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Relevance of Ecology to Man

B. Ecology- Its Relation Symbiosis is a close ecological relationship between the individuals of two (or more) different species. Sometimes a symbiotic relationship benefits both species, sometimes one species benefits at the other's expense, and in other cases neither species benefits. Ecologists use a different term for each type of symbiotic relationship: 1) Mutualismboth species benefit from the relationship 2) Commensalismone species benefits, and the other is unaffected by the relationship 3 Parasitismone species benefits, the other is harmed by the relationship 4) Competitionneither species benefits from the relationship Intra-species competition Organisms competing can be from within the same species for example, two male elk fighting for a female mate. Elephants also fight each other so that the dominant elephant will get to breed with the female. Another species that shows great competition between each other are the dolphins. Dolphins go along together and play with each other, but when it is time to eat; all dolphins have to compete for a meal. Inter-species competition Competition can be also found in two different species. A lizard and a frog can compete for a similar food they eat such as a small insect. This type of competition is only found when two different species share an ecological niche that they must compete over.

5) Neutralismboth species are unaffected by the relationship Nutritional Symbiosis: 1. 2. 3. 4. Ambrosia beetles Termite fungus gardens Parasol ants Cockroach endosymbionts

Shelter Symbiosis: 1. Ant mimics (inquilines) 2. Slavemaker ants 3. Gall insects An Ecological relationship is the relationship between organisms in an ecosystem. All organisms in an ecosystem are connected. Each interaction depends on the one before it. Each population interacts with

one another in a complex web of relations. Ecological relationships help better describe how they are connected. There are six ecological relationships in which two are oppositional and four are symbiotic. The oppositional relationships are predation and competition. The symbiotic relationships aremutualism, commensalism, amensalism, and parasitism. The ecological relationship an organism has depends on the way the organism adapted to its environmental pressures on evolutionary bases.

C. Origin of Ecology The term ecology was first used by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1869), however, this science has its origins in other sciences such as biology, geology and evolution among others. Lamarck with his theory of evolution, proposed that the environment is in constant transformation, by which agencies need change and make an effort to achieve this, and this is a mechanism of evolution, one of the main bases of ecology taking into account the relationships of organisms and their environment. On the other hand, not only the agencies change and evolve, but also the Earths crust. The English geologist Charles Lyell found that the Earths crust is the result of gradual changes throughout the history of the planet. Giving way to the transformation of ecosystems and their functions. Modern ecology, actually had its principles with the development of the theory of Darwinian evolution. He noted that the environment is constantly changing which causes the agencies with best adaptations are those who survive by the mechanism of natural selection. Highlighting the importance of the interaction of organisms with their environment.

D. Subdivision of Ecology Ecology has been sub-divided into different fields so as to understand the subject in a more profitable way. Ecology can be commonly divided into animal ecology and plant ecology. However, two major subdivisions were preferred by ecologists. The whole subject was divided into autecology and synecology. Autecology deals with the study of individual species whereas synecology deals with the study of a group of organisms or population. Autecology. A study of the individual species in relation to their environment is known as autecology. It includes the study of its geographical distribution, taxonomic position, morphological characters, reproduction, life cycle and behaviour with reference to ecological factors that might influence these activities. Synecology. A study of the groups of organisms in relation to their environment is called synecology. Here the unit of study are the groups of species. It comprises population ecology, community ecology and study of the ecosystems. Useful subdivisions may also be made according to the habitat, taxonomic divisions and level of organization. Thus the subject can be studied through following branches of ecology: 1. Population ecology. It deals with the growth, trophic structure, metabolism and regulation of a population. 2. Community ecology. It deals with the ecology of different populations in the same habitat and same environmental conditions. 3. Taxonomic ecology. It is concerned with the ecology of different taxonomic groups, viz. microbial ecology, mammalian ecology, insect ecology and so on.

4. Habitat ecology. It includes the study of animals and plants in different habitats. According to habitat, it can be further divided into freshwater ecology, marine ecology, terrestrial ecology, forest ecology and desert ecology. 5. Human ecology. It deals with the effects of human activities on environment and vice versa. 6. Applied ecology. It deals with the application of ecological concepts to human needs including wild life management, biological control, forestry and conservation of natural resources. 7. Chemical ecology. It is concerned with the chemical affinity or preferences shown by different, organisms. 8. Physiological ecology (ecophysiology). Physiological adaptation according to ecological conditions are dealt in ecophysiology. 9. Palaeo-ecology. It deals with the environmental conditions and life of the past ages. Palaeontology and radioactive dating have aided significandy in the study of palaeo-ecology. 10. Evolutionary ecology. It deals with evolutionary problems like speciation and segregation. 11. Gynaecology (ecological-genetics). Relationship of environment with genetic variability are considered in gynaecology. 12. Eco-geography. It studies the geographical distribution of plants and animals in different environmentscollectively called as biomes. 13. Pedology. It deals with the study of soil and refers to its nature like acidity, alkalinity, humus contents, mineral contents, soil types and so forth. 14. Ethology. It is the study of animal behaviour in different environments under their natural conditions. 15. Sociology. When ecology and ethology are combined it becomes sociology. 16. System ecology. When the structure and function of an ecosystem is analysed using applied mathematics, statistics or computer, it is called as system ecology.