How to Draw an Ecosystem

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A tidal pool is one of many varieties of ecosystems.
A tidal pool is one of many varieties of ecosystems. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Ecosystems consist of a vast variety of environments such as tidal pools, agricultural fields, home gardens, aquatic communities and forests. Ecologists will block off areas of an ecosystem depending on the needs of their work in order to study the system. For example, an area might be blocked off for an ecosystem around the shoreline of a pond. Drawing an ecosystem is depicting that blocked-off area. An ecosystem such as ponds is like slicing an area in half to have a look at what is happening beneath the surface. (See Reference 1)

Things You'll Need

  • Drawing paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

Create a horizon line where the land meets the sky. (See Reference 1 &2)

Starting at the horizon, create a sloping line to represent land if a water ecosystem will be included. The size will depend on how much information you need to depict for the land area. Draw a wavy line to represent the surface of the water.

Sketch in outlined shapes such as ovals, cylinders, squares and circles to represent objects such as turtles, fish, deer, trees, buildings and rocks. Add details to the shapes such as windows for buildings, mouths for the fish and leaves for trees.

Create details such as bubbles coming from the turtle’s mouth, clouds in the sky and wavy lines on the water’s floor to represent sand or mud.

Add additional details, if desired, to represent how plants and animals in the ecosystem interact with each other such as arrows showing the carbon or nitrogen cycle. (See Reference 2 – left side links)

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