The biosphere is a big ecosystem consisting of a complex community of living and nonliving organisms that work together as a single unit.

Scientists demarcate different spheres to describe the Earth. The lithosphere is the Earth’s solid surface layer. Above the lithosphere is the atmosphere, which is a layer of air. The hydrosphere is made up of the water on the Earth’s surface, in the ground, and in the air.

The biosphere encompasses all three domains of land, air and water since life exists on land, air and water. Although the biosphere spans around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from top to bottom, practically all species may be found between 500 metres (1,640 feet) below sea level and 6 kilometres (3.75 miles) above sea level.

Definition of Biosphere 

The biosphere, often known as the ecosphere, is the totality of all ecosystems on the planet. It is also known as the Earth’s life zone. In terms of matter, the biosphere is essentially a closed system with few inputs and outputs.

Origin of Biosphere 

The biosphere has existed for nearly 3.5 billion years. Prokaryotes, the earliest life forms in the biosphere, were able to thrive without oxygen. Single-celled organisms like bacteria and archaea are considered prokaryotes. As a result of a chemical reaction developed by some prokaryotes, they were able to use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into simple sugars and oxygen, a process known as photosynthesis. Because these photosynthetic organisms were so numerous, they altered the ecosystem. The atmosphere evolved a mix of oxygen and other gases that may support new life forms over time.

The addition of oxygen to the biosphere allows for the evolution of more sophisticated life forms. Hundreds of millions of plants and other photosynthetic organisms arose. Plant-eating animals (as well as other animals) have evolved. Bacteria and other organisms have developed to break down and decompose dead animals and plants.

This food network benefits the biosphere. Plants and animals that have died discharge nutrients into the land and seas. Plants re-absorb these nutrients as they grow. The biosphere is a self-sustaining and self-regulating system because of this exchange of food and energy.

The biosphere is frequently referred to as a single big ecosystem, consisting of a complex community of living and nonliving organisms that work together as a single unit. The biosphere is also frequently described as having several ecosystems.

Biosphere Reserves

Biosphere reserves are referred to as learning environments for sustainable development. They serve as test beds for transdisciplinary approaches to understanding and regulating changes in social and ecological systems, as well as conflict resolution and biodiversity management. They are locations that offer local solutions to global problems. Terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems are all included in biosphere reserves. Each site encourages methods that balance biodiversity conservation with long-term use.

Local communities and NGOs are primarily involved in the planning and maintenance of Biosphere Reserves. They combine three primary functions:

  • Biodiversity preservation 
  • Cultural diversity
  • Logistic assistance underlying development through research, monitoring, teaching, and training

There are currently 727 biosphere reserves in 131 countries around the world. Yangambi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the site of the first biosphere reserve. Yangambi, located in the lush Congo River Basin, is home to 32,000 tree species as well as indigenous species, including forest elephants and red river hogs. Sustainable agriculture, hunting, and mining are all supported by Yangambi’s biosphere reserve.

Yayu, Ethiopia, is home to one of the newest biosphere reserves. Agriculture has been developed in the area. Honey, lumber, and fruit are all grown on a regular basis. Yayu’s most profitable and important resource is an indigenous plant called Coffea arabica from which a type of coffee is available. Yayu has the world’s greatest supply of wild Coffea arabica.


The biosphere is a relatively small layer of Earth’s surface that supports life, stretching from a few kilometres into the sky to deep-sea vents. The biosphere is a worldwide ecosystem made up of living organisms (biota) and the nonliving (abiotic) components that provide them with energy and nutrition. In a broad sense, the biospheres is a closed, self-regulating system that contains the ecosystem. Artificial biospheres, such as Biosphere 2 and BIOS-3, as well as biospheres on other planets or moons, fall into this category.


Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the BPSC Examination Preparation.

Why do we require the biosphere?

Ans. The biosphere offers the environment required for survival. Adaptation to the biosphere’s environment is ...Read full

How does the biosphere support life?

Ans. The biosphere aids in the recycling of nutrients such as oxygen and nitrogen  to keep life on Earth going. All...Read full

How is carbon stored in the biosphere?

Ans. Plants and trees store carbon in the biosphere. During photosynthesis, plants use carbon dioxide from the envir...Read full

How does the biosphere affect the flow of energy and matter on Earth?

Ans. The biosphere receives energy in the form of sunshine. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert th...Read full

What activities can affect the biosphere?

Ans. Deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels have negative environmental consequences that directly impact the...Read full