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
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
- Primary producers – Autotrophs (green plants, some algae etc)
- 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.