Ecology is the study of organisms, environment and how the organisms interact with each other and their environment. It also includes geography, biology, and earth science. Ecology is a branch of science including human science, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere.
Ecologists primary goal is to improve their understanding of life processes, adaptations, interactions and biodiversity of organisms.
Ecosystem consists of
- Biotic components
Biotic components are living factors of an ecosystem. Few examples of biotic components include bacteria, animals, birds, fungi, plants, etc.
- Abiotic components
Abiotic components are non-living chemical and physical factors of an ecosystem. These components could be acquired from the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. Few examples of abiotic components include sunlight, soil, air, moisture minerals, and more.
Living organisms are grouped into biotic components whereas non-living components like sunlight, water, topography are listed under abiotic components.
Ecological study levels
It is the study of interactions among earth’s ecosystems, atmosphere, land, and oceans. It helps in understanding the large-scale interactions and their influence on the planet.
It is the study of exchange of energy, organisms, materials and other products of ecosystems. Landscape ecology throws light on the role of human impacts on the landscape structures and functions.
It is the study of the entire ecosystem which includes the study of living and non-living components and their relationship with the environment. This science research how ecosystems work, their interactions etc.
It is the study of how community structure is changed by interactions among living organisms. Ecology community is made up of two or more populations of different species living in a particular geographic area.
It is the study of factors that change and impact the size and genetic composition of the population of organisms. Ecologists are interested in fluctuations in the size of a population, growth of a population and any other interactions with the population.
In biology, a population can be defined as a set of individuals of same species living in a given place at a given time. Births and immigration are the main factors that increase the population and death and emigration are the main factors that decrease population. Population ecology examines population distribution and density. Population density is the number of individuals in a given volume or area. This helps in determining whether particular species is in endanger or its number is to be controlled and resources to be replenished.
Organismal ecology is the study of individual organisms behavior, morphology, physiology etc. in response to environmental challenges. It looks at how individual organisms interact with biotic and abiotic components. Ecologists research how organisms are adapted to these nonliving and living components of their surroundings. Individual species are related to various adaptations like physiological adaptation, morphological adaptation, and behavioral adaptation.
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