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Ecology, environmental protection and nature conservation - for a green future

Ecology is a subdiscipline of biology that examines the interrelationships of organisms and their environment.

Ecology as a generic term for the overall relationship between living beings and the environment

Environmental protection and nature conservation are elements of ecology. Because environmental awareness has been on the rise since the middle of the 20th century, the term ecology is frequently used in the same breath as environmental protection andnature conservation. There is a demarcation line however. Ecology describes the relationship between living beings and the environment, while environmental protection and nature conservation involve measures aimed at preserving the environment. Although ecology research is a broad field, it can be broken down into three main subdisciplines :

  • Population ecology
  • Community ecology
  • Ecological system analyses

At a high level, ecology involves the propagation and frequency of organisms. Where do they come from? What type of organism did they originate from? How many are there? And where do they appear? The goal of ecological analyses is providing answers to these questions. Biotic and abiotic environmental factors that can influence the environment are also part any ecological analysis. What makes ecological research so difficult is the complexity of the biological systems. Individual observations serve less as focal points and more as general conclusions produced from mathematics, statistics or experiments. A vital part of ecology is reducing complex structures to simple conclusions based on natural science.

Environmental protection and its subdisciplines

While ecology takes a holistic approach, environmental protectionmainly involves measures aimed at preserving the basic existence of all living beings. This calls for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. For this reason, nature conservation plays a leading role in ecology as well as in environmental protection. A basic element of environmental protection involves rectifying human-induced damage to the environment. As a result, this requires observing not only the individual parts, but the overall relationships between the parts as well, The term environmental protection first gained attention in the 1970s. One of the primary goals of environmental protection is preserving the human ecosystem. Although preservation of the human ecosystem is a major aspect of environmental protection, technical solutions are still frequently employed. Environmental protection can be divided into several disciplines:

  • climate protection as a subdiscipline of environmental protection
  • forest protection as a subdiscipline of environmental protection
  • water protection as a subdiscipline of environmental protection

From a global point of view,environmental protection is always related to one of these subdisciplines.

Nature conservation as a demarcation line between environmental protection and ecology

Apart from ecology and environmental protection, an important area is nature conservation. Although environmental protection and nature conservation typically complement one another, there are certain exceptions. In the field of ecology, renewable raw materials such as wood are points of conflict between nature conservation and environmental protection. While nature conservation demands that trees be preserved as long as possible and eventually turned into deadwood for the ecosystem of a variety of animals, environmental protection views wood as a sustainable energy source and raw material. Environmental protection also seeks to avoid the radical deforesting of lands and forests. Within nature conservation there are also initiatives that oppose wind power and small hydropower systems. Under the context of nature conservation, the idea is to impact nature as little as possible. Nature conservation is also a local issue. Nature conservation frequently involves single locations. As it pertains to ecology, nature conservation examines ways to preserve and reestablish a balanced ecosystem. Nature conservation strives toward sustainable human use of our natural environment. Nature conservation is a goal of government and is established in Article 20a of the German constitution. Nature conservation also means the protection of animals and homelands. Many individuals also view nature conservation as important, because they understand the dramatic consequences if society is not actively engaged in nature conservation.

Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

This complex theme deals primarily with interactions between organisms and the environmental factors that impact them, but to a greater extent between individual inanimate environmental factors.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles on topics such as climate protection, landscape conservation, ecological systems, wildlife and nature parks and ecosystem efficiency and balance.

Latest News:

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Coorong Fish Hedge Their Bets for Survival

Analysis of the ear bones of the River Murray estuarine fish black bream has revealed how these fish ‘hedge their bets’ for population survival.

Published in the journal Biology Letters, University of Adelaide research has shown that within this single species of fish there are some individuals which...

27.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Greener Industry If Environmental Authorities Change Strategy

Fewer industrial firms would violate environmental legislation and a higher number would adopt cleaner technologies if environmental authorities would focus their monitoring efforts on companies with the most environmentally damaging technology. At a societal level, such a strategy would mean less pollution at the same or a lower cost of monitoring, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg.

‘Since all people suffer from air pollution and global climate change, our research is relevant to everybody. But our findings are particularly important to...

27.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Greenhouse gases unbalanced

How human intervention changes wetlands

The conversion of arctic and boreal wetlands into agricultural land would result in an additional cumulative radiative forcing of about 0,1 mJ per square meter...

25.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Nova Southeastern University researcher part of team researching DNA of tigers

Results of 10-year study provides new DNA tools that can help conservation efforts

Tigers - they are some of nature's most beautiful, deadly and endangered species. In fact, living tigers are severely endangered in fragmented geographic areas...

23.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

World water decade ends – Problems of global water supply stay

The World Water Day on March 22 marks the end of the UN-Decade „Water for Life” the goal of which was to improve the water supply worldwide. But access to clean water and sufficient amounts of industrial water has remained a big challenge in spite of all efforts – and this does not just apply to arid agricultural regions but also to cities. Especially in megacities with annually up to 300,000 new inhabitants the pressure on the resource is increasing. Water experts from ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research demonstrate how it is possible for cities to handle water shortage and reduce user conflicts.

Worldwide water demand is increasing fast. The consequences are well known: many groundwater reserves are already overexploited, more and more regions are...

17.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Tiger Dad: Rare Family Portrait of Amur Tigers the First-Ever to Include an Adult Male

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Russia Program, in partnership with the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve and Udegeiskaya Legenda National Park, released a camera trap slideshow of a family of Amur tigers in the wild showing an adult male with family.

Shown following the “tiger dad” along the Russian forest is an adult female and three cubs. Scientists note this is a first in terms of photographing this...

10.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Gasoline betas mining

Until it was banned, leaded gasoline dominated the manmade lead emissions in South America.

Leaded gasoline was a larger emission source of the toxic heavy metal lead than mining in South America – even though the extraction of metals from the...

09.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Benzin schlägt Bergbau

Gletscher verraten: Verbleites Benzin dominierte bis zu seinem Verbot die Bleiemissionen in Südamerika.

Verbleites Benzin war in Südamerika bis zu seinem Verbot eine stärkere Quelle von Emissionen des giftigen Schwermetalls Blei als der Bergbau. Dies, obwohl die...

09.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Wild Yaks - Shaggy Barometers of Climate Change

New study reveals how a warming planet affects male and female yaks differently

Wild Yaks: Shaggy Barometers of Climate Change

06.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Researchers Discover Hurricanes Helped Accelerate Spread of Lionfish

Invasive Species Benefit From Changes in Ocean Currents During Storms

Just when you thought hurricanes couldn't get any scarier, think again.

06.03.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Experiment Provides the Best Look Yet at 'Warm Dense Matter' at Cores of Giant Planets

In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...

Im Focus: Energy-autonomous and wireless monitoring protects marine gearboxes

The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.

As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...

Im Focus: 3-D satellite, GPS earthquake maps isolate impacts in real time

Method produced by UI researcher could improve reaction time to deadly, expensive quakes

When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.

Im Focus: Atlantic Ocean overturning found to slow down already today

The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe. 

Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...

Im Focus: Robot inspects concrete garage floors and bridge roadways for damage

Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.

From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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25.03.2015 | Event News

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