Ecology: its term and concept

Definition: ecology
Ecology is the science of the relationships between organisms and their environments, defined by thefreedictionary. More explanation provided by wikipedia, as ecology is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and their interactions each other. Ecosystems, as part of ecology, is interdependent populations of organisms interacting with their physical and chemical environment. Ecosystem interactions can also include more than two species.

Population variation
The population of species in an ecosystem do not vary independently but rather fluctuate in an approximate steady state pattern in response to negative even or feedback, that well known as homeostasis. However, homeostasis equilibrium itself is dynamic because the populations are also governed by positive feedback that result from changes in the physical, chemical and biological environment (homeorhesis).

Homeostasis condition: example
One simple example, would be just like a frog as food for snake. When the presence of snake are too many, as frog’s predator, they will prowl for frogs, thus the number of frogs will decrease as a result of the increase of their predator. When the prey is less, there will be a concilliation towards snake’s population, when there are not enough prey from them. And when frog’s predator become less, this will increase the population of frogs, vice versa. There always a balance of population, therefore, it said the population in an ecosystem do not vary independently, instead working as a cycle. The numbers of each population are continually changing, making the system dynamic. When studied over a period of time, the presence of this type of self-regulating environment makes the system appear to be in a steady state, which we call homeostasis.

Real practice of ecosystems
It is rarely that populations can achieve steady state for any period of time. Populations respond to physical, chemical and biological changes in the environment along with a response and effect which these changes are natural and many of them are caused by humans. Several examples of artificial changes, such as desctruction of habitat, animal hunting, deforestation.

Despite that often the condition of real environment are very complicated, simple thinking about cycle can serve as a useful keypoint. Every changes occur will not entirely independent from its initial cycle. It is therefore crucial, to learn and study initial cycle when changes of habitat occur, although this may take significant time. However, this approach somehow will produce precise, accurate and integrated solution as well.

Characteristics of ecosystems
Type of ecosystems are many, some of them are fragile, easily damaged and very slow to recover, while vice versa, some are amazingly resilient and fast to recover from changes if given enough time. Therefore, it is necessary for environmental engineers to consider and learn fundamental principles about ecology, not only is paying attention towards public health but also to contribute towards ecosystems as well.

Balance actions have always been taken into account, because sometimes perturbation only affect to the environment with no effect towards human health. The opposite may also occur, thus careful analysis must be taken to handle such case . Thus, environmental engineer’s job is even harder. The inclusion of ecological principles in engineering decisions is a major component of the environmental engineering profession.

perturbation: A small change in a physical system
resilient: lenting, elastis

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