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Chapter 1

The Nature of Ecology

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Environment of the 1960’s and 1970’s


Term everywhere


Ecology is neither one: environment or environmentalism


1.1 Ecology is a science

( Match: Relationships, Environment, Ecology )

- is the study of the relationships between organisms and their environment

- includes the physical and biological conditions under which organism live.

- interactions with the physical world and with members of other species and the same species.


Ecology comes from

Greek: oikos - " the family household " logy - " the study of "

" the study of the household "

economics and ecology

ecology coined by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866

Oecologie - study of the relationships of animals to their environment


1.2 The major unit of ecology is the ecosystem

Organism interactions

eco - environment

system - ecosystem is a system, a collection of related parts that function as a unit.

Automobile engine

biotic - living

abiotic - physical

figure 1.1 pg. 3 physical components of the forest

complex interactions


1.3 Ecosystem components form a hierarchy

Population is a group of potentially interbreeding individuals occurring together in space and time.

Competition for limited resources: food, water and space.

Mutually benefit each other.

Community and the physical environment make up the ecosystems .

More than one level.


same species





Interact to modify and control chemical and physical conditions of the biosphere.

Gaia hypothesis - self-sustaining biosphere, in which every organism is linked to the other.

Not all ecologists agree with this hypothesis.

1.5 Ecologists use scientific methods

Hypothesis is a statement of causation that can be tested, then either accepted or rejected.

Other observations

Previous investigations.

Field study

Field experiment

Laboratory experiment

1.6 Experiments can lead to predictions


Observations and experiments

Understanding gained from data


Which picture represents an ecosystem?
Which picture represents a population?

Which picture represents a community?

Which picture represents ecology?

Is the scientific study of the relationship between organisms and their environment.


A group of individuals of the same species living in a given area at a given time.


The biotic community and its abiotic environment functioning as a system.


All population within a ecosystem are referred to as a community and have some connection to one another. The community and the physical environment make up the ecosystem.

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