Ecosystems and Habitats in Illinois

An ecosystem is a combination of the interactions between biotic (living things) and abiotic (air, water, rocks, energy) factors. 

Some ecosystems found in Illinois are:

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Wetlands

Prairies

Forests

Streams

Lakes

 

Within an ecosystem, there may be many habitats.  A habitat is an environment that is home to an organism or community of organisms. A habitat provides all of the necessities an organism needs - food, water, shelter, and space.

 


The landscape of Illinois has changed greatly over the past 160 years.  Contrast the land cover on the maps of 1850 and today.

Illinois has lost over 90% of its wetlands, 99% of prairies and 80% of forests.

 

“The wealth of the tall grass prairie was its undoing.”

- John Madson

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