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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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Two bluestreak cleaner wrasses removing dead skin and external parasites from a potato grouper
Two bluestreak cleaner wrasses removing dead skin and external parasites from a potato grouper

Cleaner fish are fish that show a specialist feeding strategy by providing a service to other species, referred to as clients, by removing dead skin, ectoparasites, and infected tissue from the surface or gill chambers. This example of cleaning symbiosis represents mutualism and cooperation behaviour, an ecological interaction that benefits both parties involved. However, the cleaner fish may consume mucus or tissue, thus creating a form of parasitism called cheating. The client animals are typically fish of a different species, but can also be aquatic reptiles (sea turtles and marine iguana), mammals (manatees and whales), or octopuses. A wide variety of fish including wrasse, cichlids, catfish, pipefish, lumpsuckers, and gobies display cleaning behaviors across the globe in fresh, brackish, and marine waters but specifically concentrated in the tropics due to high parasite density. Similar behaviour is found in other groups of animals, such as cleaner shrimps.

There are two types of cleaner fish, obligate full time cleaners and facultative part time cleaners where different strategies occur based on resources and local abundance of fish. Cleaning behaviour takes place in pelagic waters as well as designated locations called cleaner stations. Cleaner fish interaction durations and memories of reoccurring clients are influenced by the neuroendocrine system of the fish, involving hormones arginine vasotocin, Isotocin and serotonin. (Full article...)
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The Iguazu Falls, on the border of Brazil and Argentina are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian State of Paraná and the Argentine Province of Misiones.

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The following are images from various ecology-related articles on Wikipedia.

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

This coral reef in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area provides habitat for numerous marine species.
This coral reef in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area provides habitat for numerous marine species.

In ecology, the term habitat summarises the array of resources, physical and biotic factors that are present in an area, such as to support the survival and reproduction of a particular species. A species habitat can be seen as the physical manifestation of its ecological niche. Thus "habitat" is a species-specific term, fundamentally different from concepts such as environment or vegetation assemblages, for which the term "habitat-type" is more appropriate.

The physical factors may include (for example): soil, moisture, range of temperature, and light intensity. Biotic factors will include the availability of food and the presence or absence of predators. Every species has particular habitat requirements, with habitat generalist species able to thrive in a wide array of environmental conditions while habitat specialist species requiring a very limited set of factors to survive. The habitat of a species is not necessarily found in a geographical area, it can be the interior of a stem, a rotten log, a rock or a clump of moss; a parasitic organism has as its habitat the body of its host, part of the host's body (such as the digestive tract), or a single cell within the host's body. (Full article...)

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Ramon Margalef
Ramon Margalef
Ramon Margalef i López (Barcelona 16 May 1919 - 23 May 2004) was a Spanish biologist and ecologist. He was Emeritus Professor of Ecology at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona. Margalef, one of the most prominent scientists that Spain has produced, worked at the Institute of Applied Biology (1946–1951), and at the Fisheries Research Institute, which he directed during 1966-1967. He created the Department of Ecology of the University of Barcelona, from where he trained a huge number of ecologists, limnologists and oceanographers. In 1967 he became Spain's first professor of ecology. (Full article...)

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Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.
— Anton Chekhov

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Oecologia is an international peer-reviewed English-language journal published by Springer. The journal publishes original research in a range of topics related to plant and animal ecology.

The journal has an international focus and presents original papers, methods, reviews and special topics. Papers focus on population ecology, plant-animal interactions, ecosystem ecology, community ecology, global change ecology, conservation ecology, behavioral ecology and physiological ecology. (Full article...)

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... that the highest recorded temperature on Earth was 136 °F (57.8 °C), which was recorded in Al 'Aziziyah, Libya on September 13, 1922? (Pictured left: A false-color image of the sun, photographed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA 304) of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory)

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