Ecological vs Environmental
Difference between ecological and environmental comes into being from the focus of study of ecology and environment. Both ecological and environmental studies are based on the environment. Ecology and environment are two aspects of nature and its study that have taken centre stage today. This is both because of degradation of the environment through pollution as well as changes in ecology caused by natural forces. As both ecological and environmental studies are about inter-related concepts, they cause confusion in the minds of readers, and many think of these two as same, which is not true. This article will attempt to highlight the differences between these two studies.
What is Ecological Studies?
Ecological studies refer to distribution and abundance of various living organisms and their interaction with the environment. However, they study not only this, but also the influence of the environment on their habitat and their distribution. Ecological studies are broader in nature and require study of physical, chemical, as well as biological environments of various organisms. They make a deep analysis of biogeochemical cycles and typically begin with the input of energy from the sun, which acts as a source of food for plants, as they convert it into food through photosynthesis. Ecological studies require close cooperation of geologists, chemists, and botanists as they study the impact and relationship of organisms and their environment. Ecologists focus on very specific groups of species. For example, it can be a certain type of birds.
What is Environmental Studies?
The main focus of the environmental studies is on the interaction of human beings with the various aspects of the environment. Their concern is about the harm caused by human activities and how to conserve the environment. Environmental studies are not bothered about the interaction of other organisms with their environment as such. In this aspect, it may seem narrower than ecology. However, as a different study environmental studies have a broad subject area. In environmental studies, the scientists study the natural environment. They also study about the built environment. Then, they also focus on the different relationships between these two. It contains basic principles of different study areas. For example, ecology has some parts to play in environmental studies as environmental studies is also studying a set of creatures, namely humans, and their interactions with the society. Even subjects such as law, politics, economics, philosophy, etc. are known as subjects associated with this study.
Environmentalists are people who are mainly concerned with pollution caused by human activities and its impact on the immediate environment. Though it makes mention of endangered species and how to increase numbers in such species, environmentalism is more concerned with steps to be taken to improve the quality of the environment.
What is the difference between Ecological and Environmental?
• Ecology is a scientific study of various living organisms, their distribution and their relationship with the environment.
• The main focus of the environmental studies is on the interaction of human beings with the various aspects of the environment.
• Ecology is broader as it studies different organisms and how they interact with the environment. However, in that aspect, environmental studies is much narrower as it only takes into consideration human interactions with the nature.
• Ecologists are scientists who study different organisms and how they relate to the environment they live in. As a result, governments take the service of ecologists in order to get ideas about how to protect a certain population in their environment, to find better ways to protect endangered species, etc.
• Environmental studies focus on the human interaction between the humans and the environments they live in. This is done in order to find solutions for complex problems. For example, environmental scientists can help to create a programme to reduce pollution.
In this way, as parts of science, ecological and environmental studies focus on making this world a better place. In order to do so, both of them study the environment. Ecology studies the relationship between organisms and the environment. In the meantime, environmental studies focus on one species. Environmental studies focus on humans and how they keep relations with the environment. Both studies are useful as they both help us to solve problems regarding the environment and the species living in it.
- Components of the Maharashtra freshwater ecosystem by Nilesh Heda (CC BY-SA 3.0)
- Balarat Center for Environmental Studies via Wikicommons (Public Domain)