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Ecosystem

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"Believe me, Seven, one look at that big blue marble, and you'll fall in love. It's got just about every ecosystem you can think of, and hundreds of different humanoid species live there."
– Harry Kim, about Earth, 2374 ("Hope and Fear")

An ecosystem is a community of lifeforms and their environments connected to each other. In an ecosystem, the living and non-living things interact by exchanging energy and recycling nutrients.

An ecosystem might encompass a contained area like the Millennium Gate, (VOY: "11:59") or an ecosystem might be an entire celestial body. The Mikhal Traveler Nakahn claimed to have landed his ship on a living creature so massive it supported its own ecosystem. (VOY: "Darkling")

Ecosystems could be damaged by internal factors such as pollution, (TNG: "True Q") or by external factors like on Penthara IV, which was struck by an asteroid. (TNG: "A Matter of Time") Metagenic weapons were designed to destroy entire planetary ecosystems. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I") The Nacene accidentally caused the destruction of the ecosystem of the planet Ocampa. In 2356, a metreon cascade wrecked Rinax's ecosystem, resulting in an endless frigid winter and the deaths of approximately 300,000 Talaxians. (VOY: "Jetrel", "Friendship One")

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