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.

Read more about this topic:  Ecology

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

Ecology - Relation To The Environment - Physical Environments - Biogeochemistry and Climate
... nutrient 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 global biogeochemistry ... 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:

    Only in a house where one has learnt to be lonely does one have this solicitude for things. One’s relation to them, the daily seeing or touching, begins to become love, and to lay one open to pain.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973)

    Much poetry seems to be aware of its situation in time and of its relation to the metronome, the clock, and the calendar. ... The season or month is there to be felt; the day is there to be seized. Poems beginning “When” are much more numerous than those beginning “Where” of “If.” As the meter is running, the recurrent message tapped out by the passing of measured time is mortality.
    William Harmon (b. 1938)

    Autonomy means women defining themselves and the values by which they will live, and beginning to think of institutional arrangements which will order their environment in line with their needs.... Autonomy means moving out from a world in which one is born to marginality, to a past without meaning, and a future determined by others—into a world in which one acts and chooses, aware of a meaningful past and free to shape one’s future.
    Gerda Lerner (b. 1920)

    To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one’s own.
    Henry James (1843–1916)