Portal:Ecology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
 Earth flag PD.jpg Portal  Nuvola apps bookcase.svg Topics and categories  People icon.svg WikiProject
Ecology
The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house" and -λογία, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment [1], [2]. Ecology considers organisms at the individual, population, community, ecosystems, and biosphere level. Ecology overlaps with the closely related sciences of biogeography, evolutionary biology, genetics, ethology and natural history. Ecology is a branch of biology, and it is not synonymous with environmentalism.

Among other things, ecology is the study of:

  • Life processes, interactions, and adaptations
  • The movement of materials and energy through living communities
  • The successional development of ecosystems
  • Cooperation, competition and predation within and between species.
  • The abundance, biomass, and distribution of organisms in the context of the environment.
  • Patterns of biodiversity and its effect on ecosystem processes

Ecology has practical applications in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management (agroecology, agriculture, forestry, agroforestry, fisheries), city planning (urban ecology), community health, economics, basic and applied science, and human social interaction (human ecology).

The word "ecology" ("Ökologie") was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel, and it became a rigorous science in the late 19th century. Evolutionary concepts relating to adaptation and natural selection are cornerstones of modern ecological theory.

Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. Ecosystems have biophysical feedback mechanisms that moderate processes acting on living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components of the planet. Ecosystems sustain life-supporting functions and provide ecosystem services like biomass production (food, fuel, fiber, and medicine), the regulation of climate, global biogeochemical cycles, water filtration, soil formation, erosion control, flood protection, and many other natural features of scientific, historical, economic, or intrinsic value. (Full article...)

Selected article - show another

Island with fringing reef off Yap, Micronesia. Coral reefs are dying around the world.

Human impact on coral reefs is significant. Coral reefs are dying around the world. Damaging activities include coral mining, pollution (organic and non-organic), overfishing, blast fishing, the digging of canals and access into islands and bays. Other dangers include disease, destructive fishing practices and warming oceans. Factors that affect coral reefs include the ocean's role as a carbon dioxide sink, atmospheric changes, ultraviolet light, ocean acidification, viruses, impacts of dust storms carrying agents to far-flung reefs, pollutants, algal blooms and others. Reefs are threatened well beyond coastal areas. Climate change, such as warming temperatures, causes coral bleaching, which if severe kills the coral.

Scientists estimate that over the next 20 years, about 70 to 90% of all coral reefs will disappear. With primary causes being warming ocean waters, ocean acidity, and pollution. In 2008, a worldwide study estimated that 19% of the existing area of coral reefs had already been lost. Only 46% of the world's reefs could be currently regarded as in good health and about 60% of the world's reefs may be at risk due to destructive, human-related activities. The threat to the health of reefs is particularly strong in Southeast Asia, where 80% of reefs are endangered. By the 2030s, 90% of reefs are expected to be at risk from both human activities and climate change; by 2050, it is predicted that all coral reefs will be in danger. (Full article...)
List of selected articles

Selected image - show another

Grasslands are found in most ecoregions of the Earth. Above are grasslands near Elsrickle, South Lanarkshire, Great Britain.

General images

The following are images from various ecology-related articles on Wikipedia.

Related WikiProjects



Community.png


Things you can do


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

Symbol support vote.svg Recognized content - show another Cscr-featured.png

Entries here consist of Good and Featured articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards.

The humpback anglerfish uses a modified dorsal spine as a fishing rod with a bioluminescent lure to attract and capture prey.

Aggressive mimicry is a form of mimicry in which predators, parasites, or parasitoids share similar signals, using a harmless model, allowing them to avoid being correctly identified by their prey or host. Zoologists have repeatedly compared this strategy to a wolf in sheep's clothing. In its broadest sense, aggressive mimicry could include various types of exploitation, as when an orchid exploits a male insect by mimicking a sexually receptive female (see pseudocopulation), but will here be restricted to forms of exploitation involving feeding. An alternative term Peckhamian mimicry (after George and Elizabeth Peckham) has been suggested, but is seldom used. For example, indigenous Australians who dress up as and imitate kangaroos when hunting would not be considered aggressive mimics, nor would a human angler, though they are undoubtedly practising self-decoration camouflage. Treated separately is molecular mimicry, which shares some similarity; for instance a virus may mimic the molecular properties of its host, allowing it access to its cells.

Aggressive mimicry is opposite in principle to defensive mimicry, where the mimic generally benefits from being treated as harmful. The mimic may resemble its own prey, or some other organism which is beneficial or at least not harmful to the prey. The model, i.e. the organism being 'imitated', may experience increased or reduced fitness, or may not be affected at all by the relationship. On the other hand, the signal receiver inevitably suffers from being tricked, as is the case in most mimicry complexes. (Full article...)

Selected biography - show another

William Skinner Cooper (25 August 1884 – 8 October 1978) was an American ecologist. Cooper received his B.S. in 1906 from Alma College in Michigan. In 1909, he entered graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he studied with Henry Chandler Cowles, and completed his Ph.D. in 1911. His first major publication, "The Climax Forest of Isle Royale, Lake Superior, and Its Development" appeared in 1913.

Cooper served briefly in 1914-1915 as a lecturer in plant ecology at Stanford University before beginning his long career in the botany department at the University of Minnesota, where he taught from 1915 to 1951. Among his students at Minnesota were Henry J. Oosting, Murray Fife Buell, Rexford Daubenmire, Frank Edwin Egler and Arnold M. Schultz; the latter went on to teach "Ecosystemology" at U.C. Berkeley, and received U.C. Berkeley's "Distinguished Teaching Award" in 1992. Cooper was the president of the Ecological Society of America in 1936 and the president of the Minnesota Academy of Science in 1937. Other professional accolades included receipt of the Botanical Society of America's Merit Award in 1956 and the Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America in 1963. (Full article...)

Did you know - show another

... systems ecology is an interdisciplinary field of ecology, taking a holistic approach to the study of ecological systems, especially ecosystems? Systems ecology can be seen as an application of general systems theory to ecology. Central to the systems ecology approach is the idea that an ecosystem is a complex system exhibiting emergent properties.
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

Selected quote - show another

As we gain satisfaction from artificial substitutes for nature we forget that there is no known substitute for Nature, the real thing and its eons of intelligent, life supportive, experience. Each substitute we create falls short of nature's balanced perfection, thus producing our pollution, garbage and relationship conflicts.


—Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D., Ph.D.

Ecology news

Read and edit Wikinews

Additional News Highlights

Selected publication - show another

Plant Ecology is a scientific journal on plant ecology, formerly known as Vegetatio. The journal publishes original scientific papers on the ecology of vascular plants and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The editor in chief is Neal J. Enright (Murdoch University). (Full article...)

Related portals

Related articles

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Web resources

Portals