What is Ecology Cover

What is Ecology?

Topics covered -

Origin, Definition, Concept, Importance




   S. M. Umair


  • Ecology term was coined in 1866 by a German Scientist Earnst Haeckel.
  • The term Ecology has its origin in two Greek words ‘Oikos’ (i.e. the habitat) and ‘logos’ (i.e. the study of).


  • It is a scientific study of
    1. Processes regulating the distribution and abundance of organisms and
    2. Interaction of organisms among themselves and
    3. Interactions of organisms with their surroundings. 
  • Ecology is a branch of Biology. It includes both biotic & abiotic (non-living) components.

Some Cool facts about ecology

  • Cockroaches can live weeks without their head (and their heads can stay alive without their bodies!)
  • A single porcupine is known to kill 100 trees in one winter
  • 70% of the world’s fresh water is stored in Antarctica’s ice


  • Individual ---> Population ---> Community ---> Ecosystem ---> Biomes ---> Biosphere
  • These are different hierarchical levels in Ecology. Each hierarchical level interacts with the next level.
  • For example: a number of Individuals together make a Population, similarly a Population of many different species makes a Community. These different hierarchical levels are in interaction with each other.
  • Through the study of Ecology we seek to understand the vital connections between plants and animals and the world around them.
Edwin Dobb

Edwin Dobb

There is no "original" state in nature, no nature-in-itself in the sense that a fixed set of characteristics holds true, like the law of gravity, always and everywhere. Nature resembles less a law than a story. And the story is not over. Thus to inquire of nature is to inquire of time, of circumstance and of contingency. What was natural three billion years ago--an empire of anaerobic bacteria--would strike most of us as decidedly unnatural today.

Importance of ecology:

  • The study of ecology has contributed a lot to the socio-economic and political issues of the world. It plays an important role in agriculture, fishery, biology, pest-control, conservation of soil, forests and water resources. All the international issues of environment such as pollution and resource management need a sound knowledge of ecology