Ecology is a branch of Biology that involves the study of organisms and their environment. Ecology helps explore the relationships between living organisms and their surroundings.
Organisms are affected by their environment, and they in turn affect the environment. Ecology is about how plants, animals, and everything in nature rely on each other and where they live. Just like we need air, water, and food, living things also need specific things to stay alive and grow, like sunlight, soil, and weather. But they also give back by changing their surroundings. In ecology, plants use sunlight to make food which other organisms obtain directly or indirectly.
The study of ecology is important in several fields of study such as agriculture and environmental studies.
Concepts and Terms Used in Ecology
A habitat is the place or "home" that an organism lives or is found- e.g., forest, grassland, pond, lake e.t.c.
The term population refers to the total number of individuals of a species living in a given area at a particular time. Population density is a representation of the number of individuals of a population found in a unit area.
This is the term used to describe all the organisms living together in an area.
This is the distribution of individuals in the available space. Dispersion may be uniform as in maize plants in a plantation, random as in cactus plants in the savannah ecosystem or clumped together as in human population in cities.
An ecosystem is where both living things (like plants and animals) and non-living things (like water, soil, and air) interact. So, everything that's alive and everything that's not alive in a certain area, like a forest or a pond, together create an ecosystem.