Ecology of organisms studies the relationships of organisms, the basics

The name of the science of ecology comes from the Greek combination of words denoting the doctrine of housing, and is a natural branch of biology that studies the interaction of living organisms both among themselves and with the habitat, as well as the functioning and structure of biosystems of various levels, starting from populations to entire ecosystems.

This discipline studies the laws that exist and work in wildlife, thanks to which all its activities are regulated at a wide variety of levels.

Ecology of organisms as a science

The ecology of organisms as a science was formed only at the beginning of the century before last, and then it designated the main task of this discipline as the study of the patterns of impact on any living organism of living conditions.

Today, the discipline of ecology has a huge number of branches that are aimed at studying specific individual elements of natural complexes and the system as a whole.

The general discipline of ecology is divided into a large number of sections, among which the following most important ones can be distinguished:

  • Autecology;
  • Demecology;
  • Synecology;
  • Ecology of the biosphere.
  • But for the ecology of organisms, only two sections are of decisive importance, which study the relationship of organisms and groups of organisms with the surrounding space, i.e.e. those sections that directly pay attention to the ecology of organisms.

    These sections include:

  • Demecology, or the branch that deals with the study of a population or group of living organisms and questions of their interaction within the population itself and in relation to other populations;
  • Autecology, or a section that is general and studies a single living organism, its classification and functioning, as well as the reactions that follow changes in living conditions.
  • The ecology of organisms states that a living organism, regardless of its type (even those characterized by an attached mode of existence) has a natural ability to reproduce and distribute over the entire area of ​​​​the planet and its surface.

    After all, even the attached organism is distinguished by the presence of a phase in the development of a phase, in which it is able to move with significant activity over serious distances: from seeds and ending with the phase of the larvae.

    But it must be emphasized that living organisms do not spread randomly, but differ in their tendencies towards an absolutely definite, zonal distribution, i.e.e., in other words, to the formation of areas of existence.

    Scientists who are engaged in autecology note that the reason for such actions is interference with the spread of living organisms from climatic conditions: from temperature, water regime to light. In addition, the presence of geographical barriers in the form of mountains, waters, and deserts also plays a role.

    Adaptation processes that can be observed in living organisms almost always differ in relative characters, i.e.e. only a part of the population survives, and those species that survived in the resulting conditions are subjected to severe environmental influences, falling under the forms of natural selection.

    Interaction of organisms

    The direction of autecology in its scientific research pays close attention to such a serious rule as the mutual compensation of environmental factors.

    This law confirms the possibility for a low intensity of impact (if we talk about individual conditions of the natural environment) to be partially compensated for by other factors that have similar qualities.

    For example, there is a large amount of strontium in the water from the cooling pond at a nuclear reactor, and it is this that the mollusks living there begin to use instead of calcium as a material for building shells.

    And since autecology can be called an extensive area, the scope of its research includes the study of moments of mutual compensation. For example, plants often compensate for low light levels with high levels of carbon dioxide in the space.

    The influence of ecology on the body

    To date, science knows several million species of living organisms that live on our planet, and, naturally, there is a constant process of interaction between these organisms both among themselves and with the environment (mostly inanimate), due to which a rather complexly organized and completely stable system formed in the process of evolution and long-term development.

    Of great importance in the study of this discipline is the concept of habitat, where it is customary to refer to the zone of nature with which the organism communicates and which surrounds it.

    The name of environmental factors was given to individual components of the surrounding space, and its special properties that can affect living organisms.

    Such factors are quite diverse, due to the diversity of their nature and a large number of features characteristic of their effect on bodies.

    Environmental factors are usually divided into several types:

  • Abiotic, t.e. relating to components of inanimate nature that can affect living organisms: we are talking about temperature factors, pressure, humidity, relief, etc.d.;
  • Biotic, t.e. relating to the components of living nature and forming forms of interaction between living bodies, which is due to the influence of any organism (directly or indirectly) on other organisms of its own species or even any other species. Such processes may be associated with competition or symbiotic relationships.
  • Scientists have established that the successful forms of combination of factors of these two types and establishes the order of distribution of species of living organisms throughout the planet; this means that a certain biological species of organisms can exist only in those places where all the conditions necessary for its life are present.

