Ecology, is the branch of science that deals with the relationships living things have to each other and to their environment. Scientists who study these relationships are called ecologists.
The world includes a tremendous variety of living things, from complex plants and animals to simpler organisms, such as fungi, amebas, and bacteria. But whether large or small, simple or complex, no organism lives alone. Each depends in some way upon other living and nonliving things in its surroundings. For example, a moose must have certain plants for food. If the plants in its environment were destroyed, the moose would have to move to another area or starve to death. In turn, plants depend upon such animals as moose for the nutrients (nourishing substances) they need to live. Animal wastes and the decay of dead animals and plants provide many of the nutrients plants need.
The study of ecology is important because our survival and well-being depend on ecological relationships around the world. Even changes in distant parts of the world and its atmosphere affect us and our own environment.
Although ecology usually is considered a branch of biology, ecologists must employ such disciplines as chemistry, physics, and computer science. They also rely on such fields as geology, meteorology, and oceanography to study air, land, and water environments and their interactions. This multidisciplinary approach helps ecologists understand how physical environments affect living things. It also helps them assess the impact of environmental problems, such as acid rain or the greenhouse effect.
Ecologists study the organization of the natural world on three main levels: (1) populations, (2) communities, and (3) ecosystems. They analyze the structures, activities, and changes that take place within and among these levels. Ecologists normally work out of doors, studying the operations of the natural world.
Ecology, They often conduct field work in isolated areas, such as islands, where the relationships among the plants and animals may be simpler and easier to understand. For example, the ecology of Isle Royale, an island in Lake Superior, has been studied extensively. Ecology, Many ecological studies focus on solving practical problems. For example, ecologists search for ways to curb the harmful effects of air and water pollution on living things.