Examples of integral ecology
We could easily continue talking about the branches of ecology throughout this article, since there are even fields of study or disciplines that some authors define as branches of this area of biology. However, we wanted to share with you the most important ones and, above all, those that are mainly relevant to life on Earth.
Do you know of any other branch of ecology that you think should be added? If so, share it in the comments and briefly explain what it is about so that we can continue to expand our knowledge about ecology and its interactions with the environment.
What is ecology?
We are at a key moment for our planet and society is becoming more and more aware of it. 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: habitat destruction, 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?
Examples of applied ecology
This level of ecological organization is the most primary, where the basic units to be studied by ecology can be found. The organisms that comprise this level are independent of each other at the physiological level, even if there are more than one individual of the same species, as examples of the levels of ecological organization, in the case of the first level that studies only the individuals or organisms, we can find as examples a hummingbird (Trochilidae) or a poplar (Populus). At this level, we try to study or understand the relationships that individuals have with the environment in which they live, since the environmental conditions are not always the same and, sometimes, they are not the most favorable. The morphology, physiology and behavior of individuals are also studied. To learn more about individuals, you can read these other articles on What are unicellular and multicellular living beings with examples and The difference between autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms.
Ecosystem simply means ‘ecological systems’. Ecology is defined as the study of ecosystems. Ecologists study the interaction of all organisms in an ecosystem. The study includes complex interactions between thousands of plants and animals to the role of microbes living under the soil and the effects of the rainforest on the Earth’s atmosphere.
Ecology is a science (branch of Biology) that studies living things; and their interactions with the environment where they live. It is a word derived from Greek, where “oikos” means house and “logos” means study.
Ecology is a branch of biology concerned with understanding how organisms relate to each other and to their environment. This branch of biology is primarily concerned with the relationships between organisms, their relationships with each other, their relationships towards shared resources, their relationships with the space they share, and even their relationships with non-living aspects of the environment.