If you discuss about natural science, surely you must know about ecosystems, right? Well, in addition to the ecosystem, you too have certainly heard of ecology, right? Yes, ecology is one part of the branch of science that studies the interaction of living things with their environment.
The term from ecology itself is often considered as a foreign term and rarely heard by the community. In fact, there are some people who think that ecology and ecosystem are different meanings.
Ecology was first introduced by a German biologist named Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel. Long name, isn’t it? Yep, you can call him Ernst Haeckel.
If viewed epistemologically (science), the word ecology comes from the Greek language, namely oikos and logos. The word Oikos has the meaning of habitat, while the word logos has the meaning of knowledge.
So, if studied further, ecology has the meaning as one of the sciences that studies the relationship between organisms (living things) and their environment. The meaning is very diverse according to how experts interpret it.
Yep, as explained before, that ecology is one of the branches of science in biology. According to the historical records, for the first time the science of ecology was used by a German biologist named Ernst Haeckel in 1896. Since then, the discussion about ecology began to be widely discussed in the world of education.
Anthony van Leeuwenhoek is one example of a figure known for his studies of food chains and population regulation. In addition, it turns out that since thousands of years ago famous figures such as Hippocrates, Aristotle, and also other Greek philosophers have written some material that is now included in the field of ecology.
In some books, ecology itself has been interpreted as a science that studies the relationship in the form of interaction between an organism and nature or can also be with the surrounding environment.
Ecology itself has its own scope and what is included in the scope of ecology is population, community, ecosystem, up to the biosphere. As explained earlier, that ecology is one of the biological sciences that studies the interaction between organisms and nature and the surrounding environment.
Therefore, ecology is also closely related to ecosystems. In the Big Indonesian Dictionary or KBBI, there is the term ecosystem ecology which has the meaning as an analysis that is viewed from a structural and also functional point of view, and includes the relationship between biotic and abiotic.
Meanwhile, as reported by The Ecological Society of America, ecology is a science that seeks to study and explain the importance of the relationship between living things and the surrounding environment, including the benefits of ecosystems for living things.
From the explanation that has been presented above, it can be concluded that ecology is a science that studies the relationship between living things (judging from their interactions) with their environment. Ecology also has an important role in aspects of human life.
Why? Because ecology has a scope that also includes ecosystems. Therefore, this article will discuss in more detail about the scope of ecology. Here is the explanation.
Scope of Ecological Science
Ecology in general studies the interaction of organisms with the living environment around them. The scope of ecology is basically limited to several things, such as individuals, populations, communities, ecosystems, and the biosphere.
The first scope of ecology is the Individual. Yes, as you know that an individual is a unit of organism of each type or even a certain species that exists in an environment. How about an example from an individual? Examples are humans, a bird, a deer, and others.
The second scope is population. Where the population is a group of individuals of the same type that exist in a certain place and at a certain time. The simple language can be explained as a combination of several individuals of the same type that are in one place.
What is the sample from the population? For example, the population is the population of humans, the population of birds, the population of grass, and there are many other populations that you can find in your surroundings.
Community is one of the scope of ecology. Community is understood as a group of living beings that consists of several populations in it and interact with each other in a certain place and time.
An example of a community, for example, is a grassland community. In grassland communities there are various types of populations. There are grass populations, grasshopper populations, bird populations, snake populations, and various other populations.
The scope of the fourth ecology is the ecosystem. Well, if you previously knew the ecosystem as ecology. It means you are wrong. Why? Because ecosystems are part of the scope of ecology.
Ecosystem itself is understood as a condition where there is a reciprocal relationship and also an interdependent relationship between a living being and its environment.
For example, the easiest ecosystems for you to know are forests and seawater ecosystems. All individuals in the forest and also the sea interact with each other and depend on each other.
Maybe you rarely hear the word biosphere. However, at the level of biological organization, the biosphere is the largest level and also contains all life on earth.
In the biosphere there are also all the interactions between the physical environment as a whole.
The sixth scope of ecology is landscape or commonly known as landscape ecology. This landscape has a focus on the factors that control the circulation of energy, matter, and also organisms in an ecosystem.
The global scope relies on a regional energy exchange and also the influence of matter on function, as well as the distribution of organisms at the highest level, namely the biosphere.
Aspects & Principles of Ecology
After knowing the meaning and also the scope of ecology, then in this discussion you will be informed about the aspects and principles of ecology that must be observed.
Without further ado, let’s check out the explanation below.
Key Aspects of Ecology
Some important aspects in studying ecology are as follows.
- The study of the relationship between organisms or groups of organisms with their environment.
- The study of the interaction of organisms or groups of organisms with their environment.
