Ecology Definitions. Kakapo. Takahe

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Anthony Dove

72196 Introduction to New Zealand Ecology

Assignment 1

Task 1

Ecology is the study of ecosystems and environment. The first definition of ecology was provided by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel describes ecology as – 'The body of knowledge concerning the economy of nature - the total relations of the animal to both its inorganic and organic environment.'(History of Ecology,(n.d.)). A more complete and modern definition is given by the Cory Institute of Ecosystems Studies, their definition is as follows: The scientific study of the processes influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms, the interactions among organisms and the interactions between organisms and the transformation and flux of energy and matter.(Cory Institute of Ecosystems Studies n.d.). This definition is somewhat less concise than Haeckel’s original and perhaps more fitting to ecology as we know it now, better defining the broad scope and complexity of ecology as a science and ecosystems in general. In broad terms ecology could be defined as the study of life forms, their relationships and interactions with each other and the environment in which they live and any influences, be they natural or otherwise, on these as a whole or in part.

Cory Institute of Ecosystem Studies. (n.d.). Defining ecology. Retrieved March 2nd, 2011, from History of Ecology summary. (n.d.) Ecology, History of. Retrieved March 2nd, 2011, from

According to biology online, an ecosystem is defined as: A system that includes all living organisms (biotic factors) in an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) functioning together as a unit. (Ecosystem n.d.) Ecosystem then is the term used to describe the living community of creatures in a certain area, its non-living...
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