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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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York U researchers use innovative bird ‘backpacks’ to put wood thrush migration on the map

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 | nachricht Read more

Eco-pottery product from water treatment sludge

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 | nachricht Read more

New model helps explain how human-provided food resources promote or reduce wildlife disease

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 | nachricht Read more

Climate: Meat turns up the heat

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 | nachricht Read more

IU researcher and colleague provide guide to household water conservation

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 | nachricht Read more

UM-led research team contributes to the management of South Florida coastal environments

Collaborative research team publishes findings in special issue of Ecological Indicators

A Florida-based marine research team has developed a unique formal process and modeling framework to help manage South Florida's economically important coastal...

21.07.2014 | nachricht Read more

Size and age of plants impact their productivity more than climate, study shows

The size and age of plants has more of an impact on their productivity than temperature and precipitation, University of Arizona researchers have discovered

The size and age of plants has more of an impact on their productivity than temperature and precipitation, according to a landmark study by University of...

21.07.2014 | nachricht Read more

Tiniest catch: University of Arizona scientists' fishing expedition reveals viral diversity in the sea

A fishing expedition of microscopic proportions led by University of Arizona ecologists revealed that the lines between virus types in nature are less blurred than previously thought.

Using lab-cultured bacteria as "bait," a team of scientists led by Matthew Sullivan has sequenced complete and partial genomes of about 10 million viruses from...

18.07.2014 | nachricht Read more

Dispersant from Deepwater Horizon Spill Found to Persist in the Environment

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest accidental release of oil into the ocean, with approximately 210 million gallons gushing from the blown out well.

In an attempt to prevent vast quantities of oil from fouling beaches and marshes, BP applied 1.84 million gallons of chemical dispersant to oil to oil released...

17.07.2014 | nachricht Read more

bentekk startup delivers swift results of hazardous waste analysis

Matthias Schmittmann and Johannes Weber, Class 14 students at NIT Northern Institute of Technology Management, have together with the Institute of Measurement Technology at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) developed a portable environmental measuring device that records concentrations of noxious substances especially efficiently in the course of hazardous waste site management.

“The device analyzes samples up to 30 times faster than conventional technologies,” says chemical engineer Schmittmann, “and you get initial results in about...

17.07.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New mass map of a distant galaxy cluster is the most precise yet

Stunning new observations from Frontier Fields

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have mapped the mass within a galaxy cluster more precisely than ever before. Created using observations...

Im Focus: NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast

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...

Im Focus: Mixing it up: Study provides new insight into Southern Ocean behaviour

A new study has found that turbulent mixing in the deep waters of the Southern Ocean, which has a profound effect on global ocean circulation and climate, varies with the strength of surface eddies – the ocean equivalent of storms in the atmosphere – and possibly also wind speeds.

It is the first study to link eddies at the surface to deep mixing on timescales of months to decades.

Im Focus: The World’s First Photonic Router

Weizmann Institute scientists take another step down the long road toward quantum computers

Weizmann Institute scientists have demonstrated for the first time a photonic router – a quantum device based on a single atom that enables routing of single...

Im Focus: Smallest Swiss Cross – Made of 20 Single Atoms

The manipulation of atoms has reached a new level

Together with teams from Finland and Japan, physicists from the University of Basel were able to place 20 single atoms on a fully insulated surface at room...

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