8: Unit VIII- Ecology
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Ecology is the study of the interactions of living organisms with their environment. One core goal of ecology is to understand the distribution and abundance of living things in the physical environment. Attainment of this goal requires the integration of scientific disciplines inside and outside of biology, such as biochemistry, physiology, evolution, biodiversity, molecular biology, geology, and climatology. Some ecological research also applies aspects of chemistry and physics, and it frequently uses mathematical models. In Unit 8, ecological concepts are broadly covered in this unit, with features highlighting localized, real-world issues of conservation and biodiversity.
- 8.1: Ecology and the Biosphere
- Humans are a part of the ecological landscape, and human health is one important part of human interaction with our physical and living environment.
- 8.2: Population and Community Ecology
- Community ecology is the study of the interactions between species in communities on many spatial and temporal scales, including the distribution, structure, abundance, demography, and interactions between coexisting populations. The primary focus of community ecology is on the interactions between populations as determined by specific genotypic and phenotypic characteristics.
- 8.2.1: Introduction
- 8.2.2: Population Demography
- 8.2.3: Life Histories and Natural Selection
- 8.2.4: Environmental Limits to Population Growth
- 8.2.5: Population Dynamics and Regulation
- 8.2.6: Human Population Growth
- 8.2.7: Community Ecology
- 8.2.8: Behavioral Biology - Proximate and Ultimate Causes of Behavior
- 8.2.9: Key Terms
- 8.2.10: Chapter Summary
- 8.2.11: Visual Connection Questions
- 8.2.12: Review Questions
- 8.2.13: Critical Thinking Questions
- 8.3: Ecosystems
- Ecosystem ecology is the integrated study of living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components of ecosystems and their interactions within an ecosystem framework. This science examines how ecosystems work and relates this to their components such as chemicals, bedrock, soil, plants, and animals.
- 8.4: Conservation Biology and Biodiversity
- Conservation biology is the management of nature and of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on natural and social sciences, and the practice of natural resource management.
Thumbnail: Bee pollinating Aquilegia vulgaris. (CC BY-SA 3.0 / cropped from original; Roo72 via Wikimedia Commons).
Contributors and Attributions
Connie Rye (East Mississippi Community College), Robert Wise (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh), Vladimir Jurukovski (Suffolk County Community College), Jean DeSaix (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Jung Choi (Georgia Institute of Technology), Yael Avissar (Rhode Island College) among other contributing authors. Original content by OpenStax (CC BY 4.0; Download for free at http://cnx.org/contents/185cbf87-c72...email@example.com).