World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

List of ecology topics

Article Id: WHEBN0019795249
Reproduction Date:

Title: List of ecology topics  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Political ecology, Biodegradability prediction, Outline of ecology, Source–sink dynamics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of ecology topics

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ecology:

Ecology – scientific study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how the distribution and abundance are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment. The environment of an organism includes both physical properties, which can be described as the sum of local abiotic factors such as solar insolation, climate and geology, as well as the other organisms that share its habitat. Also called ecological science.

Essence of ecology

Subdisciplines of ecology, and subdiscipline classification

Ecology is a broad discipline comprising many sub-disciplines. The field of ecology can be sub-divided according to several classification schemes:

By level of complexity or scope

Arranged from lowest to highest complexity:

  • Ecophysiology/Behavioral ecology – examine adaptations of the individual to its environment.
  • Population ecology (or autoecology) – studies the dynamics of populations of a single species.
  • Community ecology (or synecology) – focuses on the interactions between species within an ecological community.
  • Ecosystem ecology – studies the flows of energy and matter through the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems.
  • Systems ecology – is an interdisciplinary field focusing on the study, development, and organization of ecological systems from a holistic perspective.
  • Landscape ecology – examines processes and relationship across multiple ecosystems or very large geographic areas.

By organisms under study

By biome under study

By geographic or climatic area under study

By spatial scale under study

  • Global ecology – which examines ecological phenomena at the largest possible scale, addressing macroecological questions;
  • Landscape ecology – which studies the interactions between discrete elements of a landscape;
  • Landscape limnology – the spatially explicit study of aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, and wetlands) as they interact with the aquatic, terrestrial, and human components of landscapes to determine the effects of pattern on ecosystem processes across spatial scales;
  • Spatial ecology – which identifies spatial patterns and their relationships to ecological events;
  • Macroecology – the study of large-scale phenomena;
  • Microecology – the study of small-scale phenomena;
  • Microbial ecology
  • Molecular ecology

By ecological aspects or phenomena under investigation

  • Chemical ecology – which deals with the ecological role of biological chemicals used in a wide range of areas including defense against predators and attraction of mates;
  • Ecophysiology – which studies the interaction of physiological traits with the abiotic environment;
  • Ecotoxicology – which looks at the ecological role of toxic chemicals (often pollutants, but also naturally occurring compounds);
  • Evolutionary ecology – or ecoevolution which looks at evolutionary changes in the context of the populations and communities in which the organisms exist;
  • Fire ecology – which looks at the role of fire in the environment of plants and animals and its effect on ecological communities;
  • Functional ecology – the study of the roles, or functions, that certain species (or groups thereof) play in an ecosystem;
  • Genetic ecology
  • Soil ecology – the ecology of the pedosphere;

By technique used for investigation

By philosophical approach

Ecology-involved interdisciplinary fields

Biogeographic regions

Map of six of the world's eight ecozones
  Oceania and Antarctic ecozones not shown


The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) developed a system of eight biogeographic realms (ecozones):


Ecozones are further divided into ecoregions. The World has over 800 terrestrial ecoregions. See Lists of ecoregions by country.

History of ecology

Main article: History of ecology

General ecology concepts

Ecology lists

Main article: List of ecology topics

See also

External links

  • What is Ecology?
  • Fundamentals of Ecology Textbook-style investigation to the economy of nature, breaks down in 4 chapters from Population to Ecosystem.
  • Ecology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.