Existence in the world is made up of living and non living things. The two groups have to coexist in order to share the resources that are available within the environmental ecosystem. To understand about this mutual co relationship we need to study and understand ecology.
We are all part of the ecosystem.
Ecology is defined as the scientific study of interactions of organisms (both biotic and abiotic) with one another within the physical and chemical environment. Ecology involves use of scientific methodology via lab experiments to understands how the different organisms grow, populate, how they interact with other organisms either as parasites, predators, how the organisms die out as well as how they evolve or adapt to changing climatic and environmental situations.
Importance of Studying Ecology
The study of ecology is all about connections. By carefully using the principles of ecology, we can learn to predict, extinguish, counteract and prevent potentially adverse effect we might have on the globe around us.
Ecology is a wide field that encompasses all life forms in the earth thus their are different types of ecology. These include:
Organism Ecology: This studies how different living organisms respond to stimuli caused by physical environment. The organisms adapt to the environment by either embracing or shying away from its effect. A change in the physical environment will show a change in behavior or physical attributes e.g. an animal physically will escape an unfriendly environment and a plant will grow away or halt germination in an unfriendly territory.
Population: All Organisms grow and die. How they will populate will be influenced by factors such as size of the colony, birth and death rate, population growth rate as well as ‘survival for the fittest. Thus the most dominant species will always reign supreme on the weaker species.
Community: All organisms dwell in a common ecology having both flora and fauna. In this ecology, either a food web or food chain their exists a strata detailing the type of species and the role it plays in the ecosystem. Whether a Parasite, a predator or a food source, each plays a key role to create harmony in the ecology. Competition, mutualisms are key to establishing and maintaining a community.
Ecosystem: Living and non living things interact with the atmosphere, energy sources, temperature, water in a capacity to recycle, regenerate, consumption or production. This ensures the energy flow cycle is kept in harmony.
Global: Ecology controls how the resources are used and allocated worldwide.
It is paramount to study Ecology because:
- Environmental Conservation: By studying ecology, emphasis is put on how each species needs the other for peaceful coexistence. Lack of understanding ecology has led to degradation of land and environment which is home to other species thus leading to extinction and endangerment of species because of lack of knowledge e.g. dinosaurs ,mammoth, white shark ,black rhinos , sperm whales etc.
- Resource allocation: All the plants and animals need to share limited natural resources such as air ,minerals, space and environment .Lack of ecological know-how has led to deprivation and looting of these natural resources leading to scarcity as well as exploitation and competition.
- Energy Conservation: All species require energy whether light ,radiation ,nutrition etc. Poor understanding of ecology is seeing the destruction of the energy resources e.g. Non renewable sources like oil, coal, natural gas and also pollution and destruction of the Ozone layer.
- Eco Friendliness: Ecology helps to appreciate harmonious living among the species; this will ensure natural order of things is followed.
Ecology is featuring as the key talk in world forums as the world tries to mitigate the destruction that is already rife in the ecosystem. Talks and forums are held to push for the world to embrace ecology, reserve and conserve the ecosystem. Kyoto protocol, green energy, Energy star appliances, Renewable energy, animal and energy conservation, anti poaching, equitable mineral allocation, good and ethical mining practices have become norm in the current ecosystem.