Who is the father of ecology?

Eugene p. odum

The Prussian biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), a popularizer of Charles Darwin’s work, was responsible in 1886 for creating the term “ecology” in his work “General Morphology of the Organism”.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the Dutchman Anton van Leeuwenhoek, known for his improvements in the manufacture of microscopes, contributed his grain of sand to ecology with the definition of the concept of “trophic chains”.

For Haeckel, ecology was the science that studied the relationship between living beings and their environment. He later extended this meaning to the study of the characteristics of the environment, including the transport of matter and energy, as well as their transformation by biological communities.

Ecology is the study of the distribution and abundance of living things, and how these properties are affected by the interaction between organisms and their environment. The environment includes physical properties that can be described as the sum of local abiotic factors, such as climate and geology, and the other organisms that share that habitat (biotic factors).

Paul r. ehrlich

Ecology evolved from the natural history of the ancient Greek philosophers, such as Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Theophrastus, laying the foundations of ecology in their studies of natural history. The later foundations for modern ecology were laid in the early work of plant and animal physiologists. Evolutionary concepts of adaptation and natural selection became cornerstones of modern ecological theory, transforming it into a more rigorous science in the 19th century. It is closely related to evolutionary biology, genetics and ethology. Understanding how biodiversity affects ecological function is an important area of focus in ecological studies.

Haeckel originally understood ecology as the science that studies the relationships of living things to their environment, but later extended this definition to the study of the characteristics of the environment, which also includes the transport of matter and energy, and their transformation by biological communities.

Branches of ecology

These characters of Ancient Greece left numerous writings in which they expressed their ideas about what today is known as the foundations of ecology. In fact, thanks to Aristotle and Hippocrates, the history of ecology began to be related even to genetics and natural evolution.

Of French origin, René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur focused his studies on physics and botany, being in this branch of biology where he had special involvement with living beings, especially insects. Ferchault produced numerous works, however, the most influential was the result of his observation of the physical characteristics and behavior of different types of insects.

Anton van LeeuwenhoekA native of the Netherlands, he is included in the historical background of ecology because of his role in the main science of ecology: biology. He started as a merchant and, during his youth, had access to his first microscope, a tool that changed his life.

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Considered the father of geography and ecology, he was the first to speak of man-made climate change, deforestation and other concepts that are so current today. On his 250th birthday, Germany and the American countries he visited between 1799 and 1804 evoke his legacy as a precursor of environmentalism.

Both are a historical vindication of the lost stage of a journey through American lands that laid the foundations of concepts so basic today, but then so unassailable, as geography, ecology, ecosystem or even climate change.

The Guayaquil of that time, a city of some 12,000 inhabitants within the Viceroyalty of New Granada, was where the Prussian researcher synthesized his Geography of Plants scheme, in which he stratified by heights everything he had found about the flora, fauna and mineral world, along with other components such as temperature, pressure and water currents, explains to Efe the Ecuadorian historian Melvin Hoyos.