An ecosystem is made up of plants, animals and other forms of life as well as the environment in which they live. Ecosystems are self-sustaining, which means everything that each living member of the ecosystem needs can be found within the ecosystem and that all of the functions of the ecosystem are continuous.

Ecosystems rely on natural balance A wetland ecosystem is not only made up of the living creatures in the ecosystem, but it also includes the water and the chemicals in the water (for example: whether the water is fresh, salty or brackish), the soil and the air. All of these factors are necessary for maintaining the health of the ecosystem. If the water is drained from an area, the removal of that important component of the ecosystem will have an effect on everything else in that environment. Likewise, if something is introduced, like pollutants or excess salt water it will also become a problem for the ecosystem.