Ecology And Environment

The Fundamental Principles of Ecology



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Ecology is the study of how different species and living organisms live in relation one to the other. The word comes from the Greek words for home (eco-) and study (-ology) and, so means study of the home, that is, the place where organisms live.

There is a branch of ecology (which is where the concept developed) concerned with biology and, therefore the plant, animal and generally, non-human side of life. There are also the areas of human and social ecology which, respectively, look at the ways in which humans interact both with the 'natural' world and also one with another. In this latter sense, it overlaps with sociology and political science.

One of the key concepts in ecology is that of 'entropy' which is essentially that, without an input of energy to maintain a particular mode of organisation, a system (whether it be biological or human) will tend to disintegrate and collapse.

In the biological field, without an input of appropriate nutrients (the form of energy) an ecosystem will collapse and disappear.

In the human field, a relationship between a group of people will collapse unless one or more of those individuals put energy into organising and maintaining the relationship.

Humans can learn a lot from nature and the concepts developed by 'ecology', the study of the home, can be a very helpful way of doing this.

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