I do not actually dislike the analogy to ecosystems but what I find problematic is the use of the term (a) as though everybody intuitively understands what the term means and (b) that there is only one 'ecosystem' framework.
The key question you should ask whenever you read (...) ecosystem is what are we talking about.
EcosystemsThe first thing to consider is that the study of ecosystems is incredibly complex with a huge variety of sub-topics - boundary definitions, to ecosystem types (forests, deserts and marine etc), tropic levels, food webs system productivity, disturbance and resilience etc etc.
So parameters matter?
- energy into the system (sun) and water converted into other matter (plants)
- biomass - accumulation of living matter
- productivity - conversation of energy