All living beings have a way of life that depends on their structure and physiology and also on the type of environment in which they live, so that the physical and biological factors combine to form a great variety of environments in different parts of the biosphere. Thus, the life of a living being is closely adjusted to the physical conditions of its environment and also to the biotic, that is, to the life of its peers and of all other kinds of organisms that make up the community of which it is a part.
The more one learns about any kind of plant or animal, it becomes increasingly clear that each species has undergone adaptations to survive in a particular set of environmental circumstances. Each one can demonstrate adaptations to the wind, the sun, humidity, temperature, salinity and other aspects of the physical environment, as well as adaptations to specific plants and animals that live in the same region.
We also define the term ecology as the study of the mutual relations of organisms with their physical and biotic environment. This term is now much more in the public's consciousness because human beings begin to realize some bad ecological practices of humanity in the past and present. It is important that we all know and appreciate the principles of this aspect of biology, so that we can form an intelligent opinion on issues such as contamination with insecticides, detergents, mercury, waste disposal, dams for power generation, and their defects on the humanity, about human civilization and about the world in which we live.
The Greek word oikos means "house" or "place to live", and ecology (oikos logos) is literally the study of organisms "in their home", in their native environment. The term was proposed by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel in 1869, but many of the concepts of ecology predate the term by a century or more. Ecology deals with the biology of groups of organisms and their relationships with the environment. The term autecology refers to studies of individual organisms, or populations of isolated species, and their relationships with the environment. The term contrasting, synecology, designates studies of groups of associated organisms forming a functional unit of the environment. Groups of organisms can be associated with three levels of organization: populations, communities and ecosystems. In ecological use, a population is a group of individuals of any kind of organism, a group of individuals of a single species. A community in the ecological sense, a biotic community comprises all populations that occupy a defined physical area. The community, together with the non-living physical environment, comprises an ecosystem. Thus, the synecology is interested in the numerous relationships between communities and ecosystems. The ecologist studies problems such as who lives in the shadow of who, who devours whom, who plays a role in the spread and dispersal of who, and how energy flows from one individual to the next in a food chain.
The object of the study of the ecology
Ecology is a science that contributes considerably to our understanding of development, including our own evolution as a species. All evolutionary change takes place in response to the ecological interactions that operate at the population, community, ecosystem, biome, and biosphere levels.
Studies carried out within the scientific discipline of ecology, can therefore focus on one or more different levels: in the populations of the same species, in a community in which the populations of many species participate, on the movement of matter and energy within and through a community and ecosystem, in large-scale processes within a biome, or in global patterns within the biosphere.Some of the most common terms when we talk about ecology are the following:EcosystemAn ecosystem is any geographic area that includes all organisms and non-living parts of its physical environment. An ecosystem can be an area of natural desert, a lake or the suburban forest, or a zone strongly used as a city.The more natural an ecosystem is, the more it will provide ecosystem services. These include cleaning water (wetlands and swamps) and air (forests), pollinating crops and other important plants (insects, birds, bats) and also absorbing and detoxifying pollutants (soils and plants).
BiodiversityAbbreviation of biological diversity, biodiversity is the range of variation found among microorganisms, plants, fungi and animals. Part of this variation is found within species, such as differences in the shapes and colours of the flowers of a single species of plants. Biodiversity also includes the richness of species of living organisms on Earth.