Note on Ecological Hierarchy, History and Scope of Ecology

  • Note
  • Things to remember

Ecological Hierarchy:

Biosphere:

It is the study of the relationship of all ecosystems on earth.

Ecosystem:

It is the study the both biotic (living) & abiotic (non-living) components of that area: Interrelationships between physical factors (water, soil etc.) and the biota.

Community:

It is the study of all living organism (biota) in an area: Predators, prey, competitors, diseases, food supply etc.

Population:

It is the study of the individuals of a species in a given area: Interactions, Fluctuations, Range.

Species (organism):

It is the study of the characteristics which enable the success of the species: genetic, behavioral, physical, physiological.

Biosphere:

Biosphere or ecosphere is the layer of the earth which includes the earth's entire living organism interacting with the physical environment as a whole so as to maintain a steady state system intermediate in the flow of energy between the high energy input of the sun and the thermal sink of space.

Auto-ecology & Synecology:

Auto-ecology deals with the study of the individual organism or an individual species. Life histories & behavior as a means of adaptation to the environment is usually emphasized. Synecology is the study of groups of an organism which are associated together as a unit. Thus, if a study is made of a relation of a white oak tree or a wood thrush to the environment, the work would be auto-ecological in nature & if the study concerned the forest in which oak or the wood thrush lives, the approach would be synecological.

History and Scope of Ecology:

Human has been intersected in ecology in a practical sort of way since early in his history. In primitive society every individuals to survive, needed to have definite knowledge of his environment i.e. of the forces of the nature of the plants and animals around him. Civilization, in fact, begins when man learned to use free & other tools to modify his environment.

History: In all phases of learning, the science of ecology has had a gradual development during recorded history. In primitive Society every individuals to survive, needed to have definite knowledge of his environment i.e. of the forces of nature of the plants & animals around him. Civilization,in fact, beings when man learned to use free & other tools to modify his environment.

History:

Like all phases of learning, the science of ecology has had a gradual development during recorded history. The writing of Hippocrates Aristotle’s & other philosopher of the Greek period contains materials which are clearly ecological in nature. The word ecology is recent coinage having been first proposed by German biologist Ernst Haeckel in 1969. Before this, many of the great men of the eighteen and nineteen centuries had contributed to the subject even though the label “ecology” was not in use. For eg, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, best known is a pioneer microscopist of the early 1700s, also pioneered the study of “food chains” & “population regulation”, two important areas of ecology. The word ecology is derived from the Greek word Oikos, meaning house or place to live & logos meaning “study of”. Literally, ecology is the study of organisms “in their home”. Usually, ecology is defined as the study of the relation of the organisms or group of organisms to their environment. According to E.P Odum (1963), ecology is the study of the structure and function of nature because ecology is concerned with the biology of the group of an organism with a functional process on lands, in the ocean & in the fresh water.

Scope of Ecology:

The scope of ecology is very vast and varied. A good knowledge of ecology is necessary as it is becoming applicable to more & more aspects of agricultural science& in different fields of human efforts. The behavior of the organism in a given environment can be explained by making use of data obtained from a number of sources such as morphology, soil science, physiology, taxonomy, genetics etc. Many practical applications of ecology have been applied in a fishery, toxicology, forestry, pest control, public health, limnology etc.

Moreover, ecology is directly connected with some ecological problems like food control, soil conservation, rapid human growth, urbanization pollution control, soil erosion, deforestation, town planning etc.

Workers in agricultural research whose problems are largely ecological are dependent on ecology. A knowledge of ecological principles helps in discovering a new source of food, new non-polluting sources of energy such as solar energy& new methods of pest controls such as biological controls.

Ecology plays an important role in crop rotation, weed management & conservation of natural resources. The destruction of forests results loss of valuable wild lands and loss of valuable animals due to soil erosion & all these can be checked by applying the ecological techniques i.e. soil management ( to control landslides and soil erosion), forestation.

Grassland ecosystem and wetland ecosystem. (2055)

Grassland Ecosystem:

  • These are the communities with limited moisture or water content.
  • There are three types of grassland ecosystem i.e.

A: Tall grassland (5 to 8)ft tall.

B: Mid grassland (2 to 4) ft tall.

C: Short grassland (0.5 to 1.5) ft tall.

  • Examples grasshoppers, snakes, birds, lizards, bees wasp etc. lies in grassland ecosystems.

Wetlands ecosystem:

  • The effects of water are all important in determining the type of wetland ecosystem.
  • There are four types of wetland ecosystem i.e.

A: Marine wetland ecosystem

  1. Mangrove swamps
  2. Salt marshes

B: Flood land ecosystem

C: Swam & marsh ecosystem

D: Bog ecosystem

  • Examples crocodiles, large carnivorous, alligators, sea birds, reptiles and amphibians lies in wetland ecosystem.

Autotrophic & Heterotrophic nutrition

Autotrophic nutrition:

Autotrophic organisms are those which produce their food themselves by absorbing sunlight, water etc. & the feeding mechanism of this organism is called autotrophic nutrition. In this, minerals are directly obtained from nature.

Heterotrophic nutrition:

Heterotrophic nutrition is the nutrition which is obtained from producer & other. In these minerals and other compounds is obtained from nature as well producer and from organisms.

References:

E.p., Odum. Fundamentals of Ecology. USA: W.B Saunters Company, n.d.

Jr., Miller G.T. Living in the Environment. Belmont, California, USA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2003.

Grassland Ecosystem:

  • These are the communities with limited moisture or water content.
  • There are three types of grassland ecosystem i.e.

  A: Tall grassland (5 to 8)ft tall.

  B: Mid grassland (2 to 4) ft tall.

  C: Short grassland (0.5 to 1.5) ft tall.

  • Examples grasshoppers, snakes, birds, lizards, bees wasp etc. lies in grassland ecosystems.

Wetlands ecosystem:

  • The effects of water are all important in determining the type of wetland ecosystem.
  • There are four types of wetland ecosystem i.e.

A: Marine wetland ecosystem

  1. Mangrove swamps
  2. Salt marshes

B: Flood land ecosystem

C: Swam & marsh ecosystem

D: Bog ecosystem

  • Examples crocodiles, large carnivorous, alligators, sea birds, reptiles and amphibians lies in a wetland ecosystem.
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