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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.

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Invasive Species in the Great Lakes by 2063

New study shows the vulnerability of the basin to future invaders – and calls for regulations to mitigate this threat

The Great Lakes have been invaded by more non-native species than any other freshwater ecosystem in the world. In spite of increasing efforts to stem the tide...

30.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Scientists investigate link between skyrocketing sea slug populations and warming seas

A bloom of vibrant pink nudibranchs along California's coast may signal a serious shift in ocean climate

The warm ocean temperatures that brought an endangered green sea turtle to San Francisco in September have triggered a population explosion of bright pink,...

30.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

A rare glimpse at the elusive saharan cheetah

New research into the critically endangered Saharan cheetah establishes it as one of the world's rarest large cats

Research by scientists and conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoological Society of London, and other groups published today in PLOS...

30.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Researchers Capture, Document First Northern Saw-Whet Owl in Arkansas

Work will help scientists determine where the rare birds spend winter

Wildlife biologists at the University of Arkansas have captured and documented the first northern saw-whet owl in Arkansas.

29.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Research projects contribute to shaping EU regulation to control invasive species

The first Europe-wide legislation to combat alien species with far-reaching consequences

A new regulation governing the control of invasive alien species became effective in all EU states on 1 January 2015. The European Union hopes that it will...

28.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Ocean acidification changes balance of biofouling communities

A new study of marine organisms that make up the 'biofouling community' - tiny creatures that attach themselves to ships' hulls and rocks in the ocean around the world - shows how they adapt to changing ocean acidification. Reporting in the journal Global Change Biology, the authors examine how these communities may respond to future change.

There is overwhelming evidence to suggest the world's oceans are becoming, and will continue to become more acidic in the future, but there are many questions...

28.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Environmental Scientists Find Antibiotics, Bacteria, Resistance Genes in Dust from Feedlots

After testing dust in the air near cattle feedlots in the Southern High Plains, researchers at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University found evidence of antibiotics, feedlot-derived bacteria and DNA sequences that encode for antibiotic resistance.

The study was published online today in the National Institutes of Environmental Science’s peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. The...

27.01.2015 | nachricht Read more

Researchers Introduce Macrosystems Approach to Study Stream Ecology

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 | nachricht Read more

University Students Study Ecosystem Changes From Bison Population

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 | nachricht Read more

California's policies can significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions through 2030

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

Im Focus: Nanoscale Mirrored Cavities Amplify, Connect Quantum Memories

Advance could lead to quantum computing and the secure transfer of information over long-distance fiber optic networks

The idea of computing systems based on controlling atomic spins just got a boost from new research performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)...

Im Focus: Shedding light on cold Higgs

For the first time physicists at the University of Stuttgart provide experimental proof of a stable and well-defined Higgs mode in superconductors – a direct analog to the Higgs particle, discovered only recently at the world´s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN – however, using not more than a table-top experiment.

When François Englert and Peter Higgs were awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize, a scientific breakthrough was honored that could hardly be more spectacular: born from...

Im Focus: Pictured together for the first time: A chemokine and its receptor

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...

Im Focus: Intelligent Algorithm Finds Available Carsharing Vehicles

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,...

Im Focus: New conductive coatings for flexible touchscreens – presentation at nano tech 2015 in Japan

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...

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