Ecology is the study of the relationships of living organisms and their natural or developed environment. It is also the study of how elements of an ecosystem affect each other. Ecologist apply their knowledge to study ways in which we can sustain biodiversity in plants, animals, and all ecosystems.
Ecologists are the scientists who study ecology. They investigate interactions between organisms and their environment. They also study what affects a certain habitat or environment. Some ecologists focus on habitat while others focus on population. They also teach others about ecology and to appreciate the world we have.
Ecology covers many topics such as political ecology, behavioral ecology, population ecology, ecophysiology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, systems ecology, landscape ecology, and evolutionary ecology. Ecology can also be divided into fields of interest like animal ecology, plant ecology, insect ecology etc.
Ecology and Biodiversity
Ecologists work hard to help preserve biodiversity around the world. Ecologists perform many jobs such as monitoring the number of species in an environment, watching for changes in plant and animal populations, and looking for the causes of any changes. Ecologists also research how species interact with each other.
Ecologists also work with local populations to help them learn about any biodiversity issues in their area and how to preserve diversity. They talk about the relationship between habitat destruction and conservation.
As part of monitoring species, ecologists have to know the science behind biodiversity monitoring. They also record the information they gather in databases that they have to keep up to date.
The History of Ecology
Eugenius Warming founded ecology as a scientific discipline. Ecology is a rather new science. It became prominent in the 1960’s. Warming wasn’t the only one who founded ecology. Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, founded modern taxonomy, the science of identifying and naming species. Some historians say the true origins of ecology are from Charles Darwin, an English naturalist.
German biologist Ernst Haeckel, who was influenced by Darwin, provided a name for ecology. Tons of people came together to make ecology what it is today.
Topics in Ecology
Just like I said before, ecology has many topics.
|Political ecology is the study of how decisions made by governments around the world, the development of the world economy, and the way people live affect the environment.
|Behavioral ecology is the study of how environmental changes affect animal behavior and how animals adapt to their environment.
|Population ecology is a topic which deals with the changes of populations within species, and the interactions of these populations with environmental factors.
|Ecophysiology also known as environmental physiology studies the adaptation of organism’s way of living to environmental conditions.
|Community ecology studies the distribution, abundance, makeup of populations living together and how they relate to each other, like predator-prey relationship.
|Ecosystem ecology studies both the living and non-living parts of an ecosystem and how they affect each other.
|Systems ecology studies an entire ecosystem and finds out how each part in the ecosystem behaves as a whole.
|Landscape ecology studies an area of land that has interesting patterns like forests, grasslands, lakes, hills, mountain ranges or valleys and how these patterns change over time by ecological processes.
|Evolutionary ecology studies ecology by focusing on evolutionary histories of species and the interactions between them.
- The English word ecology comes from the Greek oikos-logos - meaning the study of the wider "house."
- Every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees!
- Earth is 2/3 water, but all the fresh water only represents one hundredth of one percent.
- You use about 12,000 gallons of water every year.
- The garbage in a landfill stays for about 30 years.
- One gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water.
- Approximately only 10 percent of every landfill can be cleaned up.