- Study about the structure and function of nature.
Key Principles of Ecology
As for the main principles of ecology. Principles in ecology include the following.
- There is an interaction
- There is an attitude of mutual dependence ( interdependence )
- There is diversity in it ( diversity )
- There is a harmony
- The existence of sustainable capabilities ( sustainability )
Ecology itself has benefits for the environment. In this discussion is an explanation of the benefits of ecology for the environment. Let’s read and understand the explanation below.
1. Know Biodiversity
Ecological science also provides benefits to humans as a way to understand various living things as well as the relationship between living things and their environment.
For example, ecology helps humans to understand how a camel can survive in a very dry and high temperature environment. Another example is that humans can understand how a penguin can survive in an environment that has very low temperatures such as the poles.
2. Knowing the Behavior of Living Beings
If the previous benefit is to know biodiversity. Therefore, the science of ecology also provides benefits to humans to be able to recognize the behavior of living beings and how they relate or interact with the environment.
What is an example of the benefits of knowing the behavior of living beings? An example is a sonar system on submarines that mimics the senses of bats and dolphins.
By imitating the behavior of the two animals, humans can take advantage of that and develop it as technology from submarines that function to determine targets or locations.
3. Knowing the Role of Humans on the Environment
The third benefit is a benefit that can be said to be one of the reflection materials of human actions and discoveries. Ecology also makes people more aware of the role of humans in their environment.
As an example is DDT products. This product is used for the purpose of eradicating pests, it turns out that this product can even pollute the human environment and also other organisms. With the help of ecological science, people can know about products that are useful for them, but also know the impact.
4. Food Consumption Mapping
Ecology is also useful for mapping food consumption and knowing the structure and scale of food from every living creature on this earth. For example, plants as creatures are categorized as producers and herbivores as level I consumers.
In addition, there are carnivorous animals that rank as level II consumers and also humans as level III consumers. After that, there are still more decomposers and also the results of the decomposition are consumed again by producers as one of the energy sources.
This is commonly referred to as the life cycle and food chain. You know, right?
5. Solutions to Agricultural Problems
Ecological knowledge can also solve various problems in the world of agriculture. A farmer apparently needs some microbes that can produce nitrates and also ammonium to maintain soil fertility. Well, this is the result of knowledge from ecological science. Isn’t it amazing?
6. Solution to Energy Problems
Ecological knowledge is also useful to help humans to ensure the availability of energy that works to support their lives. For example is the use of alternative energy from solar energy that has the purpose of producing electricity.
7. Solutions to Health Problems
The last benefit of ecological science is to help people solve various problems related to health. Through ecology, humans can learn about various diseases that have never been discovered before. One of them is dengue or dengue fever.
Ecology found that dengue or dengue fever is caused by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. This condition can certainly be overcome with certain handling methods. One of them is by draining the water reservoir.
This is done so that there is no nest for mosquitoes to breed by not laying eggs in puddles.
After discussing the benefits that have been revealed about ecological science on human life, it turns out that ecological science has several types. In this discussion, we will look at the types of ecology.
Without further ado, let’s take a look and pay attention to the explanation of the types of ecology below.
There are several types of ecological science that have been applied in various aspects of human life, namely:
- Human ecology is a branch of ecology that has a focus on learning about human environmental conditions.
- Plant ecology is a branch of ecological science that studies plants as an organism and also centers the plant itself as a main focus, ignoring animals and humans.
- Animal ecology is a branch of ecology that has a central focus on animals as an organism, and ignores humans and plants.
- Aquatic ecology, which is one of the branches of ecological science that studies and finds out the relationship between organisms and the aquatic environment, such as rivers, reservoirs, estuaries, and even the sea.
- Habitat ecology is a branch of ecological science that focuses on discussing the nature of a habitat.
- Population ecology is a branch of ecology that focuses on studying various relationships between groups of organisms and the number of individuals. Population ecology also studies and finds out about the factors that determine the size of a population and its spread.
- Social ecology is a branch of ecological science that studies and finds out about the relationship between humans and the natural environment as well as the technology around them.
- Language ecology is an ecological science that studies and also conducts research on a relationship between language and the human environment.
- Space ecology is an ecological science that studies the ecosystems that can support all human life during space flight.
Well, that’s it from this article. It turns out that ecology is a very extraordinary science. Proven from the various benefits that can help people in their daily lives and also for the needs of the environment.
Hopefully by reading this article, you will have a better understanding of the ecological science that has been discussed above. Hopefully, with this article, you will be able to distinguish between ecosystem and ecology.
This is an article that discusses ecology, starting from the meaning, aspects and principles, scope, benefits, and also the types of ecology.
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