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Among the ecosystem services are control of floods and soil erosion. How is this achieved
by the biotic components of the ecosystem?

Last updated date: 18th Jun 2024
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Hint:-The living entities of an ecosystem are referred to as the biotic components which interact with one other and with the non-living entities known as the abiotic components, ultimately carving the ecosystem. The functioning of such a healthy ecosystem benefits humans in ways such as food production, climate control, oxygen production, and recreational comfort, cumulatively termed as “ecosystem services”.

Complete Answer:-
The living entities or the biotic components of an ecosystem are the different kinds of organisms present in the region such as microorganisms, plants, and animals. Floods occur when factors such as precipitation, wind speeds, tide heights, and structural integrity of dams, water bodies, and reservoirs are affected such that they can no longer hold the water level. The erosion of soil occurs when factors such as soil moisture, organic matter, clay mineralogy, and permeability are affected. Turbulent winds or heavy rainfall can cause the destruction and removal of the topsoil in the land which is the definition of soil erosion.
Resistance to soil erosion is majorly achieved by the vegetation and microorganisms in the area. The roots of the plants keep the soil particles intact enough to prevent runoff by external factors like water or wind, but also porous enough to allow groundwater infiltration, preventing droughts or floods. Soil microorganisms help by playing pivotal roles in nutrient cycling and organic matter decomposition. This enhances the plant health, biodiversity, and richness which increases the resistance to natural calamities.

Note:- Heavy rainfall resulting in floods cause soil runoff which in turn leads to a flood disaster. Therefore, it can be said that floods and soil erosion have a unidirectional dependence as in that floods cause erosion but erosion cannot cause a flood, it can only worsen the impact.