The laws of ecology basic concepts, the essence of the laws of ecology | The law of optimum in brief

The primary tasks of ecology as a science are usually called the search for laws according to which the specified sphere functions and develops. It is customary to refer to the laws of ecology as uniform patterns and rules for the interaction of society with the environment.

The very first law of ecology was historically the law that established the attachment of biosystems to limiting factors, i.e.e. circumstances limiting the process of their development.

Environmental factors

The impact of environmental circumstances on biological organisms is significantly diverse: some factors have a stronger effect, some with less force, some of the factors affect the entire life cycle and its stages, and some select only specific stages of ontogenesis as a goal. But even taking into account such significant differences as they affect biological systems, in any case, it has a number of general rules.

Under the concept of an environmental factor, it is customary to understand a component of the surrounding space, which is directly or indirectly capable of influencing the biological complexes of organisms.

Such factors are usually divided into types:

  • Abiotic, or related to inanimate nature: these are chemical (composition of air, water, soil acidity, etc.).d.), climatic (temperature, humidity, etc.), topographic (relief, height), edaphic (soil composition),
  • Biotic, related to wildlife, which include the totality of all living complexes that can affect other complexes,
  • Anthropogenic, t.e. caused by social impact on the environment.
  • And the impact of such causes on organisms and their complexes is studied by a special science factorial ecology.

    Each of these factors is able to influence living complexes with different levels of intensity. And you need to understand that the normal functioning of any organism will be possible only if there is a vital optimum, which means the possibility, with the participation of the environmental factor, to obtain optimal conditions for the existence of this species.

    And the higher the deviation of the factor from its optimal indicators, the more serious the consequences of the influence are the organisms, t.e. the wider the zone of the pessimum, beyond which there will be only the death of the body.

    Chief Environmental Law

    Such a law is the law of optimum, t.e. the statement that any factor in ecology is distinguished by certain limits of influence on biological complexes.

    The minimum and maximum values ​​are critical points that make it impossible for an organism to exist. And each optimum has its own power of influence, t.e. zone for each species of organisms.

    This law is universal thanks to it, the boundaries of the states in which the existence of an organism is possible, and the level of variability of such states are established.

    And usually, on a similar basis, several extreme options are distinguished:

  • narrow specialization, when critical points are extremely narrowed, t.e. such species need constant conditions, and such species are called stenobionts,
  • wide endurance when critical points are distant, t.e. когда вид способен существовать в изменяющихся условиях – такие виды получили название эврибионты.
  • If the factor has a more serious impact on the organism than is possible for its existence, then the population begins to decline regardless of whether there is a lack or excess of impact.

    The laws of ecology and their meaning

    The value of environmental laws can be called the ordering of the direction and nature of the impact of society within various ecosystems.

    Barry Commoner American ecologist and biologist

    The laws of ecology, in accordance with the formulation of the ecologist Commoner, include:

    1. The law of universal connection in the environment, or “everything is connected with everything”,

    These laws are associated with the presence of inextricable links in the surrounding space, which are formulated in several laws:

  • The law of large values, which consists in the cumulative influence of a huge number of completely random factors, can lead to the desired result, i.e.e. characterized by system characteristics.
  • For example, a huge number of bacteria are able to create a stable microbiological basis necessary for the natural existence of the organism; a huge number of molecules in the amount of gas is able to provide the required temperature indicator.

  • Brown’s principle, which means that with an external influence that can bring the system out of balance, such a stable balance shifts in the direction that reduces such an impact. Simply put, it is the ability to self-regulate.
  • The law of optimality, according to which any system is able to function with a high rate of efficiency in a certain spatio-temporal framework.
  • The law of influence, stating that any changes in the surrounding space can have an impact on society.
    1. The law of conservation of mass, or “everything goes somewhere”,

    Such laws are directly related to the principle of preserving the mass of a substance, in which the metabolic processes in the system are controlled by the following principles:

  • The law of development at the expense of the surrounding space, which means that a system (regardless of whether it is natural or public) can be formed only with the use of the possibilities of the surrounding space from material to information. It must be understood that isolated self-development is excluded.
  • The law of side effects, which is based on the irremovability of waste without a trace in the process of human activity.
  • Such wastes usually move from one state to another, or move in space, and their action is stretched over time. This principle excludes the possibility of waste-free production in relation to the needs of modern society. It is required to accept that matter cannot disappear, but only changes its form thereby affecting the existence of the system.

