Ecosystems can be divided in two main groups: aquatic ecosystems and terrestrial ecosystems.


An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem in a body of water. There are two main aquatic ecosystems: freshwater and saltwater.

  1. Freshwater ecosystems: rivers, lakes and ponds.
  2. Saltwater ecosystems: seas and oceans. They incluide 3 main zones:

  • The coast: includes water and land. The water is warm. There are lots of nutrients in the coast, so many animals and plants can live there.

  • The open sea: there is a lot of sunlight, so there is lot of food for animals like whales, dolphins, sharks, tuna...

  • The deep sea: there is little sunlight, so there is little food. A few animals live there.

Saltwater Ecosystem Zones -


A terrestrial ecosystem is an ecosystem on land. All terrestrial ecosystems depend on temperature and water. Basic classification:

  • High temperature and low precipitations: deserts. There is little vegetation, so there are a few animals.

  • Warm temperature and regular precipitations: forests. There is a lot of vegetation (especially trees), so there are a lot of animals too.

  • Low temperature and regular precipitations (snow): tundra. The vegetation is poor: lichens, grass and bushes. There are a few animals and in winter they have to migrate south, where the temperture is warmer.

What about watching a couple of videos to ease all this information?

The first video is about aquatic ecosystems.

The second video is about terrestrial ecosystems.

Go to the games section to practice what you have learned!!