Ecologists make models of habitats and ecosystems to study questions that would be impossible, impractical or unethical to answer by testing actual ecosystems. Instead, ecologists concoct complicated mathematical programs that should react in similar fashion to real ecosystems when faced with similar stimuli. According to an article in BioScience, models often produce surprising and unexpected results.Know More
For example, an ecologist may create a model that tries to determine how the energy flows through a small pond ecosystem. Accordingly, the scientist would have to design the model to account for all the various ways energy enters the ecosystem, such as the sun, creatures traveling to the water and plant matter sinking in the pond. Additionally, the ecologist would have to ensure the model accounts for all the ways energy leaves the ecosystem, such as when animals leave the pond.
Models are not perfect recreations of the natural world, and sometimes they produce results that are later demonstrated to be false. This causes many ecologists to tweak their models periodically in pursuit of a model that accurately reflects the real world. Because models are used so extensively in ecology, the National Career Services in the United Kingdom recommends that prospective ecologists have a working knowledge of computers.Learn more about Environmental Science
Biotic factors in the Arctic tundra, as with other ecosystems, include living organisms, such as microorganisms, plants and animals. The biotic factors of the tundra include over 1,500 species of plants, which classify as mosses, lichen and grasses. The hardy group of animals calling the tundra home includes many types of mammals and birds, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, caribou and other iconic species.Full Answer >
Fragile ecosystems are local environments that are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature, air and water quality and other environmental conditions. Like plants and animals, some ecosystems are hardier than others. Fragile ecosystems are among the most frail: even small changes in rainfall patterns or seasonal temperatures can have significant harmful impacts on these ecosystems and reduce their functional capacities.Full Answer >
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, coral reefs are one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth. Reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment.Full Answer >
It is important to protect the environment because man-made disruptions to ecosystems can cause extinction, because pollution creates dangers for both animals and people, and because mankind owes the natural world a moral obligation. Many of the dangers to the environment come from practices designed to make human life easier but actually threaten the long-term health and prosperity of humans.Full Answer >