Ecology is a subdiscipline of biology that examines the interrelationships of organisms and their 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 :
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.
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:
From a global point of view,environmental protection is always related to one of these subdisciplines.
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.
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.
Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Queensland, and others urge more focus on more imminent threats
Scientists studying the potential effects of climate change on the world's animal and plant species are focusing on the wrong factors, according to a new paper...31.07.2014 | Read more
While previous studies have shown that marine noise can affect animal movement and communication, with unknown ecological consequences, scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter and the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) CRIOBE in France have demonstrated that boat noise stops embryonic development and increases larval mortality in sea hares.
Sea hares, (specifically the sea slug Stylocheilus striatus used in this study) usually hatch from their eggs to swim away and later feed on toxic alga but...31.07.2014 | Read more
But on the remote UK overseas territory of Ascension Island, one of the world's largest green turtle populations is undergoing something of a renaissance.
Writing in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, scientists from the University of Exeter and Ascension Island Government Conservation Department report...30.07.2014 | Read more
Scientists Undertake Field Study in Puerto Rico
Michigan Technological University researchers are joining US Forest Service and US Geological Survey scientists in the only tropical rainforest in the United...30.07.2014 | Read more
New surveillance program will help government enforce fishing regulations
Seeking to gain a high-tech edge over illegal fishers, the Government of Belize will use “eyes in the sky” to enforce fishing regulations in the biodiverse...28.07.2014 | Read more
Migratory songbirds are disappearing, and though conservationists are examining several possible reasons such as climate change, loss of habitat, acid rain and light pollution, a key piece of the puzzle has remained missing: where do these birds go once they leave their breeding sites, and what threats may they be encountering along the way?
To answer this question, a team of researchers out of York University have created the first ever migratory connectivity map produced for a songbird, using...24.07.2014 | Read more
Sludge obtained from water treatment plants were studied as suitable materials to be used in the pottery industry to make suitable pottery products.
Sludge is a by-product of water treatment. Sludge is produced during the clarification and filtration process in the water treatment system. It is also...23.07.2014 | Read more
Scientists have long known that providing supplemental food for wildlife, or resource provisioning, can sometimes cause more harm than good. University of Georgia ecologists have developed a new mathematical model to tease apart the processes that help explain why. Their research, which has implications for public health and wildlife conservation, appears in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
Wildlife of many kinds are increasingly finding their meals in human environments, gathering at places like backyard bird feeders, landfills or farms that...23.07.2014 | Read more
Eating meat contributes to climate change, due to greenhouse gasses emitted by livestock. New research finds that livestock emissions are on the rise and that beef cattle are responsible for far more greenhouse gas emissions than other types of animals. It is published by Climactic Change.
Carbon dioxide is the most-prevalent gas when it comes to climate change. It is released by vehicles, industry, and forest removal and comprises the greatest...22.07.2014 | Read more
Want to conserve water and save on your utility bill? A paper co-written by an Indiana University researcher and published in the current issue of the journal Environment can help.
"The Water Short List: The Most Effective Actions U.S. Households Can Take to Curb Water Use" describes how households can reduce water use substantially by...22.07.2014 | Read more
Researchers at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics finger silicon-capped hydrocarbons as possible source of mysterious 'diffuse interstellar bands'
Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient...
As fishing and the harvesting of metals, gas and oil have expanded deeper and deeper into the ocean, scientists are drawing attention to the services provided by the deep sea, the world’s largest environment.
“This is the time to discuss deep-sea stewardship before exploitation is too much farther underway,” says lead-author Andrew Thurber. In a review published...
A team of scientists at MPQ achieves a twentyfold amplification of single-photon signals with the help of an ultracold quantum gas.
Data transmission over long distances usually utilizes optical techniques via glass fibres – this ensures high speed transmission combined with low power...
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have mapped the mass within a galaxy cluster more precisely than ever before. Created using observations...
Vibrate a solution of rod-shaped metal nanoparticles in water with ultrasound and they'll spin around their long axes like tiny drill bits. Why?
No one yet knows exactly. But researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have clocked their speed—and it's fast. At up to 150,000...
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01.08.2014 | Physics and Astronomy
01.08.2014 | Physics and Astronomy
01.08.2014 | Health and Medicine