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Ecology is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment, organisms have with each other,

and with their abiotic environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass), number (population) of organisms, as well as competition between them within and among ecosystems. Ecosystems are composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such asprimary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and various niche constructionactivities, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits, and the variety of organisms is called biodiversity. Biodiversity, which refers to the varieties of species,genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services. Ecology is an interdisciplinary field that includes biology and Earth science. The word "ecology" ("kologie") was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel(18341919). Ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates and Aristotle laid the foundations of ecology in their studies on natural history. Modern ecology transformed into a more rigorous science in the late 19th century. Evolutionary concepts on adaptation and natural selection became cornerstones of modern ecological theory. Ecology is not synonymous with environment, environmentalism, natural history, or environmental science. It is closely related to evolutionary biology, genetics, and ethology. An understanding of how biodiversity affects ecological function is an important focus area in ecological studies. Ecologists seek to explain:

Life processes, interactions and adaptations The movement of materials and energy through living communities The successional development of ecosystems, and The abundance and distribution of organisms and biodiversity in the context of theenvironment.

Ecology is a human science as well. There are many practical applications of ecology 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). Organisms and resources compose ecosystems which, in turn, maintain biophysical feedback mechanisms that moderate processes acting on living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) components of the planet. Ecosystems sustain life-supporting functions and produce natural capitallike 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. An ecosystem is a community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system.[2] These biotic and abiotic components are regarded as linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows.[3] As ecosystems are defined by the network of interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment,[4] they can come in any size but usually encompass specific, limited spaces[5](although some scientists say that the entire planet is an ecosystem).[6] Energy, water, nitrogen and soil minerals are other essential abiotic components of an ecosystem. The energy that flows through ecosystems is obtained primarily from the sun. It generally enters the system through photosynthesis, a process that also captures carbon from the atmosphere. By feeding on plants and on one another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.[7] Ecosystems are controlled both by external and internal factors. External factors such as climate, the parent material which forms the soil

and topography, control the overall structure of an ecosystem and the way things work within it, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem.[8] Other external factors include time and potential biota. Ecosystems are dynamic entitiesinvariably, they are subject to periodic disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance.[9] Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can end up doing things very differently simply because they have different pools of species present.[8] The introduction of non-native species can cause substantial shifts in ecosystem function. Internal factors not only control ecosystem processes but are also controlled by them and are often subject to feedback loops.[8] While the resource inputs are generally controlled by external processes like climate and parent material, the availability of these resources within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading.[8] Other internal factors include disturbance, succession and the types of species present. Although humans exist and operate within ecosystems, their cumulative effects are large enough to influence external factors like climate.[8] Biodiversity affects ecosystem function, as do the processes of disturbance and succession. Ecosystems provide a variety of goods and services upon which people depend; the principles of ecosystem management suggest that rather than managing individual species, natural resources should be managed at the level of the ecosystem itself. Classifying ecosystems into ecologically homogeneous units is an important step towards effective ecosystem management, but there is no single, agreedupon way to do this. Overfishing and destructive fishing

Fishers in the Philippines are increasingly coming home with pitiful catches. Of a number of factors which have led to this situation, one stands out: over-fishing in many areas. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), there has been a drop of 90% in the quantity of marine organisms that can be trawled in some traditional fishing areas of the Philippines. This isnt just

a question of declining fish stocks and biodiversity, but also of social impacts and economic losses. Mismanagement of fisheries resources is estimated to cost US$ 420 million annually in lost revenues. At the root of the overfishing problem is weak fisheries management, ineffective policies and poor enforcement of fishery laws. Coastal infrastructure development

Coastal zone development has been particularly damaging to the Philippines marine environment, especially to coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses. As populations have increased, so have their needs for construction materials and living space. Excavation, dredging, and coastal conversion to accommodate coastal development have seen corals being extracted for reclamation and construction, especially in coastal villages. Mangroves have particularly suffered from coastal development, notably at the hands of the aquaculture industry. In the Philippines, aquaculture has reduced mangrove stands to only 36% of 1900 levels. Deforestation After decades of deforestation, which has left about 3% of the original cover, forests continue to be under threat from agriculture and urbanization, illegal logging and forest fires. Sustained forest loss in the Philippines is causing severe soil erosion, and is threatening the countrys rich biodiversity. This is particularly worrying as many of the Philippines species, which depend on these forests, are endemic (they cannot be found anywhere else in the world). For example, of 180 native terrestrial mammal species here, about 61% are endemic. Inconsistent laws, inadequate regulations, weak enforcement and lack of funding are making forest conservation a major challenge. Air Pollution Air pollution is probably one of the most dangerous anthropogenic effect on

the environment; since we cannot control the air we breathe (though we may be able to control the quality of drinking water, food, etc.). Vehicular traffic, smog created by the smoke emitted by vehicles and factories, aerosols arising SPM (suspended particulate matter), VOCs (volatile organic compounds) present primarily in paints and varnishes and refrigerants, all contribute to air pollution. Consequence: Air pollution affects everything; it affects plants, animals and humans. According to WHO, poor indoor air quality can lead to respiratory infections, coronary diseases, and even lung cancer. If all this is happening indoors, imagine what is happening outside. Acid Rain Gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide can react with water to produce corresponding acids. When this happens in the atmosphere, we get rain that is of acidic (or low) pH. The gases mentioned above are released into the atmosphere by certain natural processes like lightning, volcanoes, etc. However, the amount of these gases released due to factories, vehicles and different industries surpasses that produced naturally. It goes beyond a level that can be tolerated by nature. Consequence: Acid rains cause stone, rocks, steel, metal to erode and paint to peel off. This means monuments, statues, bridges, buildings, all are at a risk. Going at the current rate, there may come a time when children won't be able to play in the rain because it scars their skin! Wastewater One cannot really control or stop wastewater from being generated. However, due to anthropogenic effects of human development, the components of wastewater are changing every year, so that more materials that cannot be gotten rid of are being added to wastewater and, ultimately, to water in general. If the amount of these substances goes on increasing, they will accumulate in the food chain. Consequence: Wastewater management, if not managed effectively, is going to eventually affect all kinds of life form. Eutrophication (discussed below) is a grave consequence of inefficient and / or inadequate treatment of wastewater.

Water Crisis When the amount of water present in a region is unable to meet the demand of all life present in that region, the situation is called a water crisis. Scarcity of usable water is the main reason for water crisis. This scarcity has arisen due to a number of things, including wastage of water, deforestation, urbanization, etc. Consequence: Water-borne diseases are the leading cause for deaths worldwide. More than 9 million people all over the world do not have access to potable water. Sudan and Venezuela top the list of regions with the most number of people facing a water crisis. Water is life. No water, no life.

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