Ecology Essay Ideas

  • Writing Essays
  • Writing Research Papers
  • English Grammar
  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

Ecology is the study of the interactions and reciprocal influence of living organisms within a specific environment. It's usually taught in the context of biology, though some high schools also offer courses in Environmental Science which includes topics in ecology.

Ecology Topics to Choose From

Topics within the field can range broadly, so your choices of topics are practically endless! The list below may help you generate your own ideas for a research paper or essay.

Research Topics

  • How are new predators introduced into an area? Where has this happened in the United States?
  • How is the ecosystem of your backyard different from the ecosystem of another person's backyard ecosystem?
  • How is a desert ecosystem different from a forest ecosystem?
  • What is the history and impact of manure?
  • How are different types of manure good or bad?
  • How has the popularity of sushi impacted the earth?
  • What trends in eating habits have impacted our environment?
  • What hosts and parasites exist in your home?
  • Pick five products from your refrigerator, including the packaging. How long would it take for the products to decay in the earth?
  • How are trees affected by acid rain?
  • How do you build an ecovillage?
  • How clean is the air in your town?
  • What is the soil from your yard made of?
  • Why are coral reefs important?
  • Explain the ecosystem of a cave. How could that system be disturbed?
  • Explain how rotting wood impacts the earth and people.
  • What ten things could you recycle in your home?
  • How is recycled paper made?
  • How much carbon dioxide is released into the air every day because of fuel consumption in cars? How could this be reduced?
  • How much paper is thrown away in your town every day? How could we use paper that is thrown away?
  • How could each family save water?
  • How does discarded motor oil affect the environment?
  • How can we increase the use of public transportation? How would that help the environment?
  • Pick an endangered species. What could make it go extinct? What could save this species from extinction?
  • What species have been discovered within the past year?
  • How could the human race become extinct? Describe a scenario.
  • How does a local factory affect the environment?
  • How do ecosystems improve water quality?

Topics for Opinion Papers

There is a great deal of controversy about topics that link ecology and public policy. If you enjoy writing papers that take a point of view , consider some of these:

  • What impact is climate change having on our local ecology?
  • Should the United States ban the use of plastics to protect delicate ecosystems?
  • Should new laws be enacted to limit the use of energy produced by fossil fuels?
  • How far should human beings go to protect ecologies where endangered species live?
  • Is there ever a time when natural ecology should be sacrificed for human needs?
  • Should scientists bring back an extinct animal? What animals would you bring back and why?
  • If scientists brought back the saber-toothed tiger, how might it impact the environment?
  • 100 Persuasive Speech Topics for Students
  • The Definition of a Marine Ecosystem
  • Cultural Ecology
  • What Is Physical Geography?
  • What Is Marine Conservation?
  • The National Geography Standards
  • What Date Is Earth Week? How to Celebrate
  • 67 Causal Essay Topics to Consider
  • Social Studies Research Project Topics
  • Environmental Science Fair Projects
  • Global Climate Change and Evolution
  • Writing a Paper about an Environmental Issue
  • High School Science Fair Projects
  • Is There Any Upside to Global Warming?
  • What Is Seaweed?
  • Biotic vs. Abiotic Factors in an Ecosystem

If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains * and * are unblocked.

To log in and use all the features of Khan Academy, please enable JavaScript in your browser.

Biology library

Course: biology library   >   unit 28.

  • Interactions between populations
  • Interactions in communities

Ecological interactions

  • Niches & competition
  • Predator-prey cycles
  • Predation & herbivory
  • Community ecology

Want to join the conversation?

  • Upvote Button navigates to signup page
  • Downvote Button navigates to signup page
  • Flag Button navigates to signup page

Great Answer

essay on ecology and ecosystem

  • The Open University
  • Guest user / Sign out
  • Study with The Open University

My OpenLearn Profile

Personalise your OpenLearn profile, save your favourite content and get recognition for your learning

About this free course

Become an ou student, download this course, share this free course.

Introducing the environment: Ecology and ecosystems

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

You should now understand that:

Ecology is a scientific approach to the study of the biosphere.

Ecosystems are created by the interrelationships between living organisms and the physical environments they inhabit (land, water, air). Ecosystems require a source of energy to make them work and for most, although not all, this is light from the sun.

To study ecosystems we have to start to identify the components involved and the interrelationships between them. We can list the living organisms by identifying the species involved.

Food chains and food webs are a way of mapping one type of interrelationship between the organisms in an ecosystem.

Human beings are part of ecosystems, as well as manipulators of ecosystems. As such we are dependent on, as well as responsible for, the ecological health of the ecosystems we inhabit.



Ecology is the study of the environment, and helps us understand how organisms live with each other in unique physical environments.

Biology, Ecology

Elephant at pond

Watering holes like this attract a wide variety of creatures and offer a unique glimpse into the diverse ecology of the surrounding region.

Photograph by Stuart Black and Alamy Stock Photo

Watering holes like this attract a wide variety of creatures and offer a unique glimpse into the diverse ecology of the surrounding region.

Ecology is the study of organisms and how they interact with the environment around them. An ecologist studies the relationship between living things and their habitats. In order to learn about the natural world, ecologists must study multiple aspects of life ranging from the moss that grows on rocks to the wolf population in the United States' Yellowstone National Park. In order to research the environment, scientists ask questions, such as: How do organisms interact with the living and nonliving factors around them? What do organisms need to survive and thrive in their current environments? To find the answers to these questions, ecologists must study and observe all forms of life and their ecosystems throughout our world.

In addition to examining how ecosystems function, ecologists study what happens when ecosystems do not function normally. Changes in ecosystems can result from many different factors including diseases among the organisms living in the area, increases in temperature, and increased human activities. Understanding these changes can help ecologists anticipate future ecological challenges and inform other scientists and policymakers about the challenges facing their local ecosystems.

Ecology first began gaining popularity in the 1960s, when environmental issues were rising to the forefront of public awareness. Although scientists have been studying the natural world for centuries, ecology in the modern sense has only been around since the 19th century. Around this time, European and American scientists began studying how plants functioned and their effects on the habitats around them. Eventually, this led to the study of how animals interact with plants, other animals, and shaped the ecosystems in which they lived. Today, modern ecologists build on the data collected by their predecessors and continue to pass on information about the ecosystems around the world. The information they gather continues to affect the future of our planet.

Human activity plays an important role in the health of ecosystems all around the world. Pollution emitted from fossil fuels or factories can contaminate the food supply for a species, potentially changing an entire food web. Introducing a new species from another part of the world into an unfamiliar environment can have unintended and negative impacts on local lifeforms. These kinds of organisms are called invasive species. Invasive species can be any form of living organism that is brought by humans to a new part of the world where they have no natural predators. The addition or subtraction of a single species from an ecosystem can create a domino effect on many others, whether that be from the spread of disease or overhunting.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Production Managers

Program specialists, specialist, content production, last updated.

October 19, 2023

User Permissions

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. They will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to them, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.

If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.

Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service .


Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources

Ecosystem Essay

Introduction, results and discussions, reference list.

The sum of all living organisms residing in an ecological environment forms a community. In the community, the living and non-living factors interact in a manner that ensures balance in the environment.

The aspect of the living organisms-both plants and animal, sharing an environment forms an ecosystem. An ecosystem is always in a dynamic state of evolution (Newman 2000).

The world consists of several ecosystems. These different ecosystems are defined according to their unique characteristics. Several factors are responsible for the different characteristics observed in the ecosystems. These factors are either weather and climate or the living organisms that occupy the specific environment.

An ecosystem should provide an environment that supports the complex relationships of all the life forms that reside within it (Newman 2000). This work seeks to exclusively describe the characteristics of the ecosystem of Melbourne area in Australia.

Melbourne occupies the South-Eastern part of Australia and borders the ocean. based on the Koppen climate classification model, the climate of the area is described as oceanic.

To the East, the area is situated in an intersection of magma and intermediate stones from the Precambrian period. It lies along Yarra River and boarders the Dandenong ranges to the East.

To the West, Melbourne borders Marybyrnong River that flows along the foothills of the Macedon ranges. These ranges have flat volcanic planes that proceed up to the beach front.

The topography of the area map.

(Waterwatch Victoria 2012)

The map shows the topography of the area.

Vegetation types

The area has a diverse plant community courtesy of the favourable weather. The coast consists of scrub family, dominated by the coast banksias. In the inland foreshow regions, woodland dominates. On the contrary, plenty of manna gum dominates the eastern side. Finally, the grassy woodland dominates the basalt-North (Newman 2000).

One of the most outstanding ecosystems in the Melbourne area is the wetlands. The Ramsar convention on wetlands added Port Philip wetland and the Bellarine Peninsula to its list.

Port Philip wetland is very significant in terms of the biodiversity it supports along the coastal region. It supports an approximated 580 species of plants. At the same time, the animal species occupying the ecosystem is estimated to be over 300.

Data collection

Use of quadrats

In the ecological research of the ecosystems in the Melbourne area, several data collection methods were employed. These methods included the following:

Quadrat method

A quadrat, made up of a metal square, of different sizes was randomly thrown in an identified area. The plant species within the quadrat were counted and recorded as indicated in the table below. A second area was systematically identified and the quadrat method used again to collect data on the species within the quadrat.

Eventually, a tally of the various identified species was conducted. The quadrats varied in terms of size. The four square quadrats used all had an area of 1, 2, 4 and 8 M 2 respectively.


The various plant and animal species residing within each quadrat were observed and recorded based on their morphological characteristics. These characteristics were then described for each plant or animal.

A quadrat method helps describe a representative sample of a given ecosystem.

The tables below depict the results of the plant species observed. Area 1

Biotic components

From the data, it is important to note that the number of most species increased depending on the size of the sample area. This is shown in the figure below.

Specie Richness graph.

Interaction between biotic and abiotic components

Both plants and animals in Melbourne have been adversely affected by the soil structure of the area. The Northern part, which is majorly rocky, has the least animal population compared to the other areas that contain rich soils. In fact, the area recorded very limited plant population.

The rocky surface in Northern part of Melbourne, prevents water from reaching the plant roots. The plants, on the other hand, develop deep roots that crack the large rocks to smaller pieces so that the underlying rocks are eventually weathered.

Energy flow

Primary producers:

Primary producers are organisms that make their own food using simple compounds; they are mainly plants (Newman 2000). From the data, the most common primary producer was the grass specie number 4. Some grass species were shorter with very green leaves resembling blades, while others were much taller. Specie number 3 was very short and had long reddish brown leaves.

Primary consumers:

Primary consumers directly feed on the plants for example the herbivores and browsers. The short brown hare and a possum were observed in this category. These consumers feed on the barks, roots, and the flowers of plants.

Secondary consumers:

Those animals that feed on plant materials directly form the trophic level of secondary consumers. Secondary consumers feed directly on herbivores or browsers. Several examples were observed as listed below:

  • Red foxes that preyed on some bird species.
  • Frog mouthed owls that fed on some species of birds and possums
  • White’s skink that fed on small invertebrates.

Tertiary consumers

No tertiary consumers were observed. However, the presence of the vultures could not be ruled out especially in Northern Melbourne.

Food chain.

Chemical cycling

Coastal areas have plenty of dead plant materials especially the leaves. The wetlands contain plenty of decaying plant roots and leaves in the water (Widdowson 2007). In the soil, the top layer where the leaves are rotting have thick humus as compared to inner layers.

Micro-organisms are involved in the saprophytic breakdown of the plant materials into smaller absorbable units. These microorganisms are likely to be the saprophytic bacteria. They break down the complex dead matter into smaller units absorbable by plants (Specht & Specht 1999).

This report gives detailed study of the ecosystem of Melbourne area in Australia. It describes the unique characteristics of the area as well as the species interactions.

Newman, EI 2000, Applied ecology and environmental management , Blackwell Science, Oxford, Eng.

Specht, RL & Specht, A 1999, Australian plant communities: dynamics of structure, growth and biodiversity , Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

Waterwatch Victoria 2012, Melbourne Region Waterwatch Program. Web.

Widdowson, M 2007, “Laterite and Ferricrete”, in D Nash & S McLaren (eds), Geochemical Sediments and Landscapes , Blackwell, Malden, MA, pp.46-94.

  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2019, April 21). Ecosystem.

