Ecology - Relation To The Environment

Relation To The Environment

Main article: Natural environment

The environment of ecosystems includes both physical parameters and biotic attributes. It is dynamically interlinked, and contains resources for organisms at any time throughout their life cycle. Like "ecology," the term "environment" has different conceptual meanings and overlaps with the concept of "nature." Environment "...includes the physical world, the social world of human relations and the built world of human creation." The physical environment is external to the level of biological organization under investigation, including abiotic factors such as temperature, radiation, light, chemistry, climate and geology. The biotic environment includes genes, cells, organisms, members of the same species (conspecifics) and other species that share a habitat.

The distinction between external and internal environments, however, is an abstraction parsing life and environment into units or facts that are inseparable in reality. There is an interpenetration of cause and effect between the environment and life. The laws of thermodynamics, for example, apply to ecology by means of its physical state. With an understanding of metabolic and thermodynamic principles, a complete accounting of energy and material flow can be traced through an ecosystem. In this way, the environmental and ecological relations are studied through reference to conceptually manageable and isolated material parts. After the effective environmental components are understood through reference to their causes, however, they conceptually link back together as an integrated whole, or holocoenotic system as it was once called. This is known as the dialectical approach to ecology. The dialectical approach examines the parts, but integrates the organism and the environment into a dynamic whole (or umwelt). Change in one ecological or environmental factor can concurrently affect the dynamic state of an entire ecosystem.

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Other articles related to "relation to the environment, the environment, relations, environment, relation to":

Ecology - Relation To The Environment - Physical Environments - Biogeochemistry and Climate
... budgets to understand how these materials are regulated, flow, and recycled through the environment ... Understanding the relations and cycles mediated between these elements and their ecological pathways has significant bearing toward understanding ... abundance and distribution of biodiversity alters the dynamics between organisms and their environment such that ecosystems can be both cause and effect in relation to climate change ...

Famous quotes containing the words relation to the, relation to, environment and/or relation:

    The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    It would be disingenuous, however, not to point out that some things are considered as morally certain, that is, as having sufficient certainty for application to ordinary life, even though they may be uncertain in relation to the absolute power of God.
    René Descartes (1596–1650)

    For those parents from lower-class and minority communities ... [who] have had minimal experience in negotiating dominant, external institutions or have had negative and hostile contact with social service agencies, their initial approaches to the school are often overwhelming and difficult. Not only does the school feel like an alien environment with incomprehensible norms and structures, but the families often do not feel entitled to make demands or force disagreements.
    Sara Lawrence Lightfoot (20th century)

    In relation to God, we are like a thief who has burgled the house of a kindly householder and been allowed to keep some of the gold. From the point of view of the lawful owner this gold is a gift; From the point of view of the burglar it is a theft. He must go and give it back. It is the same with our existence. We have stolen a little of God’s being to make it ours. God has made us a gift of it. But we have stolen it. We must return it.
    Simone Weil (1909–1943)