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Ecology
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Ecology (from Ancient Greek οἶκος (oîkos) 'house', and -λογία (-logía) 'study of') is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms at the individual, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere level. Ecology overlaps with the closely related sciences of biogeography, evolutionary biology, genetics, ethology, and natural history. Ecology is a branch of biology, and it is not synonymous with environmentalism.

Among other things, ecology is the study of:

  • Life processes, antifragility, interactions, and adaptations
  • The movement of materials and energy through living communities
  • The successional development of ecosystems
  • Cooperation, competition, and predation within and between species
  • The abundance, biomass, and distribution of organisms in the context of the environment
  • Patterns of biodiversity and its effect on ecosystem processes

Ecology has practical applications in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management (agroecology, agriculture, forestry, agroforestry, fisheries), urban planning (urban ecology), community health, economics, basic and applied science, and human social interaction (human ecology).

The word ecology (German: Ökologie) was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel, and it became a rigorous science in the late 19th century. Evolutionary concepts relating to adaptation and natural selection are cornerstones of modern ecological theory.

Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living (abiotic) components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. Ecosystems have biophysical feedback mechanisms that moderate processes acting on living (biotic) and abiotic components of the planet. Ecosystems sustain life-supporting functions and provide ecosystem services like biomass production (food, fuel, fiber, and medicine), the regulation of climate, global biogeochemical cycles, water filtration, soil formation, erosion control, flood protection, and many other natural features of scientific, historical, economic, or intrinsic value. (Full article...)

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A sample of biodiesel
A sample of biodiesel

Biofuel is a fuel that is produced over a short time span from biomass, rather than by the very slow natural processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil. Since biomass can be used as a fuel directly (e.g. wood logs), some people use the words biomass and biofuel interchangeably. However, the word biofuel is usually reserved for liquid or gaseous fuels, used for transportation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) follows this naming practice.

Biofuel can be produced from plants or from agricultural, domestic or industrial biowaste. The greenhouse gas mitigation potential of biofuel varies considerably, from emission levels comparable to fossil fuels in some scenarios to negative emissions in others. For an overview over this debate, see the biomass page. (Full article...)
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Some Hydrothermal vents support peculiar ecosystems, based on dissolved minerals. Hydrothermal vent communities are able to sustain such vast amounts of life because vent organisms depend on chemosynthetic bacteria for food. The water that comes out of the hydrothermal vent is rich in dissolved minerals and supports a large population of chemo-autotrophic bacteria.

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Entries here consist of Good and Featured articles, which meet a core set of high editorial standards.

The black rat is a reservoir host for bubonic plague. The oriental rat fleas that infest the rats are vectors for the disease.
The black rat is a reservoir host for bubonic plague. The oriental rat fleas that infest the rats are vectors for the disease.
In biology and medicine, a host is a larger organism that harbours a smaller organism; whether a parasitic, a mutualistic, or a commensalist guest (symbiont). The guest is typically provided with nourishment and shelter. Examples include animals playing host to parasitic worms (e.g. nematodes), cells harbouring pathogenic (disease-causing) viruses, a bean plant hosting mutualistic (helpful) nitrogen-fixing bacteria. More specifically in botany, a host plant supplies food resources to micropredators, which have an evolutionarily stable relationship with their hosts similar to ectoparasitism. The host range is the collection of hosts that an organism can use as a partner. (Full article...)

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Charles Sutherland Elton FRS (29 March 1900 – 1 May 1991) was an English zoologist and animal ecologist. He is associated with the development of population and community ecology, including studies of invasive organisms. (Full article...)

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Today's world is one in which the age-old risks of humankind—the drought, floods, communicable diseases—are less of a problem than ever before. They have been replaced by risks of humanity's own making—the unintended side-effects of beneficial technologies and the intended effects of the technologies of war. Society must hope that the world's ability to assess and manage risks will keep pace with its ability to create them.


—J. Clarence Davies, Author, Political scientist

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AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment is a multidisciplinary English language academic journal published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 1972. It is published eight times a year. The journal is described as "a journal of the human environment", covering ecology, environmental economics, geology, geochemistry, geophysics, paleontology, hydrology, water resources, oceanography, earth sciences, meteorology, physical geography and other subjects. (Full article...)

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... the Antarctic cod, or Antarctic toothfish, of the fish family Nototheniidae, is famous for producing antifreeze glycoprotein that allows it to survive in the ice-laden waters of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica? With a heartbeat once every six seconds, research involving Antarctic toothfish may lead to advances in cardiac medicine involving conditions where human hearts beat slowly during certain medical procedures or fail to beat fast enough due to hypothermia.

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