Planet Earth is a small blue pearl, lost in the endless cold worlds of outer space and has become home to billions of living beings. Life is literally pervaded by the entire space of our world: water, earth, air.
And all this variety of living forms, beginning with the simplest microorganisms and ending with the apex of evolution - a rational man, - is able to exert the most direct influence on the vital activity of the planet. Ecology is a science that studies the interaction of all living organisms inhabiting the Earth, as well as their numerous communities both among themselves and with their environment.
A bit of history
Many modern people do not know that ecology began to develop as a separate branch of science only in the middle of the 20th century. Before that time, it was only part of biology. And the founder of ecology was an ardent supporter and supporter of Darwin's theory, a talented natural scientist and biologist - German E. Haeckel.
The formation of ecology as a separate science was influenced by: on the one hand, the strengthening of scientific and technological progress in the 20