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.
Kansas State University scientists and collaborators have developed a new method for studying a variety of streams — including tropical, prairie or forested...26.01.2015 | Read more
Students in a Northern Arizona University undergraduate conservation biology class have been studying impacts of a prolific bison herd near the Grand Canyon’s...26.01.2015 | Read more
New Berkeley Lab model finds state will meet 2020 reduction goals
A new model of the impact of California's existing and proposed policies on its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals suggests that the state is on track to...23.01.2015 | Read more
The declining health of coral reefs is intensifying worldwide at an alarming rate, due to the combined effects of land-based sources of pollution and climate change. Despite the persistent use of mosquito-control pesticides in populated coastal areas, studies examining the survival and physiological impacts on the early life stages of foundation species, like corals, are limited.
In order to better understand the combined effects of mosquito pesticides and rising sea-surface temperatures, Dr. Cliff Ross, an associate professor of...22.01.2015 | Read more
In central Cameroon, two different subspecies of chimpanzees live on opposite banks of the Sanaga River, the only instance of two different chimp subspecies living in the wild in a single country. The area is roughly at the geographic center of the range for all four known subspecies of these great apes.
But when a team of scientists recently took a close look at the genetics of central Cameroon's wild chimpanzees, they didn't find two distinct populations;...22.01.2015 | Read more
UMass Amherst researchers use new methods to survey native vs. non-native plants
A new study, the first comprehensive assessment of native vs. non-native plant distribution in the continental United States, finds non-native plant species...21.01.2015 | Read more
WCS and Partners Publish Key Contributions for Andean Bear Conservation throughout the Tropical Andes
• New maps show mysterious bear’s historical range and current conservation strongholds
• Andean bears live in “fairytale” cloud forests of Latin America
The Pyrenees are home to continental Europe's only wild population of bearded vultures, a species classified as endangered in Spain. A study compiled by Spanish researchers reveals - in a level of detail hitherto unseen - the size of the home range of this bird species using satellite tracking technologies.
Bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) are one of the necrophagous birds most under threat in this country and are classified as an 'endangered' species in Spain...16.01.2015 | Read more
Can the world continue expanding its use of renewable resources at an increasing rate? Most likely not. Using a data set of over 25 resources researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Yale University and Michigan State University demonstrate that several key resources have recently passed, at around the same time, their "peak-rate year" -- the maximum increase year.
A potential implication is that as substitution becomes arduous, global society's expanding needs will be harder to fill. They explain this in an article...16.01.2015 | Read more
Guanaco populations rebounding in Tierra del Fuego now come in conflict with sheep ranchers and loggers
Where the Guanaco Roam: New Study Documents Wanderings of South America’s Iconic Hoofed Mammal15.01.2015 | Read more
Researchers capture 3-D structure of a molecular interaction that influences cancer, inflammation and HIV infection
Researchers at University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Bridge Institute at the University of Southern...
A new program will make it easier to combine different modes of transport. Siemens is developing a service for predicting the availability of carsharing vehicles at a given location at specific times.
The forecasting tool will be incorporated into the integrated SiMobility Connect mobility platform, which links carsharing firms, public transport companies,...
Mobile phones and smart phones still haven‘t been adapted to the carrying habits of their users. That much is clear to anyone who has tried sitting down with a mobile phone in their back pocket: the displays of the innumerable phones and pods are rigid and do not yield to the anatomical forms adopted by the people carrying them. By now it is no longer any secret that the big players in the industry are working on flexible displays. Properties that suitable coatings offer in this respect will be demonstrated by the developments of the INM – Leibniz-Institute for New Materials on show nano tech 2015, Tokio, Japan.
For the nanoparticle inks, the researchers are using what are known as TCOs, or transparent conducting oxides. “We use the TCOs to produce nanoparticles with...
A new 'microcapsule' treatment delivery method developed by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) could reduce inflammation in cartilage affected by osteoarthritis and reverse damage to tissue. The research was funded by Arthritis Research UK and the AO Foundation.
A protein molecule called C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), which occurs naturally in the body, is known to reduce inflammation and aid in the repair of...
A gene that influences the communication between nerve cells has a higher mutation rate in schizophrenia patients than in healthy individuals / Previously unknown gene mutations show a functional effect in nerve cells / Parallels between genetic alterations in patients with schizophrenia and autism / Scientists from Heidelberg publish in “Molecular Psychiatry”
Researchers from Heidelberg University Hospital have identified 10 previously unknown genetic alterations (mutations) in schizophrenia patients. The affected...
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26.01.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation