Types of Ecology, Its Branches & Classification

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Ecology is the scientific study of how living things interact with each other and their natural environment.

The Word Ecology is the combination of two Greek words; “Oikos” which means, Home and the “Logos” which means Knowledge or study.

Ecology addresses the complex and diverse relationships of living organisms with their environment from various perspectives.

Why to Study Ecology?

  • Ecology is essential in providing the information on how the world works. It also provides facts on the interdependence between the natural world and people.
  • A better understanding of ecological systems can help us understand the global and regional consequences of competition among humans for the scarce natural resources that support us.

Listed below are different types of ecology

  1. Behavioral Ecology
  2. Population ecology
  3. Community Ecology
  4. Community Ecology

Organism /physiological/ behavioral ecology

physiological/ behavioral ecology.

It focuses on how the living organisms (animal and plants) react to biotic and abiotic factors in their environment; physiology, morphology and behavior. Physiological ecology on animal focuses on the whole-animal function and alteration to ever-changing environments. These alterations have a tendency to maximize the fitness of animals (their capacity to survive and reproduce successfully).

The physiological processes studied are temperature regulation, nutrition, water and metabolism on energy and energetic and response to environmental stresses. These environmental factors may include nutrition, disease, climate variation and toxic exposure.

For instance, animal’s heat and mass balances are affected by the climate thus these changes affect how bodies regulate temperatures. On the other hand, physiological ecology on plants emphasizes on understanding how plants deal with environmental variation at the physiological intensity, and on the pressure of resource limitation growth, metabolism and reproduction of individuals. They also deal with plants populations, gradients and different communities and  ecosystems.

Related Article: Types of Ecosystem

Population ecology

What is population Ecology

It deals with studies of structure and dynamics of populations. That is; factors that affect population and how and why a population varies over time. A population ecologist studies the interrelations of organisms with their environments by gauging properties of populations rather than the behavior of the individual organisms.

Among the properties of population studied is population size, population density, patterns of dispersion, demographics, dynamics, population growth and restraints on growth of This ecology is vital in upkeep of biology, particularly in the progress of PVA (population viability analysis) which allows the forecasting of long-term possibility of a species persevering in a particular locale such as a national park.

Community Ecology

community ecology study

This deals with the interactions between organisms that is, the feeding relationships among species, or who helps who, who competes with whom and for what resources and how those interactions affect community structure (the organization of a biological community with respect to ecological interactions).

Community ecologist investigates the factors influencing community structure, biodiversity, and the distribution and abundance of species. These factors include the interrelations with the non living world and different collections of interrelations that take between species. The primary focus of community ecology is on predation, herbivory, competition and parasitism and mutualism.

Ecosystem Ecology

study of ecosystem ecology

Ecosystem is a community of living organism that is, animals, plants and microbes together with abiotic components of their environment (such components include things like water, air and mineral soil) interrelating g as a system.

The studies of ecosystem includes the study of certain processes that link the living (biotic components) to the non-living (abiotic components). These components are said to be joined together via nutrient sequences and energy flows.

BRANCHES OF ECOLOGY

Ecology is divided mainly in two branches, which are…….

Autecology

The branch of ecology that discuss about the relationship of an organisms to its environment.

Syncecology

The branch of ecology that discuss about the connection of different classes animals and plants to their common environment.

Classification of Ecology

The classification of ecology into other disciplines allows a detailed and meticulous approach to all the elements and interactions that can be registered between living beings and their environment.

There are some other branches, according to different environmental status, habitat, taxonomy which are:

Microbial ecology, refers to the branch of ecology that studies microorganisms in their natural habitat.

Mathematical ecology: applies the methodology of mathematical science to address the problems arising from the relationship of living beings with their environment. It forms the basis for the formulation of the theoretical statements of ecology.

Ecology of recreation: It studies the ecological relations between the human being and the nature in the recreational context. It is of great importance for sustainable tourism and the proper management of natural protected areas for leisure purposes.

Ecology of the Landscape: It is focused in the study of the impact that the human groups can generate on the natural landscapes being the man a powerful enticing agent of the physical-ecological dynamics of its surroundings.

Habitat Ecology

A. Aquatic Ecology

  1. Fresh water ecology
  2. Saltwaterecology

B. Terrestrial Ecology

  • (I) Conservation ecology
  • (II) Production ecology
  • (III) System ecology
  • (IV) Human ecology
  • (V) Space ecology
  • (VI)Radiation ecology
  • (VII) Taxonomic ecology

On the planet there are different types of ecosystems (aquatic, natural, terrestrial, aerial and maritime), if we unite each and every one of the existing ecosystems, the whole of all would be called ecosphere.

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