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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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Conservation of Philippine tarsier gets boost from Kansas

 It’s not a monkey. It’s not a lemur. It’s not an African Bush Baby or even a Madagascan Mouse. Meet the Philippine tarsier: a tiny, adorable and downright “cool” primate from Southeast Asia.

“It’s really not like any animals that Americans are familiar with,” said Rafe Brown, curator-in-charge at the University of Kansas’ Biodiversity Institute. “A...

20.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

No one-size-fits-all approach in a changing climate, changing land

As climate change alters habitats for birds and bees and everything in between, so too does the way humans decide to use land.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Aarhus University in Denmark have, for the first time, found a way to determine the potential combined...

19.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Climate Change Will Threaten Fish by Drying Out Southwest U.S. Streams, Study Predicts

Modeling suggests fish will lose habitat as steady flow of surface water is depleted

Fish species native to a major Arizona watershed may lose access to important segments of their habitat by 2050 as surface water flow is reduced by the effects...

19.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Trees and shrubs invading critical grasslands, diminish cattle production

Researchers discover rapid change in ecosystem services

Half of the Earth's land mass is made up of rangelands, which include grasslands and savannas, yet they are being transformed at an alarming rate. Woody...

19.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Scientists study 'talking' turtles in Brazilian Amazon

Authors find that Giant South American river turtles have a repertoire of vocalizations for different behavioral situations, including caring for young

Turtles are well known for their longevity and protective shells, but it turns out these reptiles use sound to stick together and care for young, according to...

15.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

New analysis links tree height to climate

What limits the height of trees? Is it the fraction of their photosynthetic energy they devote to productive new leaves? Or is it their ability to hoist water hundreds of feet into the air, supplying the green, solar-powered sugar factories in those leaves?

Both factors — resource allocation and hydraulic limitation — might play a role, and a scientific debate has arisen as to which factor (or what combination)...

15.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Giant Amazon fish becoming extinct in many fishing communities, saved in others

An international team of scientists has discovered that a large, commercially important fish from the Amazon Basin has become extinct in some local fishing communities.

The team compared mainstream bioeconomic theory — which policymakers have depended on in order to protect fish populations — with the lesser-known...

13.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Climate change negatively impacting Great Lakes, GVSU researcher says

Climate change is having a direct negative effect on the Great Lakes, including impacts to recreational value, drinking water potential, and becoming more suited to invasive species and infectious pathogens, according to a Grand Valley State University researcher.

The impact of climate change on the Great Lakes, as well as other natural resources in the United States, was explored in the report “Science, Education, and...

12.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

New study: Ravens rule Idaho's artificial roosts

Human-structures in sagebrush landscapes favor Common Raven nesting over historical hawk species

A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Idaho State University (ISU) explored how habitat alterations,...

12.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Climate change, predators, and the trickle down effects on ecosystems

Predators play important roles in maintaining diverse and stable ecosystems. Climate change can push species to move in order to stay in their climatic comfort zones, potentially altering where species live and how they interact, which could fundamentally transform current ecosystems.

A symposium focusing on climate's effects on predators—causing cascading effects on whole ecosystems -- will take place on Tuesday, August 12th during the...

12.08.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Magnons control magnons: Transistors for the next generation of computing

A disturbance in the local magnetic order of a solid body can propagate across a material just like a wave. This wave is named spin wave and its quanta are known as magnons.

Physicists from the University of Kaiserslautern propose the usage of magnons to carry and process information instead of electrons as it is done in...

Im Focus: Innate Lymphoid Cells Elicit T Cell Responses

In case of an inflammation the body releases substances that increase the immune defense. During chronic inflammation, this immune response gets out of control and can induce organ damage.

A research group from the Department of Biomedicine at the University and the University Children’s Hospital of Basel now discovered that innate lymphoid cells...

Im Focus: Quantum-Memory Imprint discovered in Light Emission

Physicists at Marburg University assign unexpected experimental results to a quantum memory.

Prior to this work, ideal light sources (such as perfect lasers) were thought to emit as much light as excited in them via pumping.

Im Focus: Megascale icebergs run aground

Finding the deepest iceberg scours to date provides new insights into the Arctic’s glacial past

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have found between Greenland and Spitsbergen the scours left...

Im Focus: Learning from Origami to Design New Materials

UMass Amherst scientists use paper-folding ideas to create reprogrammable materials

A challenge increasingly important to physicists and materials scientists in recent years has been how to design controllable new materials that exhibit...

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