    1. The law of the cost of progress, or “nothing comes for free”,

    This principle at its core for ecology means that the evolution of an ecosystem is in any case accompanied by the acquisition of a new one, which requires the loss of a share of what is already available and this is the source of new difficulties. For example, the emergence of multicellular systems changed biodiversity and became the basis for the creation of the planet’s biosphere; but at the same time, many problems appeared (infections, diseases).

    1. The law of selection criteria for the evolutionary process, or “nature knows best”.

    The law of natural selection in nature is built on the following principles:

  • The principle of irreversibility, or unidirectionality of formation, according to which the evolution of systems occurs exclusively in one direction this happens from simple to more complex.
  • If we talk about involution, or processes of regression, then they refer exclusively to certain moments, periods of development of the complex.

  • The principle of accelerating processes, according to which the pace of evolutionary processes is significantly accelerated along with an increase in the difficulties of organizing systems.
  • This rule applies in the same way to the process of change of species in the organic world, when it comes to evolution, and to the history of society, and even to the technological process.

  • The law of the absence of free resources, based on which any, even seemingly unlimited at first glance, natural resources (energy, water, etc.).d.) are necessarily covered by any of the spending available in the system.
  • Other Important Principles and Laws

    The laws of the surrounding space are also filled with moments standard for science, which have a serious impact on the relationship between all components of the system. However, most of the laws are tendencies that do not work all the time. Such principles are to some extent reminiscent of legal acts: they do not interfere with the progress of society if violations occur in small quantities, and can serve as a reason for limiting normal development if such deviations become massive. These laws enforce the limitation of diversity, t.e. impose restrictions on the activities of people in the field of nature transformation.

    Such laws include:

  • The boomerang law, according to which everything that a person has extracted from the biosphere must be returned there.
  • The principle of the indispensability of the complex, according to which the biosphere cannot be replaced by any other artificial environment, since it is impossible to become the creator of new species. The biosphere is a kind of “perpetual motion machine”, which has not yet been created by mankind.
  • The principle of diminishing fertility, based on which the constant use of natural resources from the soil guarantees the breakdown of soil formation processes.
  • In the same way, a decrease in fertility can be observed as a result of long-term use of a monoculture, since there is an accumulation of harmful substances, or, to put it more simply, self-poisoning of soils.

  • The law of deceptive well-being that almost always works: you need to remember that the first successes in achieving any goal can make you forget about the necessarily negative moments that follow.
  • The law of remoteness of an event, according to which there are tendencies in society to hope that descendants will have to prevent possible negative consequences and they will solve any issues.
  • Classification of the laws of ecology

    A generalized systematization of the principles and laws by which ecology exists was presented in science by the Soviet figure N.F. Reimers, according to which the following classification of laws exists in science:

  • The law of balance, which implies the need to maintain a socio-ecological balance between the impact on the environment and the need for its restoration).
  • The law of cultural management of progress, which involves the limitation of extensive progress, taking into account environmental restrictions.
  • The law of substitution in the socio-ecological sense, requiring the need to work with finding options for replacing the needs of society.
  • The principle of irreversibility (first of all, we are talking about the socio-ecological factor), which implies the restriction of the evolutionary movement and its turn from severe forms to more natural ones.
  • Vernadsky’s law concerning the noosphere, according to which the biosphere, under the influence of society and its influence, inevitably transforms into the noosphere, where mind plays a dominant role in changing the “society-nature” system.
  • H.F. Reimers

    And the observance of all these principles will help maintain the stability of the biosphere, provided that society understands the role of man in this mechanism. It is clear that evolution saves only those species that have the ability to ensure the stability of existence in the surrounding space.

    After all, in fact, only a person is able to ensure the preservation of civilization and society due to the direction of progress of the biosphere (using the capabilities of the mind) towards the preservation of nature. T.e. humanity strives to create a more just system (in social terms), moving from war to peace and partnership.

    In this regard, the moment of transferring the laws of ecology to the area of ​​the relationship between man and nature remains open today, because man differs significantly from all creations of nature. For example, until now, many types of organisms live according to the law of decreasing population growth when its density changes upwards, and society, on the contrary, increases growth rates in this case.

    This means that a certain number of the usual mechanisms of nature are absent in society, which definitely serves as a certain reason for optimism, but for pessimists it indicates possible dangers that are inaccessible to other species.

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