Биотехнологии Problems of safety application of the microorganisms received by gene- engineering methods, and some products of microbial synthesis просмотров - 145
Ecology is the scientific study of the relationships that living organisms have with each other and with their natural environment. Topics of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount (biomass), number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems. Ecosystems are composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and various niche construction activities, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by the biodiversity within them. Biodiversity refers to the varieties of species in ecosystems, the genetic variations they contain, and the processes that are functionally enriched by the diversity of ecological interactions.
Ecology is an interdisciplinary branch of biology. The word "ecology" ("Ökologie") was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919). Ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates and Aristotle laid the foundations of ecology in their studies on natural history. Modern ecology transformed into a more rigorous science in the late 19th century. Evolutionary concepts on adaptation and natural selection became cornerstones of modern ecological theory. Ecology is not synonymous with environment, environmentalism, natural history, or environmental science. It is closely related to physiology, evolutionary biology, genetics, and ethology. An understanding of how biodiversity affects ecological function is an important focus area in ecological studies. Ecologists seek to explain:
Life processes and adaptations
Distribution and abundance of organisms
The movement of materials and energy through living communities
The successional development of ecosystems, and
The abundance and distribution of biodiversity in the context of the environment.
Ecology is a human science as well. There are many practical applications of ecology in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management (agroecology, agriculture, forestry, agroforestry, fisheries), city planning (urban ecology), community health, economics, basic and applied science, and human social interaction (human ecology). Ecosystems maintain biophysical feedback mechanisms that modulate metabolic rates and evolutionary dynamics between living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) components of the planet. Ecosystems sustain life-supporting functions and produce natural capital through the regulation of continental climates, global biogeochemical cycles, water filtration, soils, food, fibres, medicines, erosion control, and many other natural features of scientific, historical, economic, or intrinsic value.
Biodiversity (an abbreviation of "biological diversity") describes the diversity of life from genes to ecosystems and spans every level of biological organization. The term has several interpretations, and there are many ways to index, measure, characterize, and represent its complex organization. Biodiversity includes species diversity, ecosystem diversity, genetic diversity and the complex processes operating at and among these respective levels. Biodiversity plays an important role in ecological health as much as it does for human health. species extinctions is one way to preserve biodiversity, but factors such as genetic diversity and migration routes are equally important and are threatened on global scales. Conservation priorities and management techniques require different approaches and considerations to address the full ecological scope of biodiversity. Populations and species migration, for example, are sensitive indicators of ecosystem services that sustain and contribute natural capital toward the well-being of humanity. An understanding of biodiversity has practical application for ecosystem-based conservation planners as they make ecologically responsible decisions in management recommendations to consultant firms, governments, and industry. The protected areas have been established under the protected area network across the world for conservation of biodiversity.
Organisms are subject to environmental pressures, but they also modify their habitats. The regulatory feedback between organisms and their environment can affect conditions from local (e.g., a beaver pond) to global scales, over time and even after death, such as decaying logs or silica skeleton deposits from marine organisms. The process and concept of ecosystem engineering has also been called niche construction. Ecosystem engineers are defined as: "organisms that directly or indirectly modulate the availability of resources to other species, by causing physical state changes in biotic or abiotic materials. In so doing they modify, maintain and create habitats."
The ecosystem engineering concept has stimulated a new appreciation for the influence that organisms have on the ecosystem and evolutionary process. The term "niche construction" is more often used in reference to the under-appreciated feedback mechanism of natural selection imparting forces on the abiotic niche. An example of natural selection through ecosystem engineering occurs in the nests of social insects, including ants, bees, wasps, and termites. There is an emergent homeostasis or homeorhesis in the structure of the nest that regulates, maintains and defends the physiology of the entire colony. Termite mounds, for example, maintain a constant internal temperature through the design of air-conditioning chimneys. The structure of the nests themselves are subject to the forces of natural selection. Moreover, a nest can survive over successive generations, so that progeny inherit both genetic material and a legacy niche that was constructed before their time.
- What is bioremediation? In what ways it is good for environmental clean up?
- What is ‘in situ bioremediation’?
- Write a short note on ‘ex situ bioremediation ‘with special reference to composting.
- How can the bioremediation of xenobiotics be done?
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