Basic ecology Definition
Ecology is a stream of science that deals with many aspects concerning how the living and non-living components of the environment interact with each other and portions of the population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere.
Overview of Basic Ecology
Ernst Haeckel was the first one to coin the term ‘ecology’. An ecosystem is formed by both biotic or living and abiotic or nonliving components. A.G. Tansley coined the term Ecosystem. There can be many different types of ecosystems like the natural or artificial ecosystem, terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, large or small ecosystems, permanent or temporary ecosystems, and complete or incomplete ecosystems. The main reason for studying ecology is to understand the interaction of the biotic and abiotic components with each other, and their influence on biodiversity, biomass, distribution, cooperation, and competition between the species. The study of various connections between the abiotic ecosystems are dealt with under global ecology. In landscape ecology, the actions of humans on various components of nature, organisms, structures of landscapes, and other various influences are studied. The study of the ecosystem and its parts are dealt under ecosystem eology. Many different causes could bring about genetic diversity and alter the size of a population or bring about other changes to it. Population ecology deals with the study of all sorts of population density and distribution. The study of various characteristics such as the morphology and physiology of an individual organism and the adaptations they bring about to adjust to their surroundings fall under organismal ecology. Every organism exerts certain influences on another organism and the relationships of competition, mutualism, predation, parasitism, and cooperation are exerted by these living organisms. The behavior of animals is best studied in the field of behavioral ecology, while the physiological component of an organism’s function and behavior is best studied in the domain of physiological ecology. Molecular ecology is a relatively modern subject, and the development and advances in the field of molecular biology have been used to solve the problems of ecology.
Subdivisions of Ecology:
Many things can be considered or spoken of when talking about ecology because it is such a wide subject. One might deal with just the ecological role of an individual organism or in a broader sense deal with the entire global ecosystem and the role it plays. However, individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems are the four major domains or subdivisions that the ecologists investigate. At the individual level, the response of each individual to the biotic and abiotic environment is of concern. At the population level, the fluctuations in the levels of organisms and their abundance in nature are of concern. When many populations of different species are interacting together in a specific area, the study of communities is of particular interest. Lastly, the conjunction of the abiotic environment with the biotic environment makes up the ecosystem, and the food chains, food webs, biogeochemical cycles, energy transfer and flow and other important stuff are of interest at this level.
Few aspects related to Ecology:
There must be the fitness of each organism to produce offsprings that are viable and ensure the continuation of future generations. Different individuals vary in their relative fitness, and genetic and environmental influences bring about variation in the different populations. Natural selection or survival of the fittest is a natural process by which only the fittest individuals will be selected to carry forward the future generations. The presence of heritable traits allows an organism to survive, reproduce, and adapt. There are various environmental conditions to which an organism responds, and there are resources that each organism utilizes as their food or as per their needs. With the constantly changing environmental variations, organisms maintain a constant internal environment by homeostasis. Homeostasis is usually maintained by negative feedback loops. The term tolerance is used to refer to the coping capability of organisms to extreme environmental conditions. Ecological Niche is the position an organism takes up in the environment and the resources they utilize. The entire space an organism occupies when the competition is absent is called the fundamental niche, and the space an organism occupies when there is predation and competition is called the realized niche. Various niches are present in a habitat. Habitat is the physical environment that is taken up by an organism.