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:

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.

illinois maps showing land use 1850 and today

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