Ecology, the study of the relationship of plants and animals to their physical and biological environment. The physical environment includes light and heat or solar radiation, moisture, wind, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients in soil, water, and atmosphere. The biological environment includes organisms of the same kind as well as other plants and animals.
Because of the diverse approaches required to study organisms in their environment, ecology draws upon such fields as climatology, hydrology, oceanography, physics, chemistry, geology, and soil analysis. To study the relationships between organisms, ecology also involves such disparate sciences as animal behavior, taxonomy, physiology, and mathematics.
An increased public awareness of environmental problems has made ecology a common but often misused word. It is confused with environmental programs and environmental science (see Environment). Although the field is a distinct scientific discipline, ecology does indeed contribute to the study and understanding of environmental problems.
The term ecology was introduced by the German biologist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel in 1866; it is derived from the Greek oikos (“household”), sharing the same root word as economics. Thus, the term implies the study of the economy of nature. Modern ecology, in part, began with Charles Darwin. In developing his theory of evolution, Darwin stressed the adaptation of organisms to their environment through natural selection. Also making important contributions were plant geographers, such as Alexander von Humboldt, who were deeply interested in the “how” and “why” of vegetational distribution around the world.
DEFINE 10 ECOLOGY -- Noun
The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. The study of the interaction of people with their environment. More info - Wikipedia - Dictionary.com - Answers.com - Merriam-Webster
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of"[A]) is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment, such as the interactions organisms have with each other and with their abiotic environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass), number (population) of organisms, as well as competition between them within and among ecosystems. Ecosystems are composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and various niche construction activities, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits, and the variety of organisms is called biodiversity. Biodiversity, which refers to the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.
a. The science of the relationships between organisms and their environments. Also called bionomics. b. The relationship between organisms and their environment. 2. The branch of sociology that is concerned with studying the relationships between human groups and their physical and social environments. Also called human ecology. 3. The study of the detrimental effects of modern civilization on the environment, with a view toward prevention or reversal through conservation. Also called human ecology.
http://www.caryinstitute.org/discover-ecology/definition-ecology of ecosystem studies 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.
Stanford Encyclopedia of...
Bibliography: The Importance of Ecology in Today’s Society
Sep 6th, 2011 by Alex Boehrer
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