"Ecosystem." IvyPanda , 21 Apr. 2019,

IvyPanda . (2019) 'Ecosystem'. 21 April.

IvyPanda . 2019. "Ecosystem." April 21, 2019.

1. IvyPanda . "Ecosystem." April 21, 2019.


IvyPanda . "Ecosystem." April 21, 2019.

  • Climate Change Is the Biggest Challenge in the World That Affects the Flexibility of Individual Specie
  • Osprey, Pandion Haliaetus: Specie Overview
  • The Golden Lion Tamarin: Specie Status
  • Consumerism Positive and Negative Aspect
  • Tourism and Ecosystem
  • The Impact of Tourism on the Ecosystem
  • Organisms in Terrestrial and Aquatic Environments
  • Grassland Ecosystem and the Energy Flow in the Ecosystem
  • Follow Us On:
  • Google Plus
  • Publish Now

Biology Discussion

Essay on Ecosystem | Environment

essay on ecology and ecosystem


Read this essay to learn about ecosystem. After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Meaning of Ecosystem 2. Nature of Ecosystem 3. Structure 4. Functions 5. Types 6. The Laws of Thermodynamics and Energy Flow 7. Ecosystems Dynamics and Successional Process 8. Ecosystem Disturbance 9. Regulation 10. Material Cycle 11. Productivity 12. Conservation and Management.

Essay Contents:

  • Essay on the Conservation and Management of Ecosystem

Essay # 1. Meaning of Ecosystem:

An ecosystem is a functional unit of nature, where living organisms interact among themselves and also with their surrounding physical environment. The term ‘Ecosystem’ was coined by AG Tansley (1935). Ecologist considers the entire biosphere as a global ecosystem comprised of many ecosystems on the earth varying in size from a small pond to a large forest or a sea.

Ecosystem can also be defined as an interactive system, where biotic and abiotic components interact with each other via energy exchange and flow of nutrients. Crop fields and an aquarium are considered as man-made ecosystems.

Essay # 2. Nature of Ecosystem:

Ecosystems consist of living organisms and material environments of soil, air and water, and occur at a variety of scales. As with all systems the ecosystem is composed of a series of inputs, processes or stores and outputs. Although various components within it may change, it is usually maintained in a state of balance, called dynamic equilibrium.

This stability is due to homeostatic mechanisms, which work rather like the thermostat in a heating system. In an ecosystem, changes thus, may be shown by feedback, which is ability of the output to control the input.

The organisms living on the earth’s surface constitute the biosphere and are found in the air (atmosphere), on land (lithosphere) and in water (hydrosphere). At a global scale, land environments with similar plant and animal communities for natural regions or biomes.

Each biome may be di­vided, at a variety of scales, into ecological sys­tems or ecosystem. Each ecosystem has a unique range of species forming its biological diversity or biodiversity.

A.G. Transley (1935) defined an ecosystem for the first time as follows-

“A particular category of physical systems consisting of organisms and inorganic compo­nents in a relatively stable equilibrium, open and of various lands and sizes”.

However, the current definition is as follows-

“Ecosystem consists of structured webs or systems at a range organism and their material environments of soil, air and water. These com­ponents are linked by movements of energy and nutrients”.

Essay # 3. Structure of Ecosystem :

The term ‘structure’ refers to the various compo­nents which combine to produce an ecosystem. These may be divided into living or biotic compo­nents and non-living or abiotic components. An outline is shown in Fig. 4.1.

Schematic representation of a ecosystem components

The Biotic Component—Producers, Consumers and Decomposers :

The living organisms in an ecosystem collectively form its community or population. Each organ­ism interacts with others forming relatively simple food chains and complex food webs. Each stage in the food chain is called a tropic level. Energy and nutrients pass through the tropic level, as vari­ous organisms are in turn eaten by other organ­isms of higher tropic order.

The producers are the autotrophs, thus forms the first tropic level. These are mainly green plants and photosynthetic bacteria, all of which can carry out photosynthe­sis. In marine and other fresh water bodies micro­scopic algae (phytoplankton) as producer.

Producers form the food for the consumers (or heterotrophs). The consumers are of differ­ent tiers. Primary consumers or herbivores form the second tropic level, feeding directly on the pro­ducers. In land based ecosystems they will include grazing and browsing animals such as antelope, elephant and giraffe, together with plant eating insects and birds.

But in aquatic ecosystems, molluscs such as mussels and zooplankton which feed on phytoplankton are the main primary consum­ers.

The third trophic level comprises the second­ary consumers or carnivores, which feed on the herbivores. A fourth tropic level, the tertiary con­sumers, who are also carnivores may occur. Some of the higher level consumers, for example bears, eat both plants and animals, and are called omnivores.

There are several different groups of sec­ondary and tertiary consumers:

1. Predators are those, which hunt, capture and kill their prey.

2. Carrion feeders consume dead and dying animals.

3. Parasites live on their host animals.

The decomposers and detrivores form an­other major component of the biotic structure of an ecosystem. After plants and animals die, they and their waste products arc decomposed by saprophytic microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. Very small decomposing fragments form detritus, which is then fed on by small animals, detrivores, including earthworms and woodlice.

Abiotic Component or Habitat Concept :

Individuals, species and populations, both marine and terrestrial, tend to live in particular places. These places are called “habitats”. Each habitat is characterised by a specific set of environmental conditions – radiation and light, temperature, moisture, wind, fire frequency and intensity, grav­ity, salinity, currents, topography, soil, substratum, geomorphology, human disturbances and so forth.

Habitats come in all shapes and sizes, occu­pying the full sweep of geographical scales. They range from small (microhabitats) through medium (mesohabitats) and large (macrohabitats), to very large (mega habitats).

Microhabitats are a few square centimeters to a few square meters in area. They include leaves, the soil, lake bottoms, sandy beaches, tall slopes, wall, river banks, and paths. Mesohabitats have areas up to about 10,000 km 2 ; thus is a 100 x 100 kilometer square, which is about a small district.

Each main mesohabitat is influ­enced by the same regional climate, by similar fea­tures of geomorphology and soil, and by a similar set of disturbance regimes. Macrohabitats have area up to about 1, 00,000 km 2 , which is about the size of a country. Mega habitats are regions more than 1,000,000 km 2 in extent. They include conti­nents and the entire land surface of the Earth.

Diverse forms of organisms live in virtually all environments, from the hottest to the coldest, the wettest to the driest, the most acidic to the most alkaline. But there are special requirement for each organisms and also tolerance limits too.

For every environmental factor (viz., temperature and moisture) there is a lower limit below which a species cannot live, an optimum range in which it thrives and an upper limit above which it cannot live.

The upper and lower bounds define the toler­ance range of a species for a particular environ­mental factor (Fig. 4.2). Each species (or race) has a characteristic tolerance range. Stenoecious species have a wide tolerance; euryoeciuos species have a nar­row tolerance.

All species, regardless of their tol­erance range, may be adopted to the low end (oligotypic) to the middle (mesotypic) or to the high end (polytypic) of an environment gradient (Table 4.1).

Environmental characteristics of tolerance species in water bodies

Essay # 4. Functions of Ecosystem :

There are two major functions within an ecosys­tem the transfer of energy through and the recy­cling of nutrients within the ecosystem.

i. Energy Flows in Ecosystem :

Photosynthesis is the process by which light energy from the sun is absorbed by green plant, cyanobacteria and other photosynthetic bacteria. It is then used to produce new plant cell material, which forms the food source for plant eating ani­mals (herbivores).

Plants are able to convert light energy and inorganic substances (CO 2 , H 2 O and various mineral substances) into organic (carbon based) molecules through the process of photo­synthesis are called phototrophs or autotrophs.

The basic reaction is as follows:

6CO 2 + 12H 2 O → C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 + 6H 2 O

Carbon dioxide + Water → Glucose + Oxygen + Water

The energy thus produced in the form of or­ganic molecules by photosynthesis will pass through the food chains and food webs of an eco­system, with some of it being stored as chemical energy in plant and animal tissue. Some of it will be lost from the system, as respiration (heat en­ergy) and excreta products.

The total amount of energy lost, from all the trophic levels in an eco­system through respiration, forms the community respiration. Energy is lost at each level in the food chain, with the average efficiency of transfer from plants to herbivores being about 10 per cent and about 20 per cent from animal to animal (Fig.4.3).

As a result of the loss of energy at each transfer between trophic levels, ecosystems are usually lim­ited to three or four trophic levels. The actual num­ber will depend upon the size of the initial autotroph (producer) biomass, and the efficiency of energy transfer between the trophic levels.

Energy flow through an ecosystem

ii. Nutrient (Gaseous or Biogeochemical) Cycles :

The nutrients or elements used by all organisms for growth and reproduction are termed essential elements. Among the essential elements some are required in large quantity. They are termed as macronutrients or major nutrients viz., carbon (C), hy­drogen (H), Oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), phospho­rus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S).

However, there are about others 30 elements which are also essential but required in small quantity viz., iron (Fe), manga­nese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and cobalt (Co) etc. They are called trace elements.

The nutrients required by plants are obtained as inputs either from the atmosphere through vari­ous gaseous cycles or in precipitation, or from the soil via the weathering of parent rock, through several biogeochemical or sedimentary cycles. The two types of cycle are interrelated, as nutrients pass from abiotic nutrient stores, such as the soil and the atmosphere, into biotic, plant and animal stores (the biomass).

The nutrients are then recycled, within the ecosystem, following death and decom­position (Fig. 4.4). Nutrients are lost, as outputs, by surface runoff, leaching through the soil pro­file or the removal of plant, animal, leaf litter or soil material. The concept of the recycling of nu­trients between three compartments or stores is shown in Gersmehl’s Model (Fig 4.5).

Simplified model of the biogeochemical nutrient cycle

Some distinctive features of elemental cycles are described separately.

(a) Carbon Cycle :

In the living world carbon is the major element that constitute the organic molecules viz. carbo­hydrates, protein, fat, vitamin and other second­ary metabolites. Carbon is available as gaseous el­ements in atmosphere as CO 2 , CO, CH 4 , C 2 H 2 and various other volatile gas forms. Carbon is also present as carbonate, bicarbonate in water and soil.

Soil also possesses organic carbon originating from decomposition of biomass. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is fixed by green plant through photosyn­thesis as organic molecules. Carbon dioxide may also be absorbed by water and soil to form car­bonate and bicarbonate salt.

Carbon dioxide is formed through organic decomposition, volcanic eruption, burning of fos­sil fuel or woods or biomass. Over the years, glo­bal imbalance in carbon cycle took place. This is primarily due to source sink disharmony. As a consequence global warming associated process accelerated over the years. A simplified model of carbon cycle is shown in Fig. 4.6.

The carbon cycle

(b) Nitrogen Cycle :

Like carbon, nitrogen is another important essen­tial elements. In atmosphere nitrogen mostly re­main as gas viz. N Ξ N, NO 2 , NO, N 2 O, NH 3 and other nitrogenous volatile gases. In soil and water nitrogen remain as nitrate, nitrite or ammonium salts. Most of the plant absorb nitrogen from soil nitrate or nitrite and then converted to organic forms.

There are a couples of instances, where atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by the nitrogen fix­ing bacteria in free state or symbiotic association stage with legumes. Organic materials on decom­position releases nitrogen gas and NH 3 or nitrate or nitrite into the soil. On fuel burning nitrogen oxide gas also formed and released into the na­ture. An over view of nitrogen cycle is shown in Fig. 4.7.

Nitrogen cycle - a simplified model

(c) Sulphur Cycle:

Sulphur is also another major essential elements. In atmosphere sulphur remain as SO 4 , SO 3 , H 2 S and in other allied forms. In soil and water it remains as- SO 4 , SO 3 , HSO 3 or insoluble sulphate rich rocks/sediments. Major sources of sulphur is the volcanic eruption or rock disintegrations. Fossil fuel burning leads to SO 2 production. A diagrammatic representation of sulphur cycle is shown in Fig. 4.8.

Sulphur cycle - a model

(d) Mineral Cycle :

There are a number of metallic minerals viz, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Mb, Ni, Co, Cd etc. which are very essential for life. Most of these minerals are absorbed from soil/water by producer and subse­quently they spread to various categories of con­sumers through food chain.

