and competitors.
    • 2022 March 21, Rahul Shivshankar, “The real reason why the Left eco-system has launched a scurrilous attack on the movie Kashmir Files”, in Times of India[3]:
      It [The Kashmir Files] is being described by the leftist “liberal” ecosystem as a movie that peddles bigotry against Muslims.
    • 2022 February 17, Angshuman Choudhury, Suraj Gogoi, “Hijab ban: How some liberals are sleepwalking into the trap set by Hindutva nationalists”, in[4]:
      There is a certain duality in how the Hindutva ecosystem is pushing the anti-hijab discourse into the mainstream.


Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Arthur Tansley (July 1935), “The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts”, in Ecology[1] (in English), volume 16, issue 3, archived from the original on 2016-10-06:
    Our natural prejudices force us to consider the organisms (in the sense of the biologist) as the most important parts of these systems, but certainly the inorganic “factors” are also parts – there could be no systems without them, and there is constant interchange of the most various kinds within each system, not only between the organisms but between the organic and the inorganic. These ecosystems, as we may call them, are of the most various kinds and sizes.

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