  • Anthropogenic, t.e. related to the components of the forms of human activity that can lead to changes in the environment as the habitat of other organisms (road construction, deforestation, pollution of the biosphere).
  • Although a person belongs to the biological appearance, and his actions are characterized by the definitions of a biotic effect, but representatives of science are still distinguished by the anthropogenic influence in a separate group, because not one other view on Earth is not capable of such a strong environment of the environment. And it is interesting that the degree of such human influence every day is only rapidly increasing.

    At the same time, if the influence of any environmental factor changes and turns out to be significantly higher (or lower) than the usual standard values ​​for a given environment and a particular habitat, then such a factor will automatically have a negative impact on all living organisms both directly and indirectly.

    It is important that the diversity of organisms is due to the large number of natural conditions that take place on the planet. Habitat conditions, t.e. set of phenomena of animate and inanimate nature, are quite variable. The external environment in any case has an impact (indirect or direct) on specific organisms, their species and systems, and such an impact is called environmental factors.

    Rules of Ecological Identity

    All the patterns that characterize all living things are marked by an adaptive value. This is due to the fact that any system of organisms is forced to adapt to changes in the conditions of existence.

    And such changes are characterized by different time intervals: from evolutionary indicators to momentary.

    Each organism adapts differently in the face of constant changes in the environment, which is expressed in the rule, or the law of ecological individuality.

    In accordance with the rule of individuality in ecology, each species of living organisms (from plants to animals) is distinguished by its specific ecological capabilities for adaptation. Since there are no two identical species in this respect, even among species similar in terms of adaptation methods, significant differences can be found with respect to individual environmental factors.

    Such adaptive abilities to adapt have strictly individual characteristics, and therefore even individuals of different species that find themselves in absolutely the same conditions differ in different adaptation possibilities.

    Two similar species can serve as the clearest example: the mole (rodent) and the mole rat (rodent): for example, the mole digs the ground with its paws, and the mole rat uses incisors for this purpose. If we talk about autecology, then the phenomenon of absolutely unequal adaptation to various factors of the abiotic type regarding one living organism is widely known in it. Thus, lichens, or pioneers of life, who are known for their incredible vitality and ability to adapt to the most unusual living conditions, have their own problems in the moment of adaptation, since they are completely unable to exist in an environment marked by high levels of atmospheric pollution.

    Based on this, adaptation manifests itself only within the limited limits of the life of the organism, and such limits are fully explained by environmental laws. Since there are no bioecologically identical individuals and species, their distribution is a purely individual moment, and completely depends on individual indicators of reaction to changes in the conditions of existence.

    Law of Optimum

    It is customary to call the Law of Optimum an ecological principle, which is based on the assertion that each of the environmental factors differs in certain limits of a specific positive impact on organisms.

    All kinds of living organisms tend to exist in favorable conditions of external space. However, any of the environmental factors is characterized by a zone of oppression, t.e. a space in which the body will feel uncomfortable. It is interesting that there is both an upper and a lower indicator of endurance and in the case when the body crosses any of these limits, it simply ceases to exist.

    It is clear that environmental factors do not act alone, they work in a system and are able to regulate the impact of each other, shifting the interval of the optimal value. So, plants can more easily survive low temperatures if the humidity is low.

    The results of the influence of the variable factor directly depend on the strength of manifestation, t.e. exposure dosages: it is clear that a positive effect on the body within specific limits, but a change in these boundaries in any direction (both deficiency and excess) will have a negative effect.

    Such an ecological law is universal, t.e. it establishes the boundaries of influence within which a species is able to exist, and determines the level of variability of such boundaries. Living organisms and their species differ significantly in tolerance of variability.

    Moreover, in science it is customary to separate two options that differ in extremes:

  • Narrow specialization, or stenobionts, in which the critical boundaries of exposure are significantly approximated: such living organisms exist only under fairly constant conditions (for example, some plants may wither if there is no water vapor in the air);
  • Broad specialization, or eurybionts, in which there are wide boundaries for the location of critical points.
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