In the biological forms all the minerals are released to soil by decomposi­tion. Excess quantity of minerals however may be toxic to the life forms. An overview of mineral cycle is shown in Fig. 4.9.

The mineral cycle

Essay # 5. Types of Ecosystem:

I. forest ecosystem:.

It is one of the major productive natural terres­trial ecosystems of the world.

The forest ecosys­tem varies widely in different climatic zones.

A number of climatic, edaphic and physiographic factors regulates the types and composition of for­est ecosystem.

The major types of forest ecosystem are as follows:

1. Tropical Rain Forests:

It grows in the regions with plenty of moisture and heat. These for­ests were located in tropical South America (viz., Amazon river basin), in the East Indies, South East Asia (viz., Malabar Coast of In­dia), in some parts of Africa and North-West Australia. The annual rainfall of the region is fairly high (2000 to 2500 mm) and evenly dis­tributed throughout the year.

There is a very rich floristic and faunistic composition due to moderate temperature, high humidity, better soil nutrient and moisture regime. A typical ram forest has multi-layer component vegeta­tion with well-developed canopy of tall trees (25-40 meter high). The understory vegeta­tion is fairly thick. There are lots of climbers and epiphytes. The net primary productivity is as high as 30 ton per acre per year.

2. Temperate Forests:

It is primarily a mountainous forest of fairly higher elevation where rainfall is moderate to high, and tem­perature ranges from 5-20°C. It may be ever­green broad leaved or coniferous or decidu­ous broad leaved type. The primary produc­tivity is moderate to high. The dominants spe­cies were conifers, maple (Acer), Oak (Quercus), Birch (Alnus), Aspen (Populus) Beech (Fagus), Buckeyes (Asculus) and Hemlock (Tsuga) etc.

3. Grassland:

It occupies about 20% of the earth’s land surface, and are of three types viz., Tropical grassland (Savanna), Temperate grassland and Alpine grassland. Each grass­land has its own characteristics floral compo­nents. Usually, the vegetation is dominated by grasses, legumes and composites. The Alpine grassland is said to be “Tundra”, which is very much lichen rich. Usually the productivity of grassland is fairly low.

4. Mangroves:

This is a specialised vegetation of coastal tidal mudflat. This is distributed in all maritime countries and island states. It has a characteristic dense forest with short height (3-5 meter) trees with elaborate root system, waxy leaves and other xeric features. This is a tropical evergreen forest patch with highly productive ecosystem. Consumer diversity is also fairly high. In India, coastal estuaries have dense mangrove vegetation.

5. Deserts:

These ecosystems are barren or have scanty vegetation consisting mainly of thorny bushes. It receives low rainfall (<500mm per annum), but are not uniform. There are few locations where perennial water sources may be available. The productivity is extremely poor. There are limited and specialised con­sumers in desert habitats.

Depending on the food availability within dif­ferent forest ecosystems, the consumer types and their population varies. However, among the terrestrial ecosystems, biological diversity is more pronounced in tropical rain forest and lowest in desert system. Due to varied physiographic and agro climatic zonation, India has almost all categories of forest eco­system.

ii. Aquatic Ecosystems :

These ecosystems occupy over 70% of the planet earth. In addition to its own productivity these eco­system plays an important role in the cycling of chemical substances and influences the growth and activities of terrestrial ecosystems.

There are three principal categories of aquatic ecosystems viz., Freshwater (Pond, Lake, Springs or River) ecosys­tem; estuarine ecosystem (at the meeting point of river and sea); and marine and coastal salt water ecosystem. Each kinds of aquatic ecosystem has it own physical, chemical and biological characteristics.

Primarily inland, fresh water habitats are grouped into two categories:

(a) Lentic habitats (standing water i.e., pond, lake and reservoirs) and

(b) Lotic habitats (running/flowing water i.e., springs and rivers).

Both kinds of fresh water ecosystems dif­fers in their physical characteristics and biotic com­ponents. For instance in ponds, lakes and reser­voirs, there are three distinct layers shallow wa­ter zone (littoral zone), limnetic zone (open water zone) and deep water (pro-fundal zone). But in lotic system, such zonation are not promi­nent. The flowing water breaks thermal gradient and also helps in mixing of water components (Fig. 4.11).

Four major zones of life in a lake

Fig 4.11: Four major zones of life in a lake

The marine ecosystem of sea has open seas (pelagic environment) and benthic environment (ocean depths) and coastal water (with tidal influ­ences). There are characteristic vegetation with spe­cies composition (both producers and different categories of consumers too) (Fig. 4.12).

Major zones of life in an ocean

Fig. 4.12 Major zones of life in an ocean

Among the aquatic ecosystems, estuarine eco­system is the most productive one and coral eco­system on coastal littoral zone is the least produc­tive form. An overview characteristics of prominent eco­systems are given in Table 4.2.

Principal characteristics, structure, functions and productivity of major classes of ecosystems

Essay # 6. The Laws of Thermodynamics and Energy Flow in Ecosystem:

The application of the two fundamental laws of thermodynamics to energy and matter transformations at the cellular level was discussed over the years through various ecosystem modes.

Decomposition cycle

The First Law (the law of conservation of energy) asserts that in a closed system, energy can nether be created nor destroyed but can only be transformed from one form to another.

Thus, when fuel is burnt to drive a car, the potential energy contained in the chemical bonds of that fuel is converted into mechanical energy to propel the car, electrical energy to ignite the fuel, light to show where you are going and heat to defrost the windscreen.

The key point, however, is that if you could measure the total amount of energy consumed and compare it with the total amounts being produced in these various other forms the two would be equal.

Energy conversions such as these also take place in biological systems. Photosynthetic organisms such as plants capture and transform light energy from the sun and transfer this energy throughout the system subject only to the consequences of the Second Law.

The Second Law asserts that disorder (entropy) in the universe is constantly increasing and that during energy conversions, energy inevitably changes to less organised and useful forms, i.e.. it is degraded Think of this as energy always going from concentrated to less concentrated forms, the least useful (i.e least concentrated) being heat energy.

The consequences of this are very significant biologically Dunn- each conversion stage, some energy is lost as heat.

Therefore, the more conversions taking place between the capture of light energy by plants and the trophic (feeding) level being considered, the lees the energy available to that level. The efficiency of the transfer along food chains is generally less than 10 per cent because about 90 per cent of the available energy is lost or used at each stage.

The study of energy flow is important in determining limits to food supply and the production of all biological resources. The capture of light energy and its conversion into stored chemical energy by autotrophic organisms provides ecosystems with their primary energy source.

Most of this is photosynthetic chlorophyll-based production, the exception being the comparatively limited production of organic materials by chemosynthetic organisms. The total amount of energy converted into organic matter is the gross primary production (GPP) and varies markedly between systems.

However plants use between 15 and 70 per cent of GPP for their own maintenance. What remains is the net primary production (NPP). The total NPP of an ecosystem provides the energy base exploited by non-photosynthetic (heterotrophic) organisms as secondary production.

Heterotrophs obtain the energy they require by consuming and digesting plants (herbivores), by feeding on other heterotrophs (carnivores) or by feeding on detritus, the dead bodies or waste materials of other organisms (detritivores, saprophytes saprozoites)

The energy stored in the food materials is made available through cell respiration. Chemical energy is released by burning the organic compound with oxygen using enzyme-mediated reactions within cells. This produces carbon dioxide and water as waste products.

Energy flow is the movement of energy through a system from an external source through a series of organisms and back to the environment. At each stage (trophic level) within the system, only a small fraction of the available energy is used for the production of new tissue (growth and reproduction), most is used for respiration and body maintenance.

Once the importance of energy flow is appreciated, the significance of energy efficiency and transfer efficiency is more readily understood. Energy efficiency is ‘the amount of useful work obtained from a unit amount of available energy’ and is an important factor for the management and conservation of any biological resource.

The development of most modern intensive agriculture is founded on the principle that increased channeling of energy into a system results in higher yields; however, the energy efficiency is usually less than in more traditional agricultural system

A common ecological measure of efficiency is the trophic-level efficiency, the ratio of production at one trophic level to that of the next lower trophic level. This is never very high and rarely exceeds 10 per cent (the ’10 per cent rule’), more typical values being only 1-3 per cent.

Table 5.1 lists other measures of efficiency often used in ecological comparisons. However, estimates of ecological efficiencies can vary widely between individuals and populations because individuals in a population may live under different ecological conditions.

Ecological measures of efficiency

Essay # 7. Ecosystems Dynamics and Successional Process:

Ecosystem may exist in a relatively stable state or may be subject to change through natural processes or the influence of human activities. In newly cre­ated habitat, ecosystem is build up with time through successional process (primary succes­sions). Each stage of successional process is known as sere. There are three major stages in successional process (Fig. 4.14).

Stages in successional process

Under some circumstances the primary suc­cession may be affected by natural or man made processes, where new community was build up in place of original community. This is secondary successional process.

Within each ecosystem, there are interactions. The levels of interaction in an ecosystem depend upon the size of the various populations at each trophic level, and the links between the popula­tions of each trophic level, and the abiotic envi­ronment.

The types of interaction include:

(a) Interactions between organisms and their abi­otic environment, and

(b) Interactions between the various organisms in a community (Interspecific and intraspecific).

The major characteristics of stages of eco­system development are given in Table 4.5.

Stages in ecosystem development

Essay # 8. Ecosystem Disturbance :

The natural ecosystem may be disturbed in a num­ber of ways viz., natural hazards or man-made ac­tivities. Earth quake, volcanoes, cyclone, flood, and landslides are the major natural hazards that dam­age the natural ecosystem.

Similarly, deforestation, mining, industrialisation, urbanisation, and pollu­tion cause serious threat to the natural ecosystems. Each of the factors of ecosystem damage is interlinked process. Deforestation alone can make a number of ecosystem changes as stated in Table 4.6. 

Environmental impact on ecosystem

Among the various types of deforestation changes in the globe, the global warming is per­haps most significant change. The felling and burn­ing of the forests is believed to be having a major impact on the climate of the World by increasing levels of CO 2 in the atmosphere.

In September, 1997, the issue of tropical rainforest destruction was brought to the attention of the World’s com­munity, when it was combined with two other en­vironmental concerns.

A major pollution incident covering large areas of south east Asia and centred on Indonesia and Malaysia, occurred due to the burning of large areas of rainforest in Indonesia. The burning became uncontrollable, as the area was already being affected by a drought, thought to be the result of the El-Nino (effect in the Pa­cific Ocean).

The high smoke levels trapped gases, including carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone, specially in urban areas such as Kuching and Kualalumpur, producing a dan­gerous photochemical smog.

Essay # 9. Regulation of Ecosystem :

Most organisms live in a variable environment within the environment thus leading to maintain a relatively constant internal environment within the narrow limits required by cells. That cells by some means regulate the internal environment relative to the external one. Organisms have to regulate their body temperature, pH, water, and amount of salts in fluids and tissues, to maintain a few- factors.

Because they take in substances from the environment and use them in cellular chemical re­actions, they also have to discharge both excessive intake and waste products of metabolism to the environment to maintain a fairly constant internal environment. The maintenance of these condi­tions within the tolerance limits of die cells is called homeostasis.

Homeostasis involves the feeding of environ­mental information into a system, which then re­sponds to effects of the input from or changes in external conditions. An example is temperature regulation in humans. The normal temperature for humans is 37°C (98.6°F).

When the temperature of the environment rises, sensory mechanisms in the skin detect it and send a message to the brain, which acts (involuntarily) on the information and relays the message to the effector mechanisms that increase blood flow to the skin and induce sweat­ing. Water excreted through the skin evaporates, cooling the body.

If the environmental tempera­ture falls below a certain point, a similar action in the system takes place, this time reducing blood flow and causing shivering, an involuntary mus­cular exercise producing more heat. This type of reaction, which halts or reverses a movement away from a set point, is called negative feedback.

If the environmental temperature becomes extreme, the homeostatic system breaks down. If the environmental temperature becomes too warm, the body is unable to lose heat fast enough to hold the temperature at normal. Body metabo­lism speeds up, further increasing body tempera­ture, eventually ending in heatstroke or death.

If the environmental temperature drops too low, metabolic processes slow down, further decreas­ing body temperature, eventually resulting in death by freezing. Such situation in which feedback re­inforces change, driving the system to higher and higher or lower and lower values, is called positive feedback.

