Portal:Ecology

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Ecology

Ecology (from Ancient Greek οἶκος (oîkos) 'house', and -λογία (-logía) 'study of') is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms at the individual, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere level. Ecology overlaps with the closely related sciences of biogeography, evolutionary biology, genetics, ethology, and natural history. Ecology is a branch of biology, and it is not synonymous with environmentalism.

Among other things, ecology is the study of:

  • The abundance, biomass, and distribution of organisms in the context of the environment
  • Life processes, antifragility, interactions, and adaptations
  • The movement of materials and energy through living communities
  • The successional development of ecosystems
  • Cooperation, competition, and predation within and between species
  • Patterns of biodiversity and its effect on ecosystem processes

Ecology has practical applications in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management (agroecology, agriculture, forestry, agroforestry, fisheries, mining, tourism), urban planning (urban ecology), community health, economics, basic and applied science, and human social interaction (human ecology).

The word ecology (German: Ökologie) was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel. The science of ecology as we know it today began with a group of American botanists in the 1890s. Evolutionary concepts relating to adaptation and natural selection are cornerstones of modern ecological theory.

Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living (abiotic) components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. Ecosystems have biophysical feedback mechanisms that moderate processes acting on living (biotic) and abiotic components of the planet. Ecosystems sustain life-supporting functions and provide ecosystem services like biomass production (food, fuel, fiber, and medicine), the regulation of climate, global biogeochemical cycles, water filtration, soil formation, erosion control, flood protection, and many other natural features of scientific, historical, economic, or intrinsic value. (Full article...)

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2016 conservation indicator which includes the following indicators: marine protected areas, terrestrial biome protection (global and national), and species protection (global and national).

Conservation biology is the study of the conservation of nature and of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on natural and social sciences, and the practice of natural resource management.

The conservation ethic is based on the findings of conservation biology. (Full article...)
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Champagne vent white smokers.jpg
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Some Hydrothermal vents support peculiar ecosystems, based on dissolved minerals. Hydrothermal vent communities are able to sustain such vast amounts of life because vent organisms depend on chemosynthetic bacteria for food. The water that comes out of the hydrothermal vent is rich in dissolved minerals and supports a large population of chemo-autotrophic bacteria.

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The following are images from various ecology-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Climate is the long-term weather pattern in a region, typically averaged over 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months to millions of years. Some of the meteorological variables that are commonly measured are temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, and precipitation. In a broader sense, climate is the state of the components of the climate system, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere and the interactions between them. The climate of a location is affected by its latitude, longitude, terrain, altitude, land use and nearby water bodies and their currents.

Climates can be classified according to the average and typical variables, most commonly temperature and precipitation. The most widely used classification scheme was the Köppen climate classification. The Thornthwaite system, in use since 1948, incorporates evapotranspiration along with temperature and precipitation information and is used in studying biological diversity and how climate change affects it. Finally, the Bergeron and Spatial Synoptic Classification systems focus on the origin of air masses that define the climate of a region. (Full article...)

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Darwin, c. 1854, when he was preparing On the Origin of Species for publication

Charles Robert Darwin FRS FRGS FLS FZS JP (/ˈdɑːrwɪn/ DAR-win; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, widely known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended from a common ancestor is now generally accepted and considered a fundamental concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey.

Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. His studies at the University of Cambridge's Christ's College from 1828 to 1831 encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle from 1831 to 1836 established Darwin as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's concept of gradual geological change. Publication of his journal of the voyage made Darwin famous as a popular author. (Full article...)

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Of all the lands in the world's temperate zones, China has the greatest number of plant species; the eastern United States has the next largest number.


—Edwin T. Morris, Author

Ecology news

From the Wikinews Environment portal
  • April 23: European Union to reduce carbon emissions by 55% of 1990 levels by 2030
  • November 27: Wikinews interviews Craig Farquharson, Liberal Democrat candidate for 2020 Groom by-election
  • November 27: Wikinews interviews Sandra Jephcott, Sustainable Australia candidate for 2020 Groom by-election
  • December 14: Greta Thunberg named 2019 Time Person of the Year
  • November 23: Researchers break down deaths due to power plant pollution in the United States
  • November 21: Slippery business: Materials scientists invent new coating for self-cleaning, water-efficient toilets
  • October 19: Northern Arapaho Tribe welcomes buffalo herd in Wyoming, United States
  • October 12: Scientists describe how 'upside-down rivers' of warm water break Antarctica's ice shelf
  • October 5: Voracious fish defend coral reefs against warming, say scientists
  • September 8: Scientists report skyrocketing phytoplankton population in aftermath of Kīlauea eruption

Additional News Highlights
  • November 5, 2009: "New ocean forming in African desert."

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AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment is a multidisciplinary English language academic journal published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 1972. It is published eight times a year. The journal is described as "a journal of the human environment", covering ecology, environmental economics, geology, geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, hydrology, water resources, oceanography, earth sciences, meteorology, physical geography and other subjects. (Full article...)

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Wetland restoration in Australia.jpg
... restoration ecology is the scientific study and practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention and action, within a short time frame? Restoration ecology emerged as a separate field in ecology in the 1980s.
(Pictured left: Recently constructed wetland regeneration in Australia, on a site previously used for agriculture)
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Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

  • Commons
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  • Wikibooks
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  • Wikidata
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  • Wikinews
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  • Wikiquote
    Collection of quotations
  • Wikisource
    Free-content library
  • Wikiversity
    Free learning tools
  • Wiktionary
    Dictionary and thesaurus

Web resources

  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Ecology
  • The Encyclopedia of Earth – Ecology
  • The Nature Education Knowledge Project – Ecology
  • National Geographic – Ecology


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