ECOSYSTEM: Ecology is the scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment. It is the study of interactions organisms have with each other, other organisms, and with abiotic (non-living factors) components of their environment. Ecology is an interdisciplinary field that includes biology, geography, and Earth science.
ECO SYSTEM: Eco system is a unit of the biosphere consisting of all living organisms and the non-living components which interact with one another to bring about a stable system.
COMPONENTS OF AN ECO SYSTEM
1. Biotic Factors: Biotic factors are living organisms and their activities e.g. plants, animals, micro-organism, feeding, decomposition etc.
2. Abiotic Factors: Non-living factors and components of the eco-system. They include; climate, physical factors, topographical factors and edaphic factors.
CONCEPTS OF ECOLOGY
i) Habitat: The habitat of an animal or organism refers to a location where it is known to exist and the factors both biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) that are known to affect the living. For example, a habitat might be an aquatic or terrestrial environment.
ii) Niche: A niche is the set of biotic and abiotic conditions in which a species is able to persist and maintain stable population sizes.
iii) Population Ecology: Population ecology is the study of the dynamics of specie populations and how the populations interact with the wider environment.
iv) Community Ecology: Community ecology studies the interactions among collections of species that inhabit the same geographic area. It studies the determinants of patterns and processes for two or more interacting species. Community ecology also studies predator-prey dynamics, competition among similar plant species, or mutually beneficial interactions between crabs and corals.
v) Biome: Biomes are larger units of organization that categorize regions of the Earth’s ecosystems, mainly according to the structure and composition of vegetation.
vi) Biosphere: The largest scale of ecological organization is the biosphere. It is the total sum of ecosystems on the planet.
MEASUREMENT OF ECOLOGICAL FACTORS
Ecological instruments and their uses.
i) Anemometer: For measuring the velocity of wind
ii) Rain Gauge: For measuring the amount of rain fall.
iii) Barometer: For measuring atmospheric pressure.
iv) Secchi Disk: For measuring turbidity of water.
v) Hydro Photometer: For measuring light intensity in aquatic habitat.
vi) Soil Thermometer: For measuring soil temperature.
vii) Universal Indicator / pH Indicator: For measuring the soils and water.
viii) Slope Gauge: For measuring the slope of the land.
ix) Whirling Hygrometer: For measuring relative humidity.
x) Photometer / Light Meter: For measuring light intensity in terrestrial habitat.
xi) Thermometer: For measuring temperature.
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