FUNDAMENTALS OF ECOLOGY:

Ecology = Oikos (Home) + Logos (Study)
Ecology is a scientific study of the relationship of living organisms with each other and their environment.
Components of environment = Abiotic + Biotic

Abiotic components– energy, radiation, temperature, water, fire, gravity, soil, topography, wind etc.

Biotic components– green plants, non-green plants, decomposers, parasites, animals, men etc

human hand holding a city on green grass hill

Levels of organization:-

  • Biosphere-Interactive zone of atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere
  • Biome-climate determined terrestrial parts of the lithosphere
  • Ecosystem-structural, functional unit of biosphere, living + physical environment
  • Community-plants, animals of different species living in a dependent set up
  • Population-group of organisms, usually of same species in a given area
  • Individual-an individual can function independently

Biotic components:

  1. Primary producers – Autotrophs (green plants, some algae etc)
  2. Consumers – Heterotrophs (dependent on plant derived food)

(a) Macro consumers

  • Herbivore (primary consumer) (rabbit)
  • Carnivore (secondary consumer) (wolf)
  • Carnivore (tertiary consumer) (lion)
  • Omnivore (consumers both plants and animals) (man)

(b) Micro consumers

  • Saprotrophs (decomposers) Eg: bacteria, fungi
  • Detrivores (earthworms)

Ecotone: A zone or junction between two or more diverse ecosystems. Mangrove plants are in ecotone between marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

  • Shows a linear progression in species composition
  • Have some organisms different from adjoining communities
  • Sometimes number of species and density are much greater. This is called EDGE EFFECT. Those species are called Edge species.

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