top of page
  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas


Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas SEPTEMBER. 15, 2020

[41-365] 15th September 2020- I spotted this group of ferns today, which are growing on a down-pipe in the middle of our busy High Street. I must have walked past them a hundred times without noticing them so I wondered what the term for a habitat like this would be. I have settled with microecosystem after a bit of research with my trusty computer mouse.

According to Wikipedia,"microecosystems can exist in locations which are precisely defined by critical environmental factors within small or tiny spaces.

Such factors may include temperature, pH, chemical milieu, nutrient supply, presence of symbionts or solid substrates, gaseous atmosphere (aerobic or anaerobic) etc."

So I reckon from that definition I can call this a microecosystem. In any case I think it is a glorious contribution from nature to our High Street "shopping microecosystem" of butchers, bakers, and cafes.

Our "shopping microecosystem" is precisely defined by a Fish and Chip shop at one end and the local newspaper office at the other. If you saw it I think you would agree that as shopping microecosystems go ours is tiny. It has critical environmental factors in that it is coastal and attracts tourists to it. This has produced quite a profusion of maritime shopping artefacts like lamps in the style of Lighthouses. It has a mild maritime climate and a chemical composition of Sodium Chloride or salty air. The pavements are mostly granite so fairly solid as substrates go, and the gaseous atmosphere of pungent coffee wafts from several doorways, just as the warm croissants act as the nutrient supply. There is also a whiff of anaerobic bacteria from the seaweed when the tide is out.

So maybe I discovered two microecosystems today. One inside the other.

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page