Ecology - Relation To Evolution

Relation To Evolution

Main article: Evolutionary ecology

Ecology and evolution are considered sister disciplines of the life sciences. Natural selection, life history, development, adaptation, populations, and inheritance are examples of concepts that thread equally into ecological and evolutionary theory. Morphological, behavioural and genetic traits, for example, can be mapped onto evolutionary trees to study the historical development of a species in relation to their functions and roles in different ecological circumstances. In this framework, the analytical tools of ecologists and evolutionists overlap as they organize, classify and investigate life through common systematic principals, such as phylogenetics or the Linnaean system of taxonomy. The two disciplines often appear together, such as in the title of the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. There is no sharp boundary separating ecology from evolution and they differ more in their areas of applied focus. Both disciplines discover and explain emergent and unique properties and processes operating across different spatial or temporal scales of organization. While the boundary between ecology and evolution is not always clear, it is understood that ecologists study the abiotic and biotic factors that influence the evolutionary process.

Read more about this topic:  Ecology

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