Ecology is defined “as a scientific study of the relationship of the living organisms with each other and with their environment.
It deals with the ways in which organisms are moulded by their environment, how they make use of environmental resources including energy flow and mineral cycling.
The roots of ecology lie in Natural History, which is as old as human civilization itself. Since early history, man has indulged in ecology in a practical sort of way, knowingly and unknowingly.
These ancient texts contain classification of animals on the basis of habit and habitat, land in terms of nature of soil, climate and vegetation; and description of plants typical to various localities.
The environment is defined as ‘the sum total of living, non-living components; influences and events, surrounding an organism.
The relationship and interaction between organism and environment are highly complex. It comprises both living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components.
The environment is not static. Both biotic and abiotic factors are in a flux and keeps changing continuously.
Components of Ecosystem
The components of ecosystem and environment are same.
- 1. Abiotic Components:
Abiotic components are the inorganic and non-living parts of the world. The abiotic part consists of soil, water, air, and light energy etc. It also involves chemicals like oxygen, nitrogen etc. and physical processes including volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, forest fires, climates, and weather conditions.
Abiotic factors are the most important determinants of where and how well an organism exists in its environment. Although these factors interact with each other, one single factor can limit the range of an organism.
2. Biotic Components:
Biotic components include living organisms comprising plants, animals and microbes and are classified according to their functional attributes into producers and consumers.