The idea of homeostasis at the level of the individual can be extended to higher levels: the population, involving intrinsic regulation of size, and the ecosystem, encompassing such functions as nutrient cycling. All involve the concept of a system.

What is a system? A system is a collection of interdependent parts or events that make up a whole. For example, a radio consists of various transistors, transductions, wires, a speaker, and con­trol knobs, among other things. Each part has a specific function, yet the expression of the role of each depends upon the proper functioning of all the other parts.

The whole system fails to func­tion unless there is some kind of input from the outside on which the system can act to produce some kind of output. For the radio the outside input is electrical energy, on which the system acts to pick up certain radio waves, which are trans­mitted as an output-sound. Thus, all the parts of the radio function as a total system.

There are two basic types of systems: closed and open. A closed system is one in which energy but not matter is exchanged between the system and environment. The radio is a closed system, and so is Earth. Its only input is energy from the sun. An open system is one in which both matter and energy are exchanged between it and the en­vironment.

Open systems can be cybernetic systems, that have a feedback system to make them self-regulating (Fig. 4.15). To function in such a manner, the cy­bernetic system has an ideal state, or set point, about which it operates. In a purely mechanical system, the set point can be fixed specifically. Con­sider a dehumidifier set for a humidity level of 50 per cent.

When the humidity of the air in a room exceeds 50 per cent, the switch on the dehumidi­fier turns on and a fan starts to pull air over the refrigerated coils on which the water condenses to be carried away through a hose or pipe. When sufficient water has been wrung out of the air, the dehumidifier shuts off. The feedback of informa­tion on humidity causes the dehumidifier to turn off—a negative feedback mechanism.

Feedback control system

Living systems are cybernetic systems that can function at various levels but are always regulated by living organisms. The difference be­tween living and mechanical systems is that in living systems the set point is not firmly fixed. Rather, organisms have a limited range of tol­erances, called homeostatic plateaus, within which conditions must be maintained.

If environmen­tal conditions exceed the operating limits of the system, it goes out of control. Instead of nega­tive feedback governing the system, positive feedback takes over, with a movement away from the homeostatic plateau that can ultimately de­stroy the system.

Resilience in ecosystem

The systems approach is especially im­portant to ecology, particularly to an under­standing of the function and structure of ecosystems. This approach utilizes the con­struction of models that represent the real system or parts of the system for the pur­pose of experimentation.

Essay # 10. Material Cycle in Ecosystem:

Matter in organisms and ecosystems serve two functions:

1. First, matter can serve to store chemical energy as carbohydrate, protein and fats.

2. Second, matter can serve to make up physical structures that support the biochemical activities of life.

Life is only possible with molecules that intercept and transform energy from one form to another. Life also requires molecules that contain and provide the physical and chemical environment necessary for those energy transforming processes.

As molecules are formed and reformed by chemical and biochemical reactions within an ecosystem, the atoms that compose them are not changed or lost. Matter can thus be conserved within an ecosystem, and atoms and molecules can be used and reused or cycled within ecosystems.

Atoms and molecules move through ecosystems under the influence of both physical and biological processes. The pathways of a particular type of matter through the earth’s ecosystem comprise a material cycle (may also be referred to as biogeochemical cycle or nutrient cycle).

The living world depends on the flow of energy and the circulation of matter through ecosystems. Both influence the abundance of organisms, the rate of their metabolism, and the complexity and structure of the ecosystem. Energy and matter flow through the ecosystem together as organic matter; one cannot be separated from the other (Fig. 5.14).

The link between energy and matter begins in the process of photosynthesis. Solar energy is utilized in the fixation of CO 2 into organic carbon compounds. Organic matter, the tissues of plants and animals, is composed not only of carbon, but a variety of essential nutrients.

There are two types of material Cycle—the gaseous cycle and the sedimentary cycle. In the gaseous cycle, the element or compound can be converted to a gaseous form, diffuse through the atmosphere, and they arrive over land or sea, to be reused by the biosphere, in a much shorter time.

The primary constituents of living matter—carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen—all move through gaseous cycle. In the sedimentary cycle, the compound or element is released from rock by weathering, then follows the movement of running water either in solution or as sediment to the sea.

Eventually, by precipitation and sedimentation these materials are converted into rock. When the rock is uplifted and exposed to weathering the cycle is completed (Fig. 5.15).

Interrelationship between nutrient cycling and energy flow in the ecosystem

Essay # 11. Productivity of Ecosystem:

The productivity of an ecosystem refers to its au­totrophs or primary producer’s ability to produce organic matter, normally in the form of organic materials. As such, it depends upon the level of photosynthesis, which in turn reflects the levels of available solar energy (light), temperature, mois­ture, nutrients and carbon dioxide.

Productivity can be expressed as either gross or net primary produc­tivity. Gross primary productivity (GPP) is a mea­sure of the total amount of energy fixed by the primary producers.

Net primary productivity (NPP) is the GPP minus respiration (the amount of energy converted to heat or used in life pro­cesses by the producers):

NPP = GPP – respiration.

The NPP is the rate of accumulation of liv­ing material, in a given area, over a certain period of time and is normally expressed, in gms per square meter per year (g/sq.m/yr.) The produc­tivity varies widely with different ecosystem conditions (Biomass). The details of productivity in major terrestrial ecosystems (biomes) are given in Table 4.3.

Productivity of major terrestrial ecosystem of the world

Essay # 12. Conservation and Management of Ecosystem:

Human activities, specially habitat destruction for agriculture, industrialisation and urbanisation, the introduction of non-endemic or alien species, and air, water and land pollution have caused a large number of plant animal extinctions. This situation compelled to make conservation and management of ecosystems.

Management of ecosystems repre­sents people’s attempts to effect change in plant and animal systems, which may be beneficial and constructive, rather than destructive to their envi­ronment. However, for successful management, it is necessary to fully understand the workings of ecosystems, the likely causes and effects of change and the concept of sustainable yield. Several na­tional and international actions was undertaken for protection of ecosystem vis-a-vis species and habi­tats protection.

These are as follows:

1. International and national conservation legis­lations implementation (Table 4.7).

2. The creation of protected habitats.

3. The establishment of a global monitoring sys­tem of endangered species.

International programme or conventions

Related Articles:

  • Productivity in Ecosystem
  • Biological Nitrogen Cycle: (With Diagram) | Ecosystem

Essay , Environment , Ecosystem , Essay on Ecosystem

  • Anybody can ask a question
  • Anybody can answer
  • The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Forum Categories

  • Animal Kingdom
  • Biodiversity
  • Biological Classification
  • Biology An Introduction 11
  • Biology An Introduction
  • Biology in Human Welfare 175
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology 43
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell- Structure and Function
  • Chemical Coordination
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity in the Living World 125
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory System
  • Flowering Plants
  • Food Production
  • Genetics and Evolution 110
  • Human Health and Diseases
  • Human Physiology 242
  • Human Reproduction
  • Immune System
  • Living World
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecualr Basis of Inheritance
  • Neural Coordination
  • Organisms and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Plant Physiology 261
  • Principles and Processes
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction 245
  • Reproduction in Animals
  • Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Transport in Plants
  • Trending 14

Privacy Overview

web counter

Writing Universe - logo

  • Environment
  • Information Science
  • Social Issues
  • Argumentative
  • Cause and Effect
  • Classification
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Descriptive
  • Exemplification
  • Informative
  • Controversial
  • Exploratory
  • What Is an Essay
  • Length of an Essay
  • Generate Ideas
  • Types of Essays
  • Structuring an Essay
  • Outline For Essay
  • Essay Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Body of an Essay
  • Writing a Conclusion
  • Essay Writing Tips
  • Drafting an Essay
  • Revision Process
  • Fix a Broken Essay
  • Format of an Essay
  • Essay Examples
  • Essay Checklist
  • Essay Writing Service
  • Pay for Research Paper
  • Write My Research Paper
  • Write My Essay
  • Custom Essay Writing Service
  • Admission Essay Writing Service
  • Pay for Essay
  • Academic Ghostwriting
  • Write My Book Report
  • Case Study Writing Service
  • Dissertation Writing Service
  • Coursework Writing Service
  • Lab Report Writing Service
  • Do My Assignment
  • Buy College Papers
  • Capstone Project Writing Service
  • Buy Research Paper
  • Custom Essays for Sale

Can’t find a perfect paper?

  • Free Essay Samples

ecology and ecosystem

Updated 10 March 2023

Subject Biology ,  Environment Problems ,  Industry

Downloads 41

Category Economics ,  Environment ,  Science

Topic Environmental Issues ,  Farm ,  Microorganisms

Impact of Agriculture on the Environment

Aquatic life and poor farming practices, effects of acidic soil on aquatic life, impact on life form, importance of life form.

Okazaki, E., & Osako, K. (2014). Isolation and characterization of acid-soluble collagen from the scales of marine fishes from Japan and Vietnam. Food Chemistry, 149, 264-270.

Stuart, D., Schewe, R. L., & McDermott, M. (2014).Reducing nitrogen fertilizer application as a climate change mitigation strategy: Understanding farmer decision-making and potential barriers to change in the US. Land Use Policy, 36, 210-218.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Related Essays

Related topics.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Type your email

By clicking “Submit”, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy policy. Sometimes you will receive account related emails.

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • View all journals

Ecology articles from across Nature Portfolio

Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment. It considers processes that occur at the population, community and ecosystem levels and has a particular focus on biodiversity.

essay on ecology and ecosystem

‘Ghost roads’ could be the biggest direct threat to tropical forests

By using volunteers to map roads in forests across Borneo, Sumatra and New Guinea, an innovative study shows that existing maps of the Asia-Pacific region are rife with errors. It also reveals that unmapped roads are extremely common — up to seven times more abundant than mapped ones. Such ‘ghost roads’ are promoting illegal logging, mining, wildlife poaching and deforestation in some of the world’s biologically richest ecosystems.

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Ecotoxicology in malaria vector control

Environmental health is an under-studied aspect of the One Health approach, despite being equally important to human, animal and plant health. Now, a study, aiming to redress this imbalance, shows the potential ecotoxicological effects of treating cattle with insecticide to control mosquitoes that spread malaria.

  • Andrew Forbes

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Changing rainforest to plantations shifts tropical food webs

A study provides insights into how energy flows in the food webs that connect soil- and canopy-dwelling organisms in tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity. When rainforest is converted to plantations, food webs are simplified and restructured, leading to profound changes in tropical-ecosystem functioning.

Related Subjects

  • Agroecology
  • Animal migration
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Biogeography
  • Biooceanography
  • Boreal ecology
  • Climate-change ecology
  • Community ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Ecological epidemiology
  • Ecological genetics
  • Ecological modelling
  • Ecological networks
  • Ecophysiology
  • Ecosystem ecology
  • Ecosystem services
  • Environmental economics
  • Evolutionary ecology
  • Fire ecology
  • Forest ecology
  • Freshwater ecology
  • Grassland ecology
  • Invasive species
  • Macroecology
  • Microbial ecology
  • Molecular ecology
  • Palaeoecology
  • Population dynamics
  • Restoration ecology
  • Riparian ecology
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Theoretical ecology
  • Tropical ecology
  • Urban ecology
  • Wetlands ecology

Latest Research and Reviews

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Optimization of preparation conditions and performance of a new degradable soil water retaining agent

  • Zhang Yumang
  • Wang Yongheng
  • Chang Hongyan

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Biomass recovery of coastal young mangrove plantations in Central Thailand

  • Toshiyuki Ohtsuka
  • Suthathip Umnouysin
  • Sasitorn Poungparn

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Balancing the books of nature by accounting for ecosystem condition following ecological restoration

  • Tina Parkhurst
  • Rachel J. Standish
  • Michael Vardon

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Transformation starts at the periphery of networks where pushback is less

  • Ingrid A. van de Leemput
  • Jordi Bascompte
  • Egbert H. van Nes

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Sum or mean in calculation of qualitative scoring methods using the Dragonfly Biotic Index, and an alternative approach facilitating conservation prioritization

  • Hana Šigutová
  • Petr Pyszko

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Shaping of microbial phenotypes by trade-offs

Trade-offs play a key role in controlling bacterial growth and shaping microbial phenotypes, which further drives the emergence of ecologically relevant phenomena including co-existence, population heterogeneity and oligotrophic/copiotrophic lifestyles.

