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Organisms and their environment

When you think of the relationship between organisms and their environment, ecology is the right term. Ecology is a science that you can study from different angles. For example, there is the relation between plants and their environment but also between animals and their environment.

The environment is the surrounding in which organisms live. We can divide this into on the one hand the part of non-living nature such as light, water and temperature, and on the other hand living nature such as animals, microorganisms and vegitation.

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From large to small

How to study ecology on different levels?
From large to small we start with the biosphere;

  • The biosphere basically stands for the whole earth. It includes everything that contains organisms.
  • Among them we have ecosystems, these are areas on earth with a corresponding living environment. For example a desert, savannah, rainforest but also think smaller like dunes, a heath or polder.
  • These ecosystems are then in turn divided into biotopes and communities. The communities cover all the populations in the ecosystem in question, for example the rabbits, deer and squirrels in the forest and their relationships with each other. The biotope is about the abiotic (non-living nature) factors in the ecosystem.
  • A biocoenosis therefore consists of separate populations. A population is a group of animals or plants of the same species. In this way we can study each population within a certain ecosystem.
  • The last classification is the individuals of the same species. A species can produce fertile offspring as two individuals, so that the specific species cannot become extinct.