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Chapter 52 - Chapter52: Overview:TheScopeofEcology

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Chapter 52: An Introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere  Overview: The Scope of Ecology Ecology  is the scientific study of  interactions between organisms and environment.  These interactions determine distribution of organisms and their abundance Ecology reveals the richness of the biosphere The Scope of Ecological Research   Ecologists work at levels ranging from individual organisms to the planet Organismal Ecology: studies how an organism’s structure, physiology, and  (for animals) behavior meet environmental challenges Population ecology: focuses on factors affecting how many individuals of a  species live in an area population  is a group of individuals of the same species living in an area Community ecology  deals with the whole array of interacting species in a  community community  is a group of populations of different species in an area Ecosystem ecology  emphasizes energy flow and chemical cycling among  the various biotic and abiotic components An  ecosystem  is the community of organisms in an area and the physical  factors with which they interact Landscape ecology  deals with arrays of ecosystems and how they are  arranged in a geographic region landscape  is a mosaic of connected ecosystems Global ecology  examines the influence of energy and materials on  organisms across the biosphere The  biosphere  is the global ecosystem, the sum of all the planet’s  ecosystems Concept 52.1: Ecology integrates all areas of biological research and informs environmental decision  making Ecology has a long history as a descriptive science It is also a rigorous experimental science Events that occur in ecological time affect life on the scale of evolutionary time Ecology provides the scientific understanding that underlies environmental issues Concept 52.2: Interactions between organisms and the environment limit the distribution of species Ecologists have long recognized global and regional patterns of distribution of organisms within the  biosphere
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Biogeography is a good starting point for understanding what limits geographic distribution of species Ecologists recognize two kinds of factors that determine distribution: The question asked is why is there more density in some  areas and not in other areas is it because of parasites? Or  costly other factors that kill them off. Do they not like the  coast?
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