We explain what ecology is and what are the applications and objectives of this science. In addition, its characteristics and classification.
Ecology is the branch of biology dedicated to the study of the relationships between the various groups of living beings in an ecosystem and even between several ecosystems .
This means attending to both the biological, chemical and statistical conditions of life , as well as the physical, chemical, geographic, climatic and even geological conditions of the environment where said life takes place.
Although environmental preservation and defense of the environment form part of the interests and applications of ecology, it should not be confused with environmental militancy or environmental struggle.
Ecology dates back to the earliest observations of ancient philosophers , whose interests included understanding nature and the forces that govern it, as much as physics, chemistry , and other natural sciences .
Ecology is one of the branches of biology that has more practical applications. These include conservation and environmentalism , wetland and natural resource management , urban planning , community health, economics , human social interaction, and other basic applied sciences.
Ecologists are a necessary part of the planning of industrial and post-industrial processes, politics , agriculture, ranching, and even extra-planetary scientific exploration.
The term ecology arose in 1869 in the work of the Prussian philosopher Ernst Haeckel , and is made up of the Greek words oikos (“house, home”) and logos (“word”, “study”). In this sense, a first definition of ecology would be “the study of homes”.
Ecologists, in their different possible specializations, try to give a scientific explanation to:
Initially, ecology was thought of as a science concerned with the relationships between living beings and their respective environments and with each other, but this definition was expanded to encompass precisely the study of the environment.
This also implies the transport of energy and matter , their transformation by biological communities, and everything that is necessary to understand it in its necessary complexity and vastness.
One of the common figures of ecology is the trophic chain , that is, the food chain , around which the different existing forms of life are organized.
This chain supposes a balance in the flow of matter and energy between them, which operates in a balanced, equitable and interdependent manner between the species, which are linked to each other in the following way:
Ecology studies living beings based on their organizational levels or ecological levels, which represents a scale of observation of the processes between living beings. These levels are:
There are two kinds of factors that intervene in the processes studied by ecology, and they are:
One of the most important concepts in recent times of the application of ecology to industrial and urban planning is the ecological footprint. This can be understood as the concrete representation of the environmental impact that an activity, operation, product or work can generate, considering the specific elements of its location, its characteristics and its consequences.
Ecology involves some specific disciplines, such as:
A brief list of well-known ecologists and world-renowned works includes names such as Alexander von Humboldt , the famous explorer and naturalist, or even Charles Darwin , who proclaimed the evolutionary theory of the origin of life, or Ernst Haeckel himself. . But also those of the Spanish and pioneer in his country Fernando González Bernáldez, or Ramón Margalef, or the Mexican Miguel Ángel de Quevedo.
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