We are at a key moment for our planet and society is becoming increasingly aware of this. We recently learned that climate change is consolidating as the main concern of citizens on a global scale. In view of this situation, we must not confuse two different but complementary disciplines, both of which are key to facing the environmental challenges we face today. Their names are similar and are sometimes used interchangeably: ecology and environmentalism. In the same way that we are very familiar with politics but very little with political science, we know or have heard many ecologists but very few ecologists. Let’s see what is what, how they are similar and how they are different in order to get our global concern for the health of the planet on the right track.
Ecology also aims to answer complex questions that in an ecological context could help to conserve endangered species – what are their main threats: the destruction of their habitat, pollution, overfishing… – and to halt the exorbitant loss of global biodiversity, since it allows us to identify those key species of a particular ecosystem on which many others depend. Ecology also allows us to provide solutions to questions related to land management, such as: what characteristics correspond to forests with a greater capacity to adapt to forest fires or climate change?
Human Ecology studies human life and activity in the ecosystems our species occupies at present and in those it has occupied in the past. It focuses on the biocultural interaction of humans with their environment and explains why culture is the main environmental factor capable of modifying the physical and biological environments of ecosystems, of modulating the expression of the biological processes of the species that coexist in them, including our own, and of conditioning their future trends.
It is the product of the biological evolution that characterizes us as a species, the result of the functional expression of our brain, capable of conceptualizing, originating and storing complex behaviors. Culture thus encompasses the set of social behavior patterns that are transmitted from generation to generation by learning, rooted in the traditional value systems of each population, determining individual and collective behaviors, which are expressed through conceptual or material creations, such as class and gender relations, or the construction and use of tools and technological innovations and artistic expressions, which differ in space and are transformed over time.
General ecological questions
Respect for the environment, the quality and safety of the food we consume and animal welfare are some of the aspects demanded today by consumers, who are concerned about the impacts generated by certain intensive agricultural and livestock production systems. On the other hand, the progressive decrease in productivity together with the increase in production costs is causing an evident loss of agricultural incomes, so there are more and more farmers and stockbreeders in our province interested in production systems that increase the profitability of the farms, while responding to these consumer demands.
From the Department of Agriculture and Livestock of the Provincial Council of Zamora we are working on the promotion of Organic Agriculture, a production system that meets all these objectives and is a sustainable alternative for the province of Zamora. In this publication we try to answer the 20 most frequently asked questions that may arise for those interested in converting their farm to Organic Production.
Ecology is the science that studies the relationship between living beings and the environment in which they develop, how they are distributed and the reason for their abundance in a given area, and how these properties are affected by the interaction between organisms and their environment. The environment includes the physical properties that can be called the sum of local abiotic factors, such as climate and geographic features, and the other organisms that share that habitat (biotic factors).
Ecology is the science that aims to study the relationship established between living things and the environment in which they develop, just as studying how they are distributed and why of their abundance in a given area, and how those properties are affected by the interaction between organisms and their environment. The environment includes the physical properties that can be called as the sum of local abiotic factors such as climate and geography, and other organisms that share that habitat (biotic).