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 >
There are several differences between natural and artificial ecosystems, including sustainability, diversity and purpose. A natural ecosystem has a diverse amount of species and plants, whereas artificial ecosystems are limited. Natural ecosystems are self-sustaining and result from spontaneous natural reaction, while artificial ecosystems require the assistance of humans.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Urban permaculture is a method that combines scientific knowledge and art to create agriculturally productive ecosystems that sustain and regenerate natural resources in an urban setting. The goal of permaculture is to create human settlements that meet humanity's basic needs by providing clean water, healthy food, shelter, community and energy.Full Answer >