Portal:Ecology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
 Earth flag PD.jpg Portal  Nuvola apps bookcase.svg Topics and categories  People icon.svg WikiProject
Ecology
Unique plants in the Ruwenzori Mountains, SW Uganda, Bujuku Valley, at about 12,139 feet (3,700 metre) elevation)
Earth Day Flag.png

Ecology, also referred to as ecological science, is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how the distribution and abundance are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment. The environment of an organism includes both physical properties, which can be described as the sum of local abiotic factors such as solar insolation, climate and geology, as well as the other organisms that share its habitat. The term Ökologie was coined in 1866 by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel; the word is derived from the Greek οικος (oikos, "household") and λόγος (logos, "study"); therefore "ecology" means the "study of the household (of nature)".

Ecology is also a human science. There are many practical applications of ecology in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management (agriculture, forestry, fisheries), city planning (urban ecology), community health, economics, basic and applied science and human social interaction (human ecology)

(Pictured left: Unique plants in the Ruwenzori Mountains, SW Uganda, Bujuku Valley, at about 12,139 feet (3,700 metre) elevation)

Selected article

Part of the built environment – suburban tract housing in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pictured left: Part of the built environment – suburban tract housing in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Human ecology is the subdiscipline of ecology that focuses on humans. More broadly, it is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. Human ecology adds the complex human dimension of cultural inheritance that is mediated by the socio-culturally adapted human brain. The term 'human ecology' first appeared in a sociological study in 1921 and at times has been equated with geography. The scientific philosophy of human ecology has a diffuse history with advancements in geography, sociology, psychology, anthropology, zoology, and natural ecology.

Changes to the Earth by human activities have been so great that a new geological epoch named the Anthropocene has been proposed. The human niche or ecological polis of human society, as it was known historically, has created entirely new arrangements of ecosystems as we convert matter into technology. Human ecology has created anthropogenic biomes (called anthromes). The habitats within these anthromes reach out through our road networks to create what has been called technoecosystems containing technosols. Technodiversity exists within these technoecosystems. In direct parallel to the concept of the ecosphere, human civilization has also created a technosphere. The way that the human species engineers or constructs technodiversity into the environment, threads back into the processes of cultural and biological evolution, including the human economy.

The ecosystems of planet Earth are coupled to human environments. Ecosystems regulate the global geophysical cycles of energy, climate, soil nutrients, and water that in turn support and grow natural capital (including the environmental, physiological, cognitive, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of life). Ultimately, every manufactured product in human environments comes from natural systems. Ecosystems are considered common-pool resources because ecosystems do not exclude beneficiaries and they can be depleted or degraded. For example, green space within communities provides sustainable health services that reduces mortality and regulates the spread of vector borne disease. Research shows that people who are more engaged with regular access to natural areas have lower rates of diabetes, heart disease and psychological disorders. These ecological health services are regularly depleted through urban development projects that do not factor in the common-pool value of ecosystems.

More selected articles... Read more...

Selected picture

Hawaii Creek.jpg
Credit: User:God of War

A rocky stream in Hawaii, an example of a riparian zone. A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream.

More selected pictures... Read more...

Selected biography

Rachel-Carson.jpg
Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Carson began her career as a biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her financial security and recognition as a gifted writer. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the republished version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. Together, her sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life, from the shores to the surface to the deep sea.

In early 1953, Carson began library and field research on the ecology and organisms of the Atlantic shore. In 1955, she completed the third volume of her sea trilogy, The Edge of the Sea, which focuses on life in coastal ecosystems (particularly along the Eastern Seaboard). It appeared in The New Yorker in two condensed installments shortly before the October 26 book release. By this time, Carson's reputation for clear and poetical prose was well established; The Edge of the Sea received highly favorable reviews, if not quite as enthusiastic as for The Sea Around Us.

Starting in the mid-1940s, Carson had become concerned about the use of synthetic pesticides, many of which had been developed through the military funding of science since World War II. It was the USDA's 1957 fire ant eradication program, however, that prompted Carson to devote her research, and her next book, to pesticides and environmental poisons. The fire ant program involved aerial spraying of DDT and other pesticides (mixed with fuel oil), including the spraying of private land. Landowners in Long Island filed a suit to have the spraying stopped, and many in affected regions followed the case closely. Though the suit was lost, the Supreme Court granted petitioners the right to gain injunctions against potential environmental damage in the future; this laid the basis for later successful environmental actions.

Silent Spring was written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin on 27 September 1962. The book is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement.

More selected biographies… Read more…

Did you know...

...that in 2006, the United Nations estimated humanity's total ecological footprint to be 1.4 planet Earths? In other words, humanity uses ecological services 1.4 times as fast as Earth can renew them?[1]
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

Ecology news

From the Wikinews Environment portal
Wikinews-logo.svg

Additional News Highlights

Selected quote

I used to think of the environment as trees and blue sky. Then I learned that for some people, the environment is gangs and concrete. All the issues that we face are connected. Worldwide, ecosystems are being destroyed, and indigenous peoples are losing their homelands and their entire way of life. Three out of every five African-Americans and Latinos in the US lives in a community with a toxic waste site. As long as pollution is being produced, it's going to go somewhere, and as long as there are marginalized communities where land is cheaper and the people don't have the time or the money to fight back, polluters will have a place to deposit toxins. As long as people and the planet are being exploited, and billions of dollars are being made precisely because laborers and the environment are being abused and used up, there will be children going hungry and ecological destruction. As long as war and violence are in our hearts and our streets as well as in our nations, as long as corporate greed and unsustainable consumption are at the forefront of our economies, no child will be born into a truly safe, peaceful or loving world.


—Ocean Robbins, founder of YES! — “Helping Visionary Young Leaders Build A Better World”

Selected publication

The African Journal of Ecology(formerly East African Wildlife Journal) is a quarterly scientific journal focused on the ecology and conservation of the animals and plants of Africa. It is published by Blackwell Publishingin association with the East African Wildlife Society.
More selected publications... Read more...

Related WikiProjects

Things you can do

This list is transcluded from the tasks list page, to edit, click here


Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
 – When a task is completed, please remove it from the list.


Related portals

Related articles

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia sister projects provide more on this subject:
Wikibooks  Wikimedia Commons Wikinews  Wikiquote  Wikisource  Wikiversity  Wikivoyage  Wiktionary  Wikidata 
Books Media News Quotations Texts Learning resources Travel guides Definitions Database

Web resources

  1. ^ "Data Sources". Global Footprint Network. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-02-05.