Ecology: the subject and tasks of ecology, methods
The study of the laws of the geosphere, the search for andthe disclosure of the links between nature and man, as well as the construction of an optimal model for this interaction - that is what the science of ecology does. The subject and tasks of ecology, goals and methods of research - what are they? This will be discussed later.
What is ecology?
This is a science, from which, in fact, the future dependsof all human society. In the 21st century, the crisis in the relationship between man and the environment has become so acute that the main goals and tasks of ecology lie in finding ways to resolve this conflict.
The name of the discipline is derived from two Greekwords: "oikos" - "house, dwelling," and "logos" - "teaching." In 1866, for the first time, the science of "ecology" was mentioned, the subject and tasks of which relate to the features of the interaction of communities of living organisms among themselves, as well as with the environment. This term was introduced by German scientist Ernst Haeckel on the pages of the book "The general morphology of organisms."
In the broadest sense, the subject of environmental studieslies in the mutual relations of organisms and the world around them, as well as in the study of the structure and organization of ecosystems and populations, the allocation of mechanisms to maintain their persistence in the space-time field.
The essence of the ecology of the 21st century
Only at the end of the nineteenth century did scienceecology. The subject and its tasks in those days were reduced to the study of the interrelationships of living organisms with their external environment. In fact, it remained so until the middle of the twentieth century, preserving the features of purely biological discipline.
Towards the end of the last century, ecology beginsto become one of the first synthetic (interdisciplinary) sciences. Today it has retained its Greek name. True, it, in essence, does not accurately reflect the main tasks of ecology.
Modern ecology of the XXI century is the science ofstrategies for the preservation and sustainable development of life on Earth as a whole. This is the main vocation of this discipline, combining theoretical and practical features.
Ecology: the subject and tasks of ecology
Hardly the main methodological apparatusany science is its subject and a set of tasks. "Cognition of the economy of nature," - this seemed to Ernst Haeckel ecology. The subject and tasks of ecology - what are they? Let's try to understand this question.
To answer it you need to rely on the well-knownscience the principle of system. It provides for the understanding of natural complexes as single, holistic systems. Based on the principle of systemic nature, the object of studying ecology is the ecosystem (or rather, ecosystems of different ranks).
Ecology in its development is called upon to answer two fundamental questions:
- What is the structure of the ecosystem.
- How does the ecosystem function and develop?
Accordingly, the whole ecology is divided into two large sections: the structural and the dynamic. And both of them are in close interaction.
Proceeding from the general scientific principle of systemic nature,it is also possible to outline the subject of studying this science: it is the study of the structure, features, and also the patterns of the functioning of ecosystems at different levels.
What are the tasks of ecology? The following can be distinguished from them:
- General and complex study of the biosphere and its development under the influence of various factors.
- Forecasting the dynamics of ecosystems in a spatio-temporal field.
- Development of ways to optimize the relationship between nature and man in order to improve the quality of life on the planet as a whole.
The place of ecology in the general scientific system of knowledge
Modern ecology combines elementsnatural, humanitarian, exact and technical sciences. Biology, geography, medicine, economics, psychology, sociology and rational nature management - with these and some other disciplines, it is in close interaction.
In addition, at the junction of ecology with other loved onesher sciences formed entirely new and interesting disciplines. Among such - bioecology, geoecology, engineering ecology, noospherology and the like.
The structure of modern environmental science
To date, more than 100directions in environmental science, each of which deals with its narrow issues. There are several classifications of ecology, each of which is built according to its principles. The most detailed and justified is the structure proposed by the scientist M. Reimers.
He proposes to divide the ecological science into two large blocks:
- Theoretical ecology.
- Applied ecology.
The first includes bioecology with all itsnumerous units, as well as recreation. The block of applied ecology includes geoecology, socioecology, biosphere and engineering ecology with its branches.
A very important place in the applied block is occupied byengineering ecology - the science of factors and criteria for environmental pollution. It is also often called technoecology. It includes a lot of disciplines: ecology of energy, ecology of transport and communications, ecology of agriculture, space ecology, ecological expertise and others.
It is worth noting that each of the above disciplines is designed to solve their problems and problems. At the same time, they all use the achievements and achievements of other environmental disciplines.
Tasks and methods of ecology
To solve a set of its problems, environmental science uses a wide range of different methods. They can be represented by three main groups:
- Methods for collecting information on the status and functioning of ecosystems.
- Methods of processing the information received.
- Methods for interpreting received materials and results.
The most popular methods used in ecologyToday: stationary observation and experiment, mathematical, cartographic, and also the method of modeling. Especially popular today is the construction of mathematical models. To do this, an abstract model of the ecosystem (using special symbols) is built on the basis of the empirical facts and materials extracted in the field. Then, changing the values of some parameters, you can easily observe how the system will behave (change).
Almost a century and a half ago, science arose, fromthe successful development of which today depends the future of all mankind. The name of this science is ecology. The subject and tasks of ecology are reduced to the study of the features and regularities of the functioning of ecosystems, on the basis of which strategies for the stable development of life on our planet are developed. Modern man does not need to prove the necessity of the existence of this science.