Ecology - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 7 pages of information about Ecology.
This section contains 2,099 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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Leading Concepts

Leading concepts in ecology involve ecosystems (a term coined by Arthur G. Tansley in 1935), a succession of communities rejuvenated by disturbances, energy flow, niches and habitats, food chains and webs, carrying capacity, populations and survival rates, diversity, and stability. A main claim is that every organism is what it is where it is, its place essential to its being, the "skinout" environment as vital as "skin-in" metabolisms. Early ecologists described organism–environment relations in terms of homeostasis, equilibrium, and balance. Contemporary ecologists give a greater role to contingency, flux, dynamic change, or even chaos. Others emphasize self-organizing systems (autopoiesis).

As subsequent studies have shown, any ecological stability is not simply homeostatic but quite dynamic, and may differ with local systems, the level of analysis, and over time. There are perennial processes—wind, rain, soil, photosynthesis, competition, predation, symbiosis, trophic pyramids, and networks. Ecosystems may wander...

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This section contains 2,099 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ecology Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Ecology from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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