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Global Warming News - Science Daily
Ecology Topic Page from Credo Reference
Ecology is possibly one of the most ancient disciplines. Its evolution has been gradual, and it will continue to evolve with humankind's ability to comprehend and understand his own surroundings and the interaction of its components. Rooted in the Greek word oikos, which means home, the subject shares its origin with the study of economics.
The Encyclopedia of Ecology and Environmental Management, Blackwell Science
It began as a subject concerned predominantly with the environment (Haeckel's ‘house’), i.e. the study of the way that organisms are influenced by physicochemical conditions. However, as it has developed, it has become increasingly concerned with interactions between individuals, so that it is now probably best defined as that area of biology concerned with the study of collective groups of organisms. As such, it stands at the opposite end of the biological scheme of things from the study of cells and molecules.
ecology in The Dictionary of Human Geography
A science primarily concerned with the non-human world and, more specifically, with the complex relations between organisms and their environment. As such, ecology is considered something of a holistic and synthetic science, drawing on population and evolutionary biology, soil science, hydrology, earth systems, oceanography, chemistry, conservation biology and other sciences in attempting to understand how individual organisms and populations interact with other species and, more generally, how organisms are linked to their biotic and abiotic environments.
ecology in The Dictionary of Physical Geography
The scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. Ecology examines the relationships between organisms belonging to both the same and different taxonomic groups, and between those organisms and their physical environmental circumstances.
Ecology in Science in the Contemporary World: An Encyclopedia
The study of biological organisms and their environment has been part of human inquiry from prehistoric times, but the effort gained an intellectual focus with the theory of natural selection developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882). By the late nineteenth century, biologists, botanists, zoologists, and scientists from other disciplines were engaged in disciplined ecological studies.
ecology in International Encyclopedia of Environmental Politics
The term ‘ecology’ was coined in 1866 by the German naturalist Ernst Haeckel, broadly denoting ‘the science of the relations of living organisms to the external world, their habitat, customs, energies, parasites, etc’ (Haeckel, 1905:80).
Population Ecology in The Princeton Guide to Ecology
Understanding what determines the average abundance of species, why their numbers fluctuate, and how they interact with each other is a major part of modern ecology often united under the term population ecology. Of course, the boundaries of population ecology are ill-defined and porous: on the one hand the field grades into physiological ecology—how individuals interact with the environment—and on the other hand into community ecology—the study of large assemblages of species. Population ecology is part of the larger subject of population biology that encompasses both the evolutionary and the ecological processes affecting populations.
ecology in The Dictionary of World Philosophy
Also – though infrequently – oecology, this term derives from the Greek oiko(s) – “house” – and logos – “discourse,” “reason,” “body of knowledge” – and was modeled in English after the German ökologie. Originally a biological term meaning the branch of biology dealing with organisms and their environment, ecology was extended to other areas, for example sociology, where it means the branch of sociology dealing with the spacing of people and institutions, and the resulting interdependencies. Ecology, whether in biology, sociology, or elsewhere, studies ecologies, that is, relatively settled networks of interactive components.