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What is Ecology?


  • 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.


  • 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.

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