Ecology Essay

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Ecology (from Greek: οἶ κος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") (ecos logos the study of the home). It is the study of relationships among living organisms (plants, animals) and their physical environment (home). The prehistoric man was not a scientist but was able to realize through observation these relationships because he had to deal with everything surrounding him. He noticed repetitions (year, seasons...); he had to understand certain phenomena to know when to plant, when to breed, where to go (Bedouin tribes)... Thus, observing the environment was essential. Observations led to the formulation of certain hypotheses. More modern contributions were made by naturalists that set the basis of our contemporary understanding of ecology e.g. Darwin, Wallace (genetics), and Linnaeus (botanist). Ecology makes use of all branches of science: biology (zoology and botany), chemistry, physics, geology, geography, astronomy, meteorology, statistics, genomics... which contribute information and explanation of ecological phenomena and relations. Life of all plants and animals depends on the complex interactions of all these factors and obeys their rules. TERMS Ecosystem This term cannot be defined easily. It is the system formed by the interactions or interrelationships among living things (a community of organisms) with their physical environment. In its widest meaning, an ecosystem can be considered to be the whole earth where all living things and their physical environment are in active flux (give and take). What happens to one part of an ecosystem affects all other parts. Materials are being cycled and recycled all the time in an ecosystem, from soil, to water, to air, from plants and animals and back. Example, cycles of: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur. The energy operating all ecosystems originates mainly in the sun whether directly since sunlight leads to

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