Ecology vs Environment
Environment is everything around us including us while the ecology describes how all those work. Although environment linguistically sounds like a singular noun, it contains all the possible plurals in the universe; similarly, ecology is a singular noun that encounters all the possible relationships in the universe. It should be carefully studied as how these important terms differ from each other.
The great scientist, Earnst Haeckel (1834 – 1919, Germany), coined the term Ecology (Ökologie) in 1869, which has been derived from Greek, as “oikoc” means home “logos” means study. For the presence of a home, an organism is essential; thus, ecology could be understood as the study of organisms and their natural home. In a home, the living beings mainly live upon the relationships with other living beings as well as with nonliving things. Similarly, ecology is the study of the relationships and other attributes of both biological organisms and abiotic entities in the environment. As an example, the interaction of two or more abiotic components such as a collision of two tectonic plates creates new environments, which cause serious changes among both biotic and abiotic components. After that, all the biotic, abiotic, and relationships among those will change. Therefore, it is highly important that how both biotic and abiotic components have been distributed with their compositions, amounts, and changing status.
Individuals, species, populations, communities, and ecosystems or biospheres, furthermore, are the components studied in ecology. Those ecological components are determined based on the composition, amounts, changing status, and distribution of resources such as nutrients, sunlight, heat, water, and other related matter. Oceanic and inland waters, solar energy, wind, and other climatic factors are directly involved with ecology. Ecosystems are created based on the resources and the biological entities adapt to the condition. The broad study of all those with basic attention to relationships is the ecology.
Since, environment is anything and everything, the reference of the term shall be restricted to the biophysical environment in this article. It is a combination of the physical environment with the biological forms. In simple terms, any environment that has the properties to sustain life could be a biophysical environment. For example, the richness in sunlight, atmosphere, and the presence of a substrate viz. soil or water would enable to sustain life in the particular environment. One of the most important features of the environment is that it determines the climate and weather, which are extremely important for the biological forms. Any serious change to the environment could alter the natural cycles, results in climatic shifts, or would change the abundance of all important food and energy for organisms. Since everything in the environment is interrelated, those changes are consequential. However, animals and plant have to adapt to the situation accordingly. Importantly, a change in the environment could cause to change the habitats of most of the animal and plant populations. The resourcefulness in any environment determines the availability for life forms to create their habitats, and the components in the environment limit the abundance and distribution.
What is the difference between Ecology and Environment?
• The basic difference between ecology and environment is that the environment is everything in the world while ecology is the study of those.
• The environmental components are described in terms of their relationships by ecology.
• An environment could exist without life, but ecology essentially deals with both biotic and abiotic entities.