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
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 >
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 >
The sun is the ultimate source of energy in most terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The major exceptions are deep sea communities that depend on heat from hydrothermal vents as well as lithotrophic archaebacteria that derive energy directly from rocks.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 >