What is environment and ecology?

Difference between ecology and environment pdf

“Ecology” and “environment” may seem to be synonymous concepts, and in fact on many occasions we use them interchangeably. Without going any further, environmental and ecological care allude to the same idea of protecting nature; however, there are significant differences that we must know in order to use them properly and better understand the contexts in which they are used because, despite their similarities, the difference between ecology and environment is important. Here, in EcologíaVerde we reveal the details about their main differences.

If we turn to the dictionary, as is usual in these cases, we find that the RAE gives us guidance on the meaning of the word “ecology” when it refers in its first meaning to “The science that studies the relationships of living beings among themselves and with their environment”. The second meaning, on the other hand, includes the sociological concept, in which it alludes to the relationship between groups and their environment understood from a broad approach. A third meaning of the word “ecology”, also of interest to us, speaks of the “defense and protection of nature and the environment”, i.e., on the one hand, ecology is a science that studies the different relationships that are established between living beings and between them and their environment, while on the other hand it orients this study to their protection.

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Ecology

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).

Similarities between ecology and environment

The term ecology came into use in the mid-19th century.    In 1963, Howard Thomas Odum defined ecology as the study of the structure and functioning of nature, with emphasis on the idea that living organisms grouped together to function as a biological unit or ecosystem.

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Since it is not possible to study all the interrelationships of the planet at the same time, ecology deals with them mainly at three levels of integration: that of populations, communities and the ecosystem, which is the broadest group of the three.

Everything that affects a living being and conditions its growth is known as environment. It comprises all the natural, social and cultural values that prevail in a given place and at a given time. Everything that happens in the environment influences the life of human beings and future generations. All activities and actions carried out by human beings have a direct or indirect impact on other living beings, water, soil or air.

Ecology and environment pdf

The environment is the space in which the life of different organisms develops, favoring their interaction. It contains living beings as well as lifeless elements and others created by the hand of man.

As for the non-living elements, known as abiotic factors, they are essential for the subsistence of living organisms and make up the physical space of the environment, being the basic components of the ecosystem, i.e., water, air and soil. As for the artificial ones, created by human beings, it is worth mentioning traditions, urbanization or culture. The sum of all of them makes up the environment.

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Everything related to the environment is studied by ecology, a branch of biology specializing in living beings and their interaction with the environment. The specialists of this discipline have in the forestation a fundamental question, since the trees fulfill vital functions for great part of the existing fauna and for the human beings. So much so that they are the main producers of oxygen in terrestrial ecosystems.