  • Xiongfeng Dai


News and Comment

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Forestry social science is failing the needs of the people who need it most

Rich nations’ fixation on forests as climate offsets has resulted in the needs of those who live in or make a living from these resources being ignored. A broader view and more collaboration between disciplines is required.

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Why my heart beats for Nigeria’s endangered bats

Iroro Tanshi works to better understand a number of threatened species.

  • Linda Nordling

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Andrew S. Brierley (1967–2024)

Quantitative field ecologist who contributed to the fundamentals of polar science and pelagic ecology.

  • Tom B. Letessier
  • Martin J. Cox
  • Alex D. Rogers

Gene plasticity higher in hybrids

  • Tegan Armarego-Marriott

Emergency loan

  • Lingxiao Yan

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Diana Wall obituary: ecologist who foresaw the importance of soil biodiversity

Environmental scientist who revealed the crucial role of underground animals in sustainability.

  • Richard D. Bardgett

Quick links

  • Explore articles by subject
  • Guide to authors
  • Editorial policies

essay on ecology and ecosystem

  • Biology Article

Table of Contents

What Is Ecology

Biotic And Abiotic Factors

Types Of Ecology

Importance Of Ecology

Examples Of Ecology


What is Ecology?

Ecology is a  branch of science, including human science, population, community, ecosystem and biosphere. Ecology is the study of organisms, the environment and how the organisms interact with each other and their environment. It is studied at various levels, such as organism, population, community, biosphere and ecosystem.

An ecologist’s primary goal is to improve their understanding of life processes, adaptations and habitats , interactions and biodiversity of organisms.

Let us have a detailed look at the ecology notes provided here and explore the concept of ecology.

Biotic and Abiotic Factors

The main aim of ecology is to understand the distribution of biotic and abiotic factors of living things in the environment. The biotic and abiotic factors include the living and non-living factors and their interaction with the environment.

Biotic components

Biotic components

Biotic components are living factors of an ecosystem. A few examples of biotic components include bacteria,  animals, birds,  fungi, plants, etc.

Abiotic components

Abiotic components

Abiotic components are non-living chemical and physical factors of an ecosystem. These components could be acquired from the atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere. A few examples of abiotic components include sunlight, soil, air, moisture minerals and more.

Living organisms are grouped into biotic components, whereas non-living components like sunlight, water, topography are listed under abiotic components.

Types of Ecology

Types of Ecology

The diagram showing different Types of Ecology

Ecology can be classified into different types. The different types of ecology are given below:

Global Ecology

It deals with interactions among earth’s ecosystems, land, atmosphere and oceans. It helps to understand the large-scale interactions and their influence on the planet.

Landscape Ecology

It deals with the exchange of energy, materials, organisms and other products of ecosystems. Landscape ecology throws light on the role of human impacts on the landscape structures and functions.

Ecosystem Ecology

It deals with the entire ecosystem, including the study of living and non-living components and their relationship with the environment. This science researches how ecosystems work, their interactions, etc.

Community Ecology

It deals with how community structure is modified by interactions among living organisms. Ecology community is made up of two or more populations of different species living in a particular geographic area.

Population Ecology

It deals with factors that alter and impact the genetic composition and the size of the population of organisms. Ecologists are interested in fluctuations in the size of a population, the growth of a population and any other interactions with the population.

In biology, a population can be defined as a set of individuals of the same species living in a given place at a given time. Births and immigration are the main factors that increase the population and death and emigration are the main factors that decrease the population.

Population ecology examines the population distribution and density. Population density is the number of individuals in a given volume or area. This helps in determining whether a particular species is in endanger or its number is to be controlled and resources to be replenished.

Organismal Ecology

Organismal ecology is the study of an individual organism’s behaviour, morphology, physiology, etc. in response to environmental challenges. It looks at how individual organisms interact with biotic and abiotic components. Ecologists research how organisms are adapted to these non-living and living components of their surroundings.

Individual species are related to various adaptations like physiological adaptation,  morphological adaptation, and behavioural adaptation.

Molecular Ecology

The study of ecology focuses on the production of proteins and how these proteins affect the organisms and their environment. This happens at the molecular level.

DNA forms the proteins that interact with each other and the environment. These interactions give rise to some complex organisms.

Importance of Ecology

The following reasons explain the importance of ecology:

Conservation of Environment

Ecology helps us to understand how our actions affect the environment. It shows the individuals the extent of damage we cause to the environment.

Lack of understanding of ecology has led to the degradation of land and the environment. It has also led to the extinction and endangerment of certain species. For eg., dinosaurs, white shark, mammoths, etc. Thus, the study of the environment and organisms helps us to protect them from any damage and danger.

Resource Allocation

With the knowledge of ecology, we are able to know which resources are necessary for the survival of different organisms. Lack of ecological knowledge has led to scarcity and deprivation of these resources, leading to competition.

Energy Conservation

All organisms require energy for their growth and development. Lack of ecological understanding leads to the over-exploitation of energy resources such as light, nutrition and radiation, leading to its depletion.

Proper knowledge of ecological requirements prevents the unnecessary wastage of energy resources, thereby, conserving energy for future purposes.


Ecology encourages harmonious living within the species and the adoption of a lifestyle that protects the ecology of life.

Examples of Ecology

Following are a few examples of ecology:

Human Ecology

It focuses on the relationship between humans and the environment. It emphasizes the impact human beings have on the environment and gives knowledge on how we can improve ourselves for the betterment of humans and the environment.

Niche Construction

It deals with the study of how organisms alter the environment for the benefit of themselves and other living beings. For eg, termites create a 6 feet tall mound and at the same time feed and protect their entire population.

Also Read: Biodiversity

To explore more about what is ecology, importance and types of ecology, keep visiting the BYJU’S website or download the BYJU’S app for further reference.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ecology.

Ecology is the branch of science that deals with the relationship of organisms with one another and with their physical surroundings.

What are the different levels of ecology?

The different levels of ecology include- organisms, communities, population and ecosystem.

What are the different types of ecology?

The different types of ecology include- molecular ecology, organismal ecology, population ecology, community ecology, global ecology, landscape ecology and ecosystem ecology.

How are ecology and evolution related?

Ecology plays a significant role in forming new species and modifying the existing ones. Natural selection is one of the many factors that influences evolutionary change.

Who devised the word ecology?

Ecology was first devised by Ernst Haeckel, a German Zoologist. However, ecology has its origins in other sciences such as geology, biology, and evolution among others.

What is habitat ecology?

Habitat ecology is the type of natural environment in which a particular species of an organism live, characterized by both physical and biological features.

What is a niche?

An organism free from the interference of other species and can use a full range of biotic and abiotic resources in which it can survive and reproduce is known as its fundamental niche.

Register at BYJU’S for more ecology notes. Go through these notes for reference.

Related Links

  • Living Organisms

Quiz Image

Put your understanding of this concept to test by answering a few MCQs. Click ‘Start Quiz’ to begin!

Select the correct answer and click on the “Finish” button Check your score and answers at the end of the quiz

Visit BYJU’S for all Biology related queries and study materials

Your result is as below

Request OTP on Voice Call

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post My Comment

essay on ecology and ecosystem


very good explanation for ecology.

what is tolerance

Tolerance is defined as an organism’s capacity to survive variation in environmental conditions. For example, a polar bear can thrive in the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic, but it cannot survive in warmer climates such as the tropics.

Nice and lovely answer dear

Thanks so much

tank you for good explain

the interaction of living and non living things in the community

thank you for giving details

thank you for good expression

Thanks for such a explanation

Thanks for the explanation

Thanks for such explanation

thankyou so mach for your explanation

Wow I enjoyed the explanations thanks

ecology and its relevance to man , natural resources, their sustainable management and conservation?

Thanks for the Info. Crystal clear and simple. Helped me a lot.


Please refer to this link

This is very helpful because my half-yearly exam is coming, and easy to learn about ecology, thanks

Thanks so much for the well clear answers it helps so much

Thank you so much! This explanation has helped me a lot.

Thank you for the information about ecological system

essay on ecology and ecosystem

  • Share Share

Register with BYJU'S & Download Free PDFs

Register with byju's & watch live videos.


Essay on Environment for Students and Children

500+ words essay on environment.

Essay on Environment – All living things that live on this earth comes under the environment. Whether they live on land or water they are part of the environment. The environment also includes air, water, sunlight, plants, animals, etc.

Moreover, the earth is considered the only planet in the universe that supports life. The environment can be understood as a blanket that keeps life on the planet sage and sound.

Essay on Environment

Importance of Environment

We truly cannot understand the real worth of the environment. But we can estimate some of its importance that can help us understand its importance. It plays a vital role in keeping living things healthy in the environment.

Likewise, it maintains the ecological balance that will keep check of life on earth. It provides food, shelter, air, and fulfills all the human needs whether big or small.

Moreover, the entire life support of humans depends wholly on the environmental factors. In addition, it also helps in maintaining various life cycles on earth.

Most importantly, our environment is the source of natural beauty and is necessary for maintaining physical and mental health.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Benefits of the Environment

The environment gives us countless benefits that we can’t repay our entire life. As they are connected with the forest, trees, animals, water, and air. The forest and trees filter the air and absorb harmful gases. Plants purify water, reduce the chances of flood maintain natural balance and many others.

Moreover, the environment keeps a close check on the environment and its functioning, It regulates the vital systems that are essential for the ecosystem. Besides, it maintains the culture and quality of life on earth.

The environment regulates various natural cycles that happen daily. These cycles help in maintaining the natural balance between living things and the environment. Disturbance of these things can ultimately affect the life cycle of humans and other living beings.

The environment has helped us and other living beings to flourish and grow from thousands of years. The environment provides us fertile land, water, air, livestock and many essential things for survival.

Cause of Environmental Degradation

Human activities are the major cause of environmental degradation because most of the activities humans do harm the environment in some way. The activities of humans that causes environmental degradation is pollution, defective environmental policies, chemicals, greenhouse gases, global warming, ozone depletion, etc.

All these affect the environment badly. Besides, these the overuse of natural resources will create a situation in the future there will be no resources for consumption. And the most basic necessity of living air will get so polluted that humans have to use bottled oxygen for breathing.

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Above all, increasing human activity is exerting more pressure on the surface of the earth which is causing many disasters in an unnatural form. Also, we are using the natural resources at a pace that within a few years they will vanish from the earth. To conclude, we can say that it is the environment that is keeping us alive. Without the blanket of environment, we won’t be able to survive.

Moreover, the environment’s contribution to life cannot be repaid. Besides, still what the environment has done for us, in return we only have damaged and degraded it.

FAQs about Essay on Environment

Q.1 What is the true meaning of the environment?

A.1 The ecosystem that includes all the plants, animals, birds, reptiles, insects, water bodies, fishes, human beings, trees, microorganisms and many more are part of the environment. Besides, all these constitute the environment.

Q.2 What is the three types of the environment?

A.2 The three types of environment includes the physical, social, and cultural environment. Besides, various scientists have defined different types and numbers of environment.

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in.


  • Travelling Essay
  • Picnic Essay
  • Our Country Essay
  • My Parents Essay
  • Essay on Favourite Personality
  • Essay on Memorable Day of My Life
  • Essay on Knowledge is Power
  • Essay on Gurpurab
  • Essay on My Favourite Season
  • Essay on Types of Sports

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download the App

Google Play

  • Content Guidelines
  • Privacy Policy

Upload Your Knowledge on Environmental Pollution:

Essay on ecology.

essay on ecology and ecosystem

Read this essay to learn about ecology. After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Introduction to Ecology 2. History and Scope of Ecology 3. Definitions 4. Origin of Ecological Crises 5. Four Laws 6. Objectives 7. Subdivisions 8. Community Ecology 9. Rules .

Essay Contents:

  • Essay on Rules in Ecology


Essay # 1. Introduction to Ecology :

Every organism invariably depends upon the environment and other organism for its existence. It either eats other organisms or is eaten by others and competes with other for the necessities of life such as food, shelter and mate survival requires group association.

Such associations and concept of organisms and their environment in general constitute the sci­ence of ecology. The word ecology was coined by Ernst Haeckel in 1869 and is derived from two Greek words oikos meaning house or place of living and logos meaning study of.

