History Of Ecology
Ecology is generally spoken of as a new science, having only become prominent in the second half of the 20th century. More precisely, there is agreement that ecology emerged as a distinct discipline at the turn of the 20th century, and that it gained public prominence in the 1960s, due to widespread concern for the state of the environment. Nonetheless, ecological thinking at some level has been around for a long time, and the principles of ecology have developed gradually, closely intertwined with the development of other biological disciplines. It is likely that early humans had an ecological understanding of at least those aspects of their environment that enhanced their survival. One of the first ecologists whose writings survive may have been Aristotle or perhaps his student, Theophrastus, both of whom had interest in many species of animals. Theophrastus described interrelationships between animals and their environment as early as the 4th century BC (Ramalay, 1940).
The history of ecology is intertwined with the history of conservation efforts, in particular the founding of the Nature Conservancy.
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