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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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"Extinct" Bird Re-Discovered

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Emissions under control: comprehensive exhaust air analysis during laser processing of plastics

In order to provide optimal protection for machine operators and the environment, it is utterly necessary to know exactly which emissions are being released during laser processing of plastics. Scientists at the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and at the Kunststoff Zentrum SKZ in Würzburg have compiled a comprehensive analysis of the main emissions released during laser processing of plastics. This information is now available in the form of emission data sheets.

What is the influence of the laser output or process speed on the hazardous materials released? How are the materials, process conditions and emissions related?

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A+++ to G: Introduction of Energy Efficiency Label for Heating Systems and Thermal Storage Devices

Fraunhofer ISE Supports Companies with the Introduction of the EU Energy Label

As of September 26, 2015, heating systems will have to bear an European Union energy label. The label, which already applies to refrigerators and washing...

04.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

New Technique Improves Forecasts for Canada’s Prized Salmon Fishery

Method based on field data performs better than traditional management forecast tools

A powerful method for analyzing and predicting nature’s dynamic and interconnected systems is now providing new forecasting and management tools for Canada’s...

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Conservation Organizations Need to Keep Up with Nature

Nature is on the move. As the impacts of climate change reveal themselves, species and ecosystems are moving in response. This poses a fundamental challenge to conservation organizations—how do you conserve something that won't stay still?

A new paper authored by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor suggests that in order to cope, conservation organizations need to adapt like the...

04.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

On-Board School Bus Filtration System Reduces Pollutants by 88 Percent

System could protect children from harmful exposures

An on-board air filtration system developed specifically for school buses reduces exposure to vehicular pollutants by up to 88 percent, according to a study by...

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Borrowing From Whales to Engineer a New Fluid Sensor

How can a humpback whale and a device that works on the same principle as the clicker that starts your gas grill help an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fly longer and with more stability?

Well, it all starts with biological structures called tubercles that the whale uses for its unique maneuvers in the ocean. Felix Ewere, a doctoral student at...

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New technique improves forecasts for Canada's prized salmon fishery

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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The world’s smallest resistances

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Scientists from the Universities of Göttingen and Erlangen have made an important step towards a deeper understanding of smallest resistances. Using a scanning...

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The devices showed vast improvement in efficiency over comparable devices using the earlier “wonder material” graphene.

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