The field of ecology deals with the influence of environmental factors on all the aspects of life such as morphology, physiology, growth, distribution, behaviour and survival of the organisms. Ecology or environmental biology pertains to the study of relationship between various organisms and their environment. This includes consideration of plants, animals and human beings.

Essay # 2. History and Scope of Ecology :

The word “Ecology” derived from the Greek words “Oikos” meaning habitation, and “logos” meaning discourse or study, implies a study of the habitations of organisms.

Ecology was first described as a separate field of knowledge in 1866 by the German Zoologist Ernst Haeckel, who established the relationship of the animals to its organic as well as its inor­ganic environment, particularly its friendly or hos­tile relations to those animals or plants with which it comes in contact.

In due course ecology was defined as “A study of animals and plants in their relations to each other and to their environment”.

Ecology can be considered on a wider scale moving from an individual molecule to the entire global ecosystem.

However, four identifiable sub­divisions of scales are of particular interest:

(i) Individuals,

(ii) Populations,

(iii) Communities and

(iv) Ecosystems.

At each scale, the subjects of interest to ecologists change. At the individual level the response of individuals to their environment (biotic and abiotic) is key issue, while at the level of populations of a single species, species-spe­cies interaction is important.

In recent years it was realised that ecology is an interdisciplinary science, though its body of knowledge lies in biology yet its interaction with other disciplines are quite prominent. There are different approach for understand­ing the ecological sciences (Table 1.1), this include the study of ecology from the stand point of con­ceptual understanding, from organisms involved or habitat condition or even from point of appli­cation.

Each categories of ecological studies re­quires specialized understanding. As the science progressed much with time, the conceptual un­derstanding became more and more complex and interactive.

There are many characteristics in ecological sci­ence.

Essay # 3. Definitions of Ecology:

Ecology has been defined in various ways:

i. Ecology is the study of an organism and its environment.

ii. The study of interrelationship of organism or groups of an organism to their envi­ronment is called ecology.

Human ecology is a social science that studies the relationship between man and its environment. It studies the relationship between human biological factors and the natural environment.

Social ecology studies the relations among natural environment, population, technology and society.

The physical and the biological world that we live in is our environment.

The activities of various organisms in the environment which interact with each other are so finely balanced that they are in equilibrium in a steady state. This is known as ecological balance.

The principal causes for ecological degradation are drastic changes in the technology of agricultural and industries production and transportation.

Essay # 4. Origin of Ecological Crises :

i. Exploding population

ii. Affluent and wastefulness.

The affluent society has become an efficient society.

iii. Man’s is made aggressiveness

iv. Profits

v. Religion

vi. Technology.

Essay # 5. Four Laws of Ecology :

i. Everything is connected to everything else.

ii. Everything must go somewhere.

iii. Nature knows best.

iv. There is no such thing as a free launch.

Deep Ecology:

The word is perceived notes a collection of isolated objects but as a network of phenomena that are fundamentally interconnected and interdependent.

Shallow Ecology:

It views humans as above or outside of nature as the source of all values and prescribe only instrumental or use value to nature.

Feminist Ecology and Echo Feminism:

It links the exploitation of nature with that of women and women’s history with the history of the environment.

Industrial Ecology:

Industrial process resembles those of a natural eco system where in materials and energy circulates continuously in a complex web of interaction. Micro­organisms turn animal waste in to food for plants which are either eaten by animals or enter the cycle through death and decay.

Essay # 6. Objectives of Ecological Study :

The main objectives of this science are to study:

i. The inter-relationships between organisms in population and diverse communities.

ii. The temporal changes (seasonal, annual, successional etc.) in the occurrence of organisms.

iii. The behaviour under natural conditions.

iv. The structural adaptations and functional adjustments of organisms to their physical environment, i.e., Eco-physiology.

v. The development in the course of evolution i.e., evolutionary development.

vi. The biological productivity and energy flow in natural system, i.e., productive ecology.

vii. The development of mathematical models to relate intersection of parameters and to predict the effects.

The main objective of the study of ecology is to apply the knowledge gained from ecological study to safeguard against disasters caused by:

i. Uncontrolled interference with natural populations,

ii. Unchecked felling of trees,

iii. Environmental pollution.

Essay # 7. Subdivisions of Ecology :

I. Two important subdivisions of ecology are recognised by ecologists, these are:

i. Autecology and

ii. Synecology.

i. Autecology :

It is concerned with the ecology of an individual species and its population. While studying the autecology of a particular species, an ecologist studies, its behaviour and adap­tation to the environmental condition at every stage of that individual’s life cycle. Autecol­ogy is also called species ecology.

ii. Synecology :

It is study of communities, their composition, their behaviour and relation to the envi­ronment.

Synecology is also called Ecology of Communities

Synecology is further divided into three fields:

i. Population ecology

ii. Community ecology

iii. Ecosystem ecology

II. On the basis of the kind of environment or habitat, ecology has been sub-divided into the following branches:

III. With advancing trends in the fields of ecology, present day ecologists divide ecol­ogy into the following branches:

Essay # 8. Community Ecology :

A population of a single species cannot survive by itself because there is inter depen­dence of one form of life on another. An aggregation of populations of different species living together (in inter dependence) in a specific area, having a specific set of environmen­tal conditions constitute a biotic community e.g., the various plants and animals in a pond or lake constitute on biotic community whereas the plants and animals in a particular forest constitute another biotic community.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of communities.

These are major and minor community:

(i) Major Community:

It is large community which is self-regulating, self-sustain­ing and independent unit comprising of a number of minor communities in it. Examples of major communities are: a pond, a lake, a forest, a desert, a meadow and a grassland. Each of these major communities includes several minor commu­nities.

(ii) Minor Community:

It is a smaller community which is not a self-sustaining unit. It is dependent on other communities for its existence. The major community exemplified by a forest has many minor communities namely the plant commu­nity (the plant population of the forest), the animal community (the animal popu­lation of the forest) and the microbial community (bacteria and fungi population).

Characteristics of a Community :

A community has the following characteristics:

(i) Structure:

Structure of a community can be studied by determining the density, frequency and abundance of species.

(ii) Dominance:

Usually a community has one or more species which occur in large number. Such species are called dominants and the community is often named after them.

(iii) Diversity:

The community consists of different groups of plants and animals of different species, may be large and small, may belong to one life from or another but are essentially growing in a uniform environment.

(iv) Periodicity:

This includes study of various life processes (respiration, growth, reproduction etc.) in the various seasons of the year in the dominant species of a community.

The recurrence of these important life processes at regular intervals in a year and their manifestation in nature is termed periodicity.

(v) Stratification:

Natural forest communities possess a number of layers or storeys or strata related to the height of plants, for example, tall trees, smaller trees, shrubs and herbaceous layers form the different strata. This phenomenon in a plant community is called stratification.

(vi) Eco-tone and Edge-effect:

A zone of vegetation spreading or separating two dif­ferent types of communities is called ecotone. These are marginal zones and are easily recognisable.

Usually, in ecotones, the variety of one species is larger than in any of the adjacent communities. A phenomenon of increased variety and intensity of plants at the common junction is called edge-effect and is essentially due to wider range of suitable environmental conditions.

(vii) Ecological Niche:

Different species of animals and plants fulfil different functions in the ecological complex. The role of each is spoken of as its ecological niche i.e., the role is that a species plays in its ecosystem: what it eats, who eats it, its range of movement etc., in other words, the total range of its interaction with other species of its environment.

We can also say that ecological niche is a small habitat within a habitat in which only a single species can survive.

E.P. Odum has differentiated habitat and ecological niche by saying that the habitat is an organism’s address and the ecological niche is its profession.

(viii) Ecological Succession:

Communities are not static but progressively change with time in a definite manner. This change of the plant and animal communities in an orderly sequence in an area is called ecological or biotic succession. Ecological succession finally leads to a stable nature community called climax community.

(ix) Interspecific Association:

This is the study of two or more species growing to­gether in close association in regular occurrence.

(x) Community Productivity:

The study of production of biomass (organic matter) is known as production ecology.

The net production of biomass and storage of energy by a community per unit time and area is called community productivity.

(xi) Biotic Stability:

A biotic community has the ability to quickly regain equilibrium after a disturbance in population fluctuation. This is called biotic stability and is directly proportional to the number of interacting species it contains i.e., the diversity in the community.

Before man encroached upon it, the world biosphere was a large climax community resulting from thousands of years of evolution. With increase in population, the demand for space has been steadily increasing and so the ecosystem have been rapidly exploited beyond the capacity of the environment to adjust, thereby totally disrupting the balance of nature.

Before a point of no return is reached, man should stop manipulating the environment to his advantage. The survival of mankind will be in peril of pollution of the environment, degra­dation of the land, over consumption and wasteful use of natural resources are not checked immediately. Development should be the result of scientific management based on ecologi­cal principles.

Concern for environment protection was shown in the conference on Human environment held at Stockholm in June, 1972. The prime objective of the conference was to focus attention on the major environmental issues, to recognise and identify the causes for environmental degradation and the need to prevent and control it.

The conference called upon all the nations of the world to protect, improve, preserve and enhance the environment for the present and future generations.

In the United Nations conference on Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro held in June, 1992, an action plan was formulated for solving the major environmental prob­lems threatening the environment, like,

(a) Global warming

(b) Ozone layer depletion

(c) Pollution of air, water and land

(d) Acid rain or acid precipitation

(e) Desertification

(f) Soil erosion

(g) Deforestation and

(h) Depletion of genetic resources

The pressing need today is environmentally compatible development to protect the en­vironment for the future generation and to restore the ecological balance on earth.

Some recent initiatives for defining ecological standards ISO 14000.

ii. Eco Management and audit scheme

iii. Life cycle assessment

Essay # 9. Rules in Ecology:

i. Ecology is a Science:

It is a purely scientific discipline which aims to understand the rela­tionships between organisms and their wider environment.

ii. Ecology is only Understandable in the Light of Evolution:

The huge diversity of organisms and the wealth of variety in their morpholo­gies, physiologies and behavioural all are the result of many millions of years of evolution.

iii. Nothing Happens ‘for the Good of the Spe­cies’:

The patterns of behaviour organisms is regulated by natural selection even though it is detrimental for species.

iv. Gene and Environment are both Impor­tant:

The environment of an organism finds itself in playing an important role in deter­mining the options open to any individuals.

v. Understanding of Complexity Requires Models:

Ecology is a complex subject with huge variation in almost every scale. To under­stand these complexity mathematical model is required.

vi. Story Telling is Dangerous:

To explain the ecological process hypothesis has to be ex­plained properly.

vii. There are Hierarchies of Explanations:

For any observation there is often an immediate and delayed causes. These hierarchies need to be explained properly.

viii. There are Multiple Constrains on Organ­isms:

In evolution of species there are a num­ber of constrain (physical and evolutionary) on organisms.

ix. Chance is Important:

Chance events in ecol­ogy play a crucial role.

x. The Boundaries of Ecology are in the Mind of the Ecologist:

Domain of ecological un­derstanding is highly flexible. Modern ecology is thus an interdisciplinary science with various subdivision like plant ecol­ogy, animal ecology, and microbial ecology. It can further be segmented as ecology of individuals (autecology) or groups (synecology). With passage of time, varieties of dimensions of ecological sci­ences were developed with their interlink ages (Fig. 1.1).

Related Articles:

  • Climax Community in Ecology: Characteristics and Theories
  • Essay on Ecological Pyramid | Ecosystem | Ecology | Environment

Upload and Share Your Article:

  • Description *
  • Author Name *
  • Author Email Id. (required) *
  • File Drop files here or Select files Max. file size: 128 MB, Max. files: 5.
  • Phone This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Essay , Biology , Ecology , Essay on Ecology

Privacy Overview

Uncomfortable knowledge in sustainability science: essays in honor of David Pimentel (1925–2019)

  • Published: 16 May 2024

Cite this article

essay on ecology and ecosystem

  • Mario Giampietro 1 , 2 ,
  • Sandra G. F. Bukkens 1 ,
  • Maurizio G. Paoletti 2 ,
  • Luc Hens 3 ,
  • Jingzheng Ren 4 &
  • Tiziano Gomiero 5  

61 Accesses

Explore all metrics

Avoid common mistakes on your manuscript.

