What is the Definition of Ecology explain?
Scientists use the term ecology to refer to the study of the relationships between organisms, and the relationships between organisms and their environment. The public often uses another term, "environment," interchangeably with ecology. Strictly speaking, the term "environment" refers to the sum total of all the biotic (biological) and abiotic (physical factors) that affect a living organism.
The term ecology is derived from the Greek word oikos, which means "house" or "place to live." In the past, most scientific study was oriented toward how the environment, or physical factors, affected the living organisms. Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, published in 1962, made it all too apparent that living organisms, especially humans, have a significant effect on the environment as well.
Scientists study ecology at different levels. Some ecologists concentrate on how a given species responds to physical factors. They might attempt to determine specific limits of an organism's tolerance of different environmental factors, or carry out experiments to define the physical conditions that promote optimum growth and reproduction. This area, called physiological ecology, emphasizes the experimental aspects of ecology.
Scientists also study ecology at the population level. A population is usually defined as all of the individuals of the same species that live in a given area. For instance, we can speak of the population of humans in New York City, or the population of moose on Isle Royale, Michigan. Population dynamics, the study of how populations interact with other populations and the environment, reveals the role, or niche, occupied by a population within an ecosystem. Population size and growth reflect key processes that are happening in an ecosystem, and this information is useful in predicting change.
Community ecology looks at all of the populations within a given area and how they interact. For instance, a lake community would involve studying the phytoplankton, zooplankton, filter-feeding fish, carnivorous fish, amphibians, birds, parasites, all of the invertebrates, decomposers, aquatic plants, as well as animals such as beavers, and muskrats. Understanding community interaction often leads to a clearer picture of how populations evolve.