WHAT IS ECOLOGY?
The word ECOLOGY has come to the forefront of human consciousness and has become a commonly used household word. It has come to be recognized as a science which helps to integrate some of the fundamental concepts of civilization. Ecology has emerged as a science of survival Ecology was formed from two Greek words [Gk: oikos; home and logos; the study of ] –First coined by Earnst Haechel (1869). Ecology therefore means the study of an organism in its natural home. Odum (1963) defined ecology as the study of structure and function of nature or the study of inter-relationships between organisms and their environment.
ECOLOGY AS A COURSE:
Ecology is part of Biology because it deals with life –probing into the secrets of various levels living systems–organism, population. It is a multidisciplinary science that uses the tools of other discipline to explain natural observed phenomena.
WHO IS AN ECOLOGIST?
An Ecologists is a Physiologists-as such ecology may be interpreted as EXTERNAL PHYSIOLOGY of an organism and physiology as INTERNAL ECOLOGY of an organism An Ecologists must be familiar with physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, climatology, soil science, statistics, and closely allied areas as taxonomy, morphology, histology, genetics, physiology and ecology
WHAT DOES HE DO?
She/he seeks with the aid of several instruments both simple and sophisticated to determine the processes and energy transfer and cycling of elements in nature. He/she strives to provide a greater depth of understanding and an insight into how the world works.
HIS TOOLS: Here are some of his tools, though the list is not exhaustive: tracer methodology, spectrometry, colorimetry, chromatography, remote sensing, mathematical modelling, computer technology
BASIC ECOLOGICAL CONCEPTS
There are 4 basic principles of ecology”
1. The system of ecology is huge (ecosystem) and it contains a network of interrelations of its parts.
2. These interrelated network is inclusive of a structure that contains both the abiotic and biotic composition (environment).
3. The networks present in the ecological system have a control of the energy flow and also in the flow of nutrients.
4. Energy from our solar system has a control over the flow of all the nutrient and energy.
ECOLOGY SEEKS TO EXPLAIN
·Life processes and adaptations
·Distribution and abundance of organisms
·The movement of materials and energy through living communities
·The successional development of ecosystems
·The abundance and distribution of biodiversity in context of the environment
Emanating from these 4 basic principles are many basic ecological concepts developed in order to study this complexity: Habitat; Population; Territories; Community; Ecosystem
- Teacher: Daba Misgana