David Pimentel (1925–2019) was a pioneer in the field of agroecology and more in general of sustainability science (for a biography see )). His work stands out for its breadth and timeliness. Professor of entomology and agroecology at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences of Cornell University (Ithaca, New York, USA), David Pimentel published more than 500 scientific articles and book chapters, 3 monographs, and 34 edited books spanning a broad range of environmental issues related to socio-economic development. In 1999, together with Luc Hens and Bhaskar Nath, he founded the journal Environment, Development and Sustainability .

His work was characterized by transdisciplinarity, and he served as an inspiration for many researchers in the field of sustainability science to broaden their view and embrace a more holistic and critical vision of the functioning of social-ecological systems and human development.

Common sense combined with relatively simple quantitative reality checks, rather than complicated models, was the approach undertaken by David Pimentel to investigate the consistency of the narratives suggested in sustainability science. In this sense, he may be considered an early exponent of ‘quantitative storytelling’.

He also adopted a novel teaching approach. Moving away from the dominant reductionistic doctrine, he pushed his students to embrace a system approach, training them in teamwork and addressing real case studies. Often these group exercises resulted in publications in important scientific journals.

Most of Pimentel’s research addressed wicked environmental problems related to the sustainability of human development, such as biological control, pesticide use, organic and alternative farming practices, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, genetic engineering, biofuels and biomass energy, fossil energy dependence of the food system, and the relation between population growth and limited natural resources. His capacity to integrate a vast body of knowledge across different scientific fields and to address problems from different perspectives, his free spirit independent from politically correct ideologies and economic interests, and his great intuition, allowed him to bring this often “uncomfortable knowledge” to the attention of the scientific community, policy makers, and lay people alike, in a clear and unequivocal way.

For example, he was among the first scholars to alert to: (i) the dependence of our food system on fossil energy, making us aware that “we are eating oil”; (ii) the significant cost of producing meat, flagging that the USA could feed 800 million people with the grain consumed by livestock; (iii) the unviability and unsustainability of biofuels as alternative energy carriers to fuel modern society; (iv) the risk of increased herbicide use in genetically modified herbicide resistant crops. All this uncomfortable news challenged the sustainability myths of his time (some of which, unfortunately, persist to the present day).

The role of ‘uncomfortable knowledge’ as Steve Rayner defined it (Rayner, 2012, Economy and Society, pp. 107–125), played a major role in sustainability analysis. As Rayner puts it: “ to make sense of the complexity of the world so that they can act, individuals and institutions need to develop simplified, self-consistent versions of that world … knowledge which is in tension or outright contradiction with those versions must be expunged. This is uncomfortable knowledge which is excluded from policy debates, especially when dealing with ‘wicked problems’ ”.

In line with David Pimentel’s attention to wicked environmental problems, this special issue presents a number of contributions that address sustainability discussions in the field of agro-food systems.

In this topical issue, the paper by Crews and Polk illustrates the role for soil conservation and carbon accumulation of developing perennial grain agroecosystems, in an attempt to mimic prairies native ecosystems. Developing perennials, allowing a large-scale production, may represent a turning point toward a truly more sustainable agriculture.

Domínguez et al. explore in depth the advantages of alternative farming systems by expanding the set of criteria for evaluating the performance of food production and considering the nexus between the different factors of production.

Kleinman and Harmel look into the trade-offs of global nutrient redistribution, the analysis of which is essential to identify “challenges of” and “opportunities for” a global transformation to a more sustainable resource management.

Abdul Aziz et al. present an integrated assessment of sustainable foraging knowledge and practices, using examples from different geographic regions, and show that these have an important role to play in the future of sustainable agriculture.

Cadillo-Benalcazar et al. present a model to study the complexity of the society–agriculture–forest system and illustrate it for the case study of Huayopata in Cuzco (Peru), where public policies for tea production interact with the complexity of the society–agriculture–forest system.

Orozco-Meléndez and Paneque-Gàlvez challenge the predominance of the disciplinary vision that shapes the existing “corporate food regime”. Using literature review and a conceptual approach they show the need for a transition to another method of governance based on co-design and co-production of uncomfortable, transdisciplinary, and actionable knowledge.

Zanardo et al. address the controversial “horn manure” (Preparation 500) used in biodynamic agriculture. They studied the changes during the manure maturation of the fungal and bacterial communities inside the horns of cows. The analysis suggests that significant changes take place during the process. This work proves that notwithstanding the demonization of biodynamic agriculture as an esoteric quackery, still there are aspects of biodynamic agriculture that can be scientifically investigated.

Giampietro illustrates the “magic” of the unique procedure developed by David Pimentel to quantify systems of agricultural production in terms of profiles of inputs and outputs. This procedure establishes bridges among data referring to different dimensions (social, economic, technical, ecological) and to different scales, when utilizing the patterns of profiles in their scaled form—per hectare—and in the form of technical coefficients—unitary processes.

Ponti and Gutierrez address the important issue of invasive species and their environmental and economic impacts, and argue that it is essential to be able to monitor weather-driven dynamics and potential geographic distribution and abundance. To this purpose, the authors present a new approach—Physiologically Based, Demographic Models (PBDMs)—that avoids the limitations of existing methods.

Alfonso-Bécares et al. use the concept of societal and ecosystem metabolic analysis to study policies of forest conservation. Employing a quantitative characterization based on profiles of inputs and outputs, the authors establish a link between: (i) changes in the heterogeneity of livelihoods found in a given farming system, and (ii) changes in the patterns of land uses. This link is then used to run “what if” scenarios associated with different policy options.

Díaz-Siefer et al. study the factors that prevent a transition to greener agriculture in Chiapas, Mexico, and in particular the type of conditioning that the socio-economic context poses. They identify three relevant actors: (i) the policies and regulation developed by the governments; (ii) the choices of the consumers; (iii) the quantities of subsidies that can be used made available by financial agents and suggest possible adjustments to get out of the impasse.

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technologies (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain

Mario Giampietro & Sandra G. F. Bukkens

Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), Barcelona, Spain

Mario Giampietro & Maurizio G. Paoletti

VITO - Vlaamse Instelling Voor Technologisch Onderzoek, Dessel, Belgium

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China

Jingzheng Ren

Mogliano Veneto, Italy

Tiziano Gomiero

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mario Giampietro .

Additional information

Publisher's note.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Giampietro, M., Bukkens, S.G.F., Paoletti, M.G. et al. Uncomfortable knowledge in sustainability science: essays in honor of David Pimentel (1925–2019). Environ Dev Sustain (2024).

Download citation

Published : 16 May 2024


Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative


  • Find a journal
  • Publish with us
  • Track your research
  • Share full article


Supported by

Environmental Changes Are Fueling Human, Animal and Plant Diseases, Study Finds

Biodiversity loss, global warming, pollution and the spread of invasive species are making infectious diseases more dangerous to organisms around the world.

A white-footed mouse perched in a hole in a tree.

By Emily Anthes

Several large-scale, human-driven changes to the planet — including climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the spread of invasive species — are making infectious diseases more dangerous to people, animals and plants, according to a new study.

Scientists have documented these effects before in more targeted studies that have focused on specific diseases and ecosystems. For instance, they have found that a warming climate may be helping malaria expand in Africa and that a decline in wildlife diversity may be boosting Lyme disease cases in North America.

But the new research, a meta-analysis of nearly 1,000 previous studies, suggests that these patterns are relatively consistent around the globe and across the tree of life.

“It’s a big step forward in the science,” said Colin Carlson, a biologist at Georgetown University, who was not an author of the new analysis. “This paper is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that I think has been published that shows how important it is health systems start getting ready to exist in a world with climate change, with biodiversity loss.”

In what is likely to come as a more surprising finding, the researchers also found that urbanization decreased the risk of infectious disease.

The new analysis, which was published in Nature on Wednesday, focused on five “global change drivers” that are altering ecosystems across the planet: biodiversity change, climate change, chemical pollution, the introduction of nonnative species and habitat loss or change.

The researchers compiled data from scientific papers that examined how at least one of these factors affected various infectious-disease outcomes, such as severity or prevalence. The final data set included nearly 3,000 observations on disease risks for humans, animals and plants on every continent except for Antarctica.

The researchers found that, across the board, four of the five trends they studied — biodiversity change, the introduction of new species, climate change and chemical pollution — tended to increase disease risk.

“It means that we’re likely picking up general biological patterns,” said Jason Rohr, an infectious disease ecologist at the University of Notre Dame and senior author of the study. “It suggests that there are similar sorts of mechanisms and processes that are likely occurring in plants, animals and humans.”

The loss of biodiversity played an especially large role in driving up disease risk, the researchers found. Many scientists have posited that biodiversity can protect against disease through a phenomenon known as the dilution effect.

The theory holds that parasites and pathogens, which rely on having abundant hosts in order to survive, will evolve to favor species that are common, rather than those that are rare, Dr. Rohr said. And as biodiversity declines, rare species tend to disappear first. “That means that the species that remain are the competent ones, the ones that are really good at transmitting disease,” he said.

Lyme disease is one oft-cited example. White-footed mice, which are the primary reservoir for the disease, have become more dominant on the landscape, as other rarer mammals have disappeared, Dr. Rohr said. That shift may partly explain why Lyme disease rates have risen in the United States. (The extent to which the dilution effect contributes to Lyme disease risk has been the subject of debate, and other factors, including climate change, are likely to be at play as well.)

Other environmental changes could amplify disease risks in a wide variety of ways. For instance, introduced species can bring new pathogens with them, and chemical pollution can stress organisms’ immune systems. Climate change can alter animal movements and habitats, bringing new species into contact and allowing them to swap pathogens .

Notably, the fifth global environmental change that the researchers studied — habitat loss or change — appeared to reduce disease risk. At first glance, the findings might appear to be at odds with previous studies, which have shown that deforestation can increase the risk of diseases ranging from malaria to Ebola. But the overall trend toward reduced risk was driven by one specific type of habitat change: increasing urbanization.

The reason may be that urban areas often have better sanitation and public health infrastructure than rural ones — or simply because there are fewer plants and animals to serve as disease hosts in urban areas. The lack of plant and animal life is “not a good thing,” Dr. Carlson said. “And it also doesn’t mean that the animals that are in the cities are healthier.”

And the new study does not negate the idea that forest loss can fuel disease; instead, deforestation increases risk in some circumstances and reduces it in others, Dr. Rohr said.

Indeed, although this kind of meta-analysis is valuable for revealing broad patterns, it can obscure some of the nuances and exceptions that are important for managing specific diseases and ecosystems, Dr. Carlson noted.

Moreover, most of the studies included in the analysis examined just a single global change drive. But, in the real world, organisms are contending with many of these stressors simultaneously. “The next step is to better understand the connections among them,” Dr. Rohr said.

Emily Anthes is a science reporter, writing primarily about animal health and science. She also covered the coronavirus pandemic. More about Emily Anthes

Explore the Animal Kingdom

A selection of quirky, intriguing and surprising discoveries about animal life..

Scientists say they have found an “alphabet” in the songs of sperm whales , raising the possibility that the animals are communicating in a complex language.

Indigenous rangers in Australia’s Western Desert got a rare close-up with the northern marsupial mole , which is tiny, light-colored and blind, and almost never comes to the surface.

For the first time, scientists observed a primate in the wild treating a wound  with a plant that has medicinal properties.

A new study resets the timing for the emergence of bioluminescence back to millions  of years earlier than previously thought.

Scientists are making computer models to better understand how cicadas  emerge collectively after more than a decade underground .


Century of statistical ecology reviewed

Crunching numbers isn't exactly how Neil Gilbert, a postdoctoral researcher at Michigan State University, envisioned a career in ecology.

"I think it's a little funny that I'm doing this statistical ecology work because I was always OK at math, but never particularly enjoyed it," he explained. "As an undergrad, I thought, I'll be an ecologist -- that means that I can be outside, looking at birds, that sort of thing."

As it turns out," he chuckled, "ecology is a very quantitative discipline."

Now, working in the Zipkin Quantitative Ecology lab, Gilbert is the lead author on a new article in a special collection of the journal Ecology that reviews the past century of statistical ecology .

