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What is the difference between ecology and environmental conservation?

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Quick Answer

Ecology is the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environment. Environmental conservation is the practice of protecting the natural environment on individual, organizational or governmental levels for the benefit of both the natural world and humans.

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Full Answer

The term "ecology" refers to any delicate or intricate system. As a science, ecology is an interdisciplinary field that includes biology and Earth science. An understanding of the effects of biodiversity is an important focus in ecological studies. The German scientist Ernest Haeckel coined the word "ecology" in 1866. Ancient historians and philosophers began the study of nature, but modern studies transformed the field into a rigorous science in the late 19th century. Ecology is closely related to evolutionary biology and genetics. Another branch of ecology known as “human ecology” concerns itself with the spacing and interdependence of people and institutions.

Environmental conservation, like ecology, is an interdisciplinary field. Academic institutions offer courses in environmental studies, environmental management and environmental history. The pressure of human activity and technology has degraded the natural environment. Since the 1960s, organizations and governments have placed restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. There are disagreements about the extent of human impact on the environment, and some conservation methods are criticized.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    In ecology, what is the law of tolerance?

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    The law of tolerance, usually called Shelford’s law of tolerance, states that an organism’s needs must fall within a range of acceptable limits, or the organism will struggle to survive. For example, an animal may require between 10 and 20 grams of food per year to survive. The essential point of the law is that organisms can adapt to varying conditions, within rather rigid limits.

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  • Q:

    What is a producer in ecology?

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    Producers are organisms that make their own energy. Plants are producers because they make their own food using light, carbon dioxide and water through photosynthesis.

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    What role does the environment play in natural selection?

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    The environments that organisms live have unique features and qualities that shape the development of the genetic and phenotypic characteristics of resident organisms to allow them to become suited for life in those regions better. The environment in which species live can be considered a biological and physical environment. These environments vary around the world, and may be hot, cold, arid or moist.

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  • Q:

    Why is biodiversity important in ecosystems?

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    Biodiversity is important in ecosystems because it prevents extinction of species, allows organisms to adapt to changes in the environment and provides a wide range of materials and foods for survival. Biodiversity is categorized into species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity.

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