An ecosystem is the complex of physical, chemical and biological characteristics influencing the make-up of a distinctive community of plants and animals, and differing from other such communities. Ecosystems can be defined very broadly, such as freshwater or marine, or more narrowly, such as coral reefs, seagrass beds and muddy seabeds, or even more narrowly, such as the top versus the slope of a coral reef. There is no right or wrong, just a difference in the level of detail.
As a small yet highly diverse nation, lying within 1 to 2 degrees of the Equator, Singapore has many ecosystems within a small area. Some of these can be grouped under Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecosystems, and others under Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. They are characterised by high species diversity and complexity of interactions. In the tropics they tend to be structurally complex, stable, and containing many long-lived creatures with low reproductive rates.
Representative examples of these ecosystems are conserved within Singapore’s four Nature Reserves, while others occur in various Nature Areas and other sites of biodiversity interest. You can learn more about them here.