Statistical ecology, or the study of ecological systems using mathematical equations, probability and empirical data, has grown over the last century. As increasingly large datasets and complex questions took center stage in ecological research, new tools and approaches were needed to properly address them.

To better understand how statistical ecology changed over the last century, Gilbert and his fellow authors examined a selection of 36 highly cited papers on statistical ecology -- all published in Ecology since its inception in 1920.

The team's paper examines work on statistical models across a range of ecological scales from individuals to populations, communities, ecosystems and beyond. The team also reviewed publications providing practical guidance on applying models. Gilbert noted that because, "many practicing ecologists lack extensive quantitative training," such publications are key to shaping studies.

Ecology is an advantageous place for such papers, because it is one of, "the first internationally important journals in the field. It has played an outsized role in publishing important work," said lab leader Elise Zipkin, a Red Cedar Distinguished Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology.

"It has a reputation of publishing some of the most influential papers on the development and application of analytical techniques from the very beginning of modern ecological research."

The team found a persistent evolution of models and concepts in the field, especially over the past few decades, driven by refinements in techniques and exponential increases in computational power.

"Statistical ecology has exploded in the last 20 to 30 years because of advances in both data availability and the continued improvement of high-performance computing clusters," Gilbert explained.

Included among the 36 reviewed papers were a landmark 1945 study by Lee R. Dice on predicting the co-occurrence of species in space -- Ecology's most highly cited paper of all time -- and an influential 2002 paper led by Darryl MacKenzie on occupancy models. Ecologists use these models to identify the range and distribution of species in an environment.

Mackenzie's work on species detection and sampling, "played an outsized role in the study of species distributions," says Zipkin. MacKenzie's paper, which was cited more than 5,400 times, spawned various software packages that are now widely used by ecologists, she explained.

  • Environmental Issues
  • Computer Modeling
  • Mathematical Modeling
  • Origin of Life
  • Early Climate
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computational genomics
  • Albert Einstein
  • Bioinformatics
  • Mathematical model
  • Water turbine
  • Numerical weather prediction

Story Source:

Materials provided by Michigan State University . Original written by Caleb Hess. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference :

  • Neil A. Gilbert, Bruna R. Amaral, Olivia M. Smith, Peter J. Williams, Sydney Ceyzyk, Samuel Ayebare, Kayla L. Davis, Wendy Leuenberger, Jeffrey W. Doser, Elise F. Zipkin. A century of statistical Ecology . Ecology , 2024; DOI: 10.1002/ecy.4283

Cite This Page :

Explore More

  • High-Efficiency Photonic Integrated Circuit
  • Life Expectancy May Increase by 5 Years by 2050
  • Toward a Successful Vaccine for HIV
  • Highly Efficient Thermoelectric Materials
  • Toward Human Brain Gene Therapy
  • Whale Families Learn Each Other's Vocal Style
  • AI Can Answer Complex Physics Questions
  • Otters Use Tools to Survive a Changing World
  • Monogamy in Mice: Newly Evolved Type of Cell
  • Sustainable Electronics, Doped With Air

Trending Topics

Strange & offbeat.


  1. Essay about Ecology and Economics System

    essay on ecology and ecosystem

  2. ecology-essay-questions

    essay on ecology and ecosystem

  3. Ecology

    essay on ecology and ecosystem

  4. Ecosystem Essay

    essay on ecology and ecosystem

  5. 📗 Essay Example on Ecosystem and Restoration Ecology Effects

    essay on ecology and ecosystem

  6. Environmental Issues Essay

    essay on ecology and ecosystem


  1. Ecology...Ecosystem....Revise this chapter in 15 mins thorugh these notes...#neet2024

  2. Population Ecology in Hindi #CSIRNET #Trending

  3. What is Ecology? Ecosystem in Environmental StudiesI Population I Community I by Akash Sir #ecology

  4. Ecosystem

  5. Ecology & Ecosystem

  6. ECOLOGY// Ecosystem Repeated PYQ#neet2024 #neet #motivation #study#neetaspirant #pyq


  1. What is an ecosystem? (article)

    An ecosystem consists of a community of organisms together with their physical environment. Ecosystems can be of different sizes and can be marine, aquatic, or terrestrial. Broad categories of terrestrial ecosystems are called biomes. In ecosystems, both matter and energy are conserved. Energy flows through the system—usually from light to ...

  2. Ecosystem

    An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life. Ecosystems contain biotic or living, parts, as well as a biotic factors, or nonliving parts. Biotic factors include plants, animals, and other organisms.Abiotic factors include rocks, temperature, and humidity.

  3. 89 Ecosystem Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

    Plastic Ocean and Its Effect on the Ecosystem. The purpose of this essay is to present science-based facts in support of the author's words to convince the reader of the criticality of the ecological problem. Invasive Processes' Impact on Ecosystem's Biodiversity.

  4. Topics for Ecology Essays

    Ecology is the study of the interactions and reciprocal influence of living organisms within a specific environment. It's usually taught in the context of biology, though some high schools also offer courses in Environmental Science which includes topics in ecology.

  5. Free Ecosystem Essay Examples & Topic Ideas

    9 Ecosystem & Ecology Essay Topics. In this section, we have listed some topics for your ecosystem restoration essay. Finding the right idea will help you begin the research process. Furthermore, you can use our title generator that will create even more suggestions! Here are some ideas for your essay on ecosystems:

  6. Ecological interactions (article)

    Probably. Ecosystems are connected. While scientists do break the world down to study it in smaller pieces because we can't comprehend the ecosystem of the whole world at one time, the whole world is one big ecosystem. Some parts of it are more directly connected to others, and some parts are less directly connected.

  7. Ecosystem

    Ecosystem, the complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space. ... Ecology and Ecosystems (May 02, 2024) ... (Read E.O. Wilson's Britannica essay on mass extinction.) Britannica Quiz. Ecosystems. Energy flow. Examine the trophic levels of producers, herbivores, and ...

  8. Introducing the environment: Ecology and ecosystems

    Ecology is a scientific approach to the study of the biosphere. Ecosystems are created by the interrelationships between living organisms and the physical environments they inhabit (land, water, air). Ecosystems require a source of energy to make them work and for most, although not all, this is light from the sun.

  9. Ecology

    Ecology is the study of organisms and how they interact with the environment around them. An ecologist studies the relationship between living things and their habitats. In order to learn about the natural world, ecologists must study multiple aspects of life ranging from the moss that grows on rocks to the wolf population in the United States' Yellowstone National Park.

  10. Ecosystem

    The sum of all living organisms residing in an ecological environment forms a community. In the community, the living and non-living factors interact in a manner that ensures balance in the environment. We will write a custom essay on your topic. The aspect of the living organisms-both plants and animal, sharing an environment forms an ecosystem.

  11. Ecosystem ecology

    Ecosystem ecology is the combined study of the physical and biological components of ecosystems. It focuses on how matter and energy flow through both organisms and the abiotic components of the ...

  12. Essay on Ecosystem: Top 7 Essays on Ecosystem

    Essay # 6. Properties of Ecosystem: The following are the basic properties of an ecosystem: (i) Ecosystem of any given space-time-unit rep­resents the sum of all living organisms and physical environment. (ii) It is composed of three basic components viz., energy, biotic (biome) and abiotic (habitat) com­ponents.

  13. Essay on Ecosystem

    Essay # 8. Ecosystem Disturbance: The natural ecosystem may be disturbed in a num­ber of ways viz., natural hazards or man-made ac­tivities. Earth quake, volcanoes, cyclone, flood, and landslides are the major natural hazards that dam­age the natural ecosystem. ... The systems approach is especially im­portant to ecology, particularly to an ...

  14. History of Ecological Sciences, Part 59: Niches, Biomes, Ecosystems

    The next year, animal ecologist Francis Evans (1914-2002), University of Michigan, published in Science a brief essay, Ecosystem as the Basic Unit in Ecology . Perhaps his essay popularized use of the term by ecologists. ... The histories of ecosystem ecology by Hagen and Golley provided historical details of U.S. IBP activities, and ...

  15. Ecosystem- Structure, Functions, Units and Types of Ecosystem

    An ecosystem is a structural and functional unit of ecology where the living organisms interact with each other and the surrounding environment. In other words, an ecosystem is a chain of interactions between organisms and their environment. The term "Ecosystem" was first coined by A.G.Tansley, an English botanist, in 1935.

  16. ecology and ecosystem

    Downloads 41. Category Economics , Environment , Science. Topic Environmental Issues , Farm , Microorganisms. This sample was provided by a student, not a professional writer. Anyone has access to our essays, so likely it was already used by other students. Do not take a risk and order a custom paper from an expert.

  17. Top 100 in Ecology

    Top 100 in Ecology. This collection highlights our most downloaded* ecology papers published in 2021. Featuring authors from aroud the world, these papers showcase valuable research from an ...

  18. Essay on Ecosystem

    1. Essay on the Meaning of Ecosystem: The term an ecosystem is originally defined by Tansley (1935). An ecosystem is defined as the network of interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment they can come in any size but usually encompass specific, limited spaces although according to some scientists the entire planet is an ecosystem or an ecosystem is defined as a ...

  19. Ecology

    Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment. It considers processes that occur at the population, community and ecosystem levels and has a particular focus ...

  20. What is Ecology?

    Ecology is the study of organisms, the environment and how the organisms interact with each other and their environment. It is studied at various levels, such as organism, population, community, biosphere and ecosystem. An ecologist's primary goal is to improve their understanding of life processes, adaptations and habitats, interactions and ...

  21. A diversity of diversities: Do complex environmental effects underpin

    1 INTRODUCTION. Ecosystem functionality and stability are underpinned by biodiversity (IPBES, 2019) and interactions between different components of the biosphere are essential to ecosystem maintenance.Correlation between the different biological communities of an ecosystem could be due to the direct influence of one taxonomic group on another or due to shared response to environmental ...

  22. Essay on Environment for Students and Children

    500+ Words Essay on Environment. Essay on Environment - All living things that live on this earth comes under the environment. Whether they live on land or water they are part of the environment. The environment also includes air, water, sunlight, plants, animals, etc. Moreover, the earth is considered the only planet in the universe that ...

  23. Essay on Ecology

    Ecology or environmental biology pertains to the study of relationship between various organisms and their environment. This includes consideration of plants, animals and human beings. Essay # 2. History and Scope of Ecology: ADVERTISEMENTS: The word "Ecology" derived from the Greek words "Oikos" meaning habitation, and "logos ...

  24. Uncomfortable knowledge in sustainability science: essays in ...

    Environment, Development and Sustainability - Most of Pimentel's research addressed wicked environmental problems related to the sustainability of human development, such as biological control, pesticide use, organic and alternative farming practices, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, genetic engineering, biofuels and biomass energy, fossil energy dependence of the food system, and the ...

  25. A century of statistical Ecology

    ECOLOGY: AN IMPORTANT VENUE FOR STATISTICAL ECOLOGY. Ecology is a generalist journal. It publishes papers on diverse taxa across many biomes, addressing a wide variety of ecological questions. Papers focused on the development of ecological research methods have been central to Ecology's niche, dating back to the journal's inception.For example, in its third year, Ecology published a critique ...

  26. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

    Most majors ecology courses prioritize coverage of CEC, often building the course to move from organisms through larger scales such as ecosystems and the biosphere. However, in non-majors courses, in which learning objectives are often focused on building scientific literacy and connecting ecology concepts to human applications, it is often ...

  27. Environmental Changes Are Fueling Human, Animal and Plant Diseases

    The new analysis, which was published in Nature on Wednesday, focused on five "global change drivers" that are altering ecosystems across the planet: biodiversity change, climate change ...

  28. Century of statistical ecology reviewed

    Century of statistical ecology reviewed. Date: May 14, 2024. Source: Michigan State University. Summary: A special review examines highly-cited papers in statistical ecology. The review, which ...

  29. Quantifying direct and indirect effects of early‐season herbivory on

    1 INTRODUCTION. Over their lifetimes, plants interact with a diverse and highly dynamic community of insect herbivores. As the costs of herbivory are dependent on the plant's ontogeny and environment, plants may not always be able to fully compensate for the consumptive effects of herbivores, resulting in reduced reproductive output (Boege & Marquis, 2005; Lehndal & Agren, 2015; Ochoa-Lopez et ...