Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ecology


Every aspect of life is influenced by the environment and, in return, the activities of living organisms affect the environment. An organism is an individual living unit constituted to carry on the activities of life.  Ecology is the science which studies the relationships and interactions between living organisms and their environment. The word ecology derived from t5he Greek oikos, meaning “house” or “place to live” and logos meaning the “science of” or “study of”. Ecology thus examines he connections between living organisms and their home or environment.
Environment and ecological factors: The term environment refers to the sum of all the external conditions and influences, or in other words factors that surround and affect the life of an organism. These environmental factors affect an organism’s growth, distribution, abundance, behavior and survival. For example, light, temperature, soil acidity and presence of pest insects are environmental factors that affect a plant organism. The factors are adopted to survive within the framework set by…
1)      Climatic or aerial factors: these factors include the elements of climate such as precipitation, atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, light and wind. The conditions of these elements determine the weather and climate of a region/area. 
2)      Physiological factors: These are factors related to the physical geography of the earth’s surface. They include altitude, topography, steepness of mountain slopes, and the distribution of land and water. They also include influences imposed by the local geology make-up and by geo-dynamic process such as sedimentation and erosion. These plains influence flood patterns and are a factor in the agriculture cropping patterns. Topography, geology and land form determine, to a large extent, the distribution of plant and animal life including the usage of land by humans. 
3)      Edaphic factors: the formation or physical and chemical properties of soil fall into this category. Soil is the layer below the vegetation and above hard rock. It contains minerals, organic matter, air and water. Soils in different locations vary greatly in their compositions, structure and properties. This variation has tremendous influence on the types of organisms at a given site and is frequently responsible for the vegetation differences seen within a similar climate or region. This influences crop selection and methods for water management.
4)      Biotic factors: The interaction and dependency between living organisms are described as biotic factors. Interaction and dependency occur at various levels, including those within species and between species. When considering biotic factors, not only should the strict biological relationships be observed but also the cultural influences.


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