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.
Blue-footed Boobies are on the decline in the Galápagos.
A new study appearing in the journal “Avian Conservation and Ecology” indicates numbers of the iconic birds, known for their bright blue feet and propensity to...23.04.2014 | Read more
Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) have processed existing data on global UV-B radiation in such a way that scientists can use them to find answers to many ecological questions. According to the paper published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, an online journal of the British Ecological Society, this data set allows drawing new conclusions about the global distribution of animal and plant species.
Many research projects study the effects of temperature and precipitation on the global distribution of plant and animal species. However, an important...22.04.2014 | Read more
Tourism is bringing rapid development to the islands of Langkawi, which puts pressure on the marine ecosystem. This research records the diversity and will be a useful baseline record for biomonitoring studies in Malaysia.
A study on the taxonomy of Chlorophyta was carried out to identify and to record the diversity of Chlorophyta on several islands and along coastal areas in...22.04.2014 | Read more
The recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announcement, listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species, brings to mind how agricultural producers, livestock ranchers and those with land enrolled in CRP could be affected.
Cumulative habitat loss, encroachment by invasive woody plants, wind energy development, petroleum production and the ongoing drought are just a handful of...22.04.2014 | Read more
Seagrass beds represent critical and threatened coastal habitats around the world, and a new University of Florida study shows how much sunlight seagrass needs to stay healthy.
Loss of seagrass means fish, crabs and other animals lose their homes and manatees and sea turtles lose a source of food. Nutrients, such as phosphorous, may...22.04.2014 | Read more
Ongoing deforestation and fragmentation of forests in the Amazon help create tinderbox conditions for wildfires in remnant forests, contributing to rapid and widespread forest loss during drought years, according to a team of researchers.
Ongoing deforestation and fragmentation of forests in the Amazon help create tinderbox conditions for wildfires in remnant forests, contributing to rapid and...17.04.2014 | Read more
20-year study finds large decrease in green turtle catch rates
A 20-year assessment of Nicaragua's legal, artisanal green sea turtle fishery has uncovered a stark reality: greatly reduced overall catch rates of turtles in...17.04.2014 | Read more
An international group of scientists is to work with anglers to study how invasive fish species affect local fish populations.
“One of the aspects we plan to investigate is whether recreational fishing can act as protection for local populations of salmon and trout,” says project...17.04.2014 | Read more
University of Adelaide research into parasites of cuttlefish, squid and octopus has uncovered details of the parasites’ astonishing life cycles, and shown how they may help in investigating populations of their hosts.
Researcher Dr Sarah Catalano has described 10 new parasite species− dicyemid mesozoans −, which live in the kidneys of cephalopods (cuttlefish, squid and...16.04.2014 | Read more
High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study jointly led by Purdue and Cornell universities. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impacts from natural gas production.
The study, which is one of only a few to use a so-called "top down" approach that measures methane gas levels in the air above wells, identified seven...15.04.2014 | Read more
Dr. M. Junghaehnel from the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP (Fraunhofer FEP) will give an overview of advances in the area of flexible glass coatings and collaborative findings with Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) at the SVC TECHCON 2014 being held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, May 3-8, 2014.
Flexible glass, such as ultra-slim Corning® Willow® Glass, produced at thicknesses of 100 micron and 200 micron has the ability to bend, while maintaining...
LMU researchers have identified the structural features that enable the innate immune system to discriminate between viral and endogenous RNAs in living cells.
When viruses infect cells, they take control of cellular metabolism and hijack cellular resources for the production of viral proteins. This process is...
A pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another have been discovered by an international research team including Stefanie Komossa from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.
This is the first time such a pair could be found in an ordinary galaxy. They were discovered because they ripped apart a star when ESA’s space observatory...
The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists of...
The first MRI scan to show 'brown fat' in a living adult could prove to be an essential step towards a new wave of therapies to aid the fight against diabetes and obesity.
Researchers from Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust used a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based method to...
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