Communities and their physical environment are called ecosystems. Ecosystems consist of abiotic and biotic factors. Abiotic factors include all non-living components like water, air, light, soil, etc. And biotic factors include all living elements. Populations are groups of individuals of the same species that occupy a given area at the same time. The broad geographical regions are biomes. When we study the relationship of organisms to their environment this is called ecology. If there is the single population in consideration this is autecology. But study of different communities is called synecology. And this complexity of ecosystem or environment depends on different abiotic and biotic factors.
The term ecology originates from the Greek words oikos meaning “the family household”, and logy, suggesting” the research study of“. The term initially was coined by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866. He called it oncologic and defined it as the study of the relationship of animals (organisms) to their environment.
The environment consists of not just the physical however also the biological conditions under which an organism lives. The relationship consists of interactions with the real world and with members of other species and the exact same types.
The significant unit of ecology is the ecosystem. Organisms communicate with their environment within the confines of the ecosystem. The eco part of the word is associated with the environment and the system part means a collection of related parts that operate as a system.
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in relation to the nonliving elements of their environment, engaging as a system.
The ecosystem has lots of levels. On our level, individual organism, including humans, both responds to and influences the physical environment. At the next level, individuals of the very same types form population, that can be described in terms of number, development rate, and age distribution. Further, individuals of these populations interact among themselves and with individuals of other types and form a community.
Population is a group of interbreeding organisms (very same species) happening together in space and time. Populations of plants and animals in the ecosystem do not operate independently of each other.
Some populations compete with other populations for resources, such as food, water, or space. In some cases, one population is the food resource for another. Two populations might mutually benefit each other.
Populations of different types (plants and animals) residing and interacting in the same habitat form a community. Communities are vibrant collections of organisms, in which one population may increase and others may reduce due to fluctuation in abiotic elements. Some communities are complicated and well interrelated, other communities might be simple. In a basic community, any modification can have drastic and long-term effects.
The foregoing account makes it clear that an organism can be studied at different levels of an organization. It can be studied at subatomic, atomic, molecular, macromolecular, organelle, cell, tissue, organ, and organ system level. We can also look at it as a specific, as a part of a population of similar organisms, as a part of a community that consists of other populations and a part of the ecosystem of a biosphere that includes abiotic aspects along with living organisms.
The organisms, interaction can take lots of shapes. It might be predation, parasitism, commensalism, mutualism, and competition.
Major types of environments, those that inhabit broad geographical areas are called biomes. Each biome consists of a mix of plants and animals and other microorganisms in the completely established climax community and is characterized by a uniform life-form of plants such as turf or coniferous trees. Some major terrestrial biomes are forest, grassland, woodlands, and desert. Combined the biomes of earth together form the planetary ecosystem.
Ecology is the study of the relationship of living organisms to their environment. When you are studying a single population’s relationship to its environment it will be called autecology. For instance, you are studying 50 to 100 plants of soybean in order to know the effect of water pollution on their growth and yield, you are studying a single or one population of the soybean plant, this research study is autecology.
Growth responses of specific plants to their environment are a complicated aspect. One aspect can aggravate the other factor. These aspects engage with one another.
The complexity of the environment relies on the combination of different elements. The study of the relationship of different communities (grouping of populations) to their environment is called synecology or community ecology.
Major Components of Ecosystem
As talked about earlier the ecosystem can be divided into two primary parts.
- Biotic Components
Biotic elements consist of all living organisms consisting of plants and animals supported by the biosphere. The biosphere is expanded over the surface area of the earth extending about 8-10 kilometers to the upper reaches of the atmosphere and likewise the very same range into the depths of oceans.
- Abiotic Components
Abiotic elements consist of all non-living elements air, water, and soil. In eco-friendly term they are called as: (a) atmosphere— (atmo – air, sphere – place) (b) hydrosphere— (hydro – water, sphere -place) (c) lithosphere— (litho – earth, soil, sphere – place).