Each day the sunrises and we begin our daily grind, we inevitably will be in touch with the ecology that surround us. When we run the water to brush our teeth and take our showers, when we get in our vehicles and drive to work, when we come home and check our email on our computers, when we call our friends on our cell phones, and when we dispose of our trash throughout our day.
Ecology is the study of our earth – it’s relationships with organisms and their environment, and how those relationships affect the planet. There is a lot we can do as a species to help our environment sustain itself. And a great way to begin is to get educated.
Ecosystems Ecology / Breaking it Down
An ecosystem is defined as the existing set of relationships between living organisms, habitats and the residents of a region. Ecology is a methodical and scientific study of the processes that bear directly upon the distribution and abundance of living resources, the interactions among themselves and their habitats, and the transformation, utilization, and flow of energy and matter.
Ecosystems ecologists study and investigate energy flux and material distribution throughout the ecosystem. They also investigate the impact that physical and chemical inflows have on these ecosystems.
Wikipedia defines ecosystems ecology as an integrated study of the biotic and abiotic components and their interactions within the framework of the ecosystem. This is a science that examines how ecosystems function and their relationships with their components such as animals, plants, bedrock, chemicals, and soil.
The precise definition of an ecosystem is an iffy business. Take a part of a forest with a stream. It would be difficult to delineate it in space or to make a theoretical model of it.
This section of forest might include two distinct ecosystems. The first one is the aquatic one that may include fish, algae, and insects. The second one is the distinct terrestrial one which may include trees, plants, and animals.
Individual Yet Separate
These ecosystems might have every appearance of being distinct and separate but still they interact intimately. Some insects may be aquatic for part of their lives or may require water for reproduction. Trees of course need the water to survive. When streams flood and deposit nutrients in areas which would otherwise be considered part of the terrestrial community, the distinction becomes even more difficult.
An Inter-Disciplinary Field
This means that the study of ecosystems and ecosystem ecology is inherently an inter-disciplinary field. Individual ecosystems are made up of communities and populations or organisms that interact with other communities and contributing to the flow of nutrients, materials, and energy. The principal unit of study of ecosystems ecology is the ecosystem.
Ecosystem ecology is a direct descendant of terrestrial ecology. The last 100 years has brought rapid evolution in the ecosystems concept. One of the important contributors to the concepts of ecology was Frederick Clemens. He was a botanist who wanted specific definitions for ecosystems.
He also argued that physiological processes were responsible for their development and persistence. Although Clemens’ ideas were later revised by subsequent ecologists, his concepts and ideas regarding physiological processes are fundamental to ecosystem function and structure is still the central concept of ecology today.
For more information on ecology and keepin’ it green just use the following links: