• Ecology is the branch of biological science concerned with the relationships and interactions between living organisms and their physical surroundings or environment. Ecology comes from the Greek words oikos (house or place where one lives) and logos (study of). Ecology means the Study of the “House” in which We Live. The term ecology was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919). Ecology can be defined more specifically as the “Study of the interactions between organisms and the non-living components of their environment. (Or) “Study of interrelationship between the organism and Environment”

    • Living organisms and the environment with which they exchange materials and energy together make up an ecosystem, which is the basic unit of ecology. An ecosystem includes biotic components – the living plants and animals and abiotic components – the air, water, minerals, and soil that constitute the environment. A third and essential component of most natural ecosystems is energy, usually in the form of sunlight.
    • Familiar examples of land-based or terrestrial ecosystems include forests, deserts, jungles, and meadows. Water-based or aquatic ecosystems include streams, rivers, lakes, marshes, and estuaries. There is no specific limitation on the size or boundaries of an ecosystem. A small pond can be studied as a separate ecosystem. A desert comprising hundreds of square kilometers or even the entire surface of earth can be viewed as an ecosystem.

    • Structural units of ecology: For many ecologists the basic structural units of ecological organization are species and populations. A biological species consists of all the organisms potentially able to interbreed under natural conditions and to produce fertile offspring. A population consists of all the members of a single species occupying a common geographical area at the same time. An ecological community is composed of a number of populations that lie and interact in a specific region.

    • Environment, Ecology and Ecosystem: Environment, Ecology and Ecosystem are three different terms. But they are interrelated. The natural surroundings of an organism, both living and physical are its environment. Light, Water, Air, Land etc., are our physical surroundings. Humans, Rats, Lizards, Dogs etc are our living surroundings. Scientists believe that natural environment is a better word to use given the common use of the word environment.

    • It is a basic fact that the Earth includes a tremendous variety of living things which depend in some way on other living and nonliving things in its Environment. Definitely, as an organism, camel has a relationship with its environment. Humans have a working relationship with cows, chickens, bees etc. This study of how the existence and activity of organism influences its environment and the vice versa is ecology. Ecosystem is a large geographical area where both biotic and abiotic components interact with each other. Eg. Desert, Ocean, Sea etc.

Last modified: Thursday, 29 March 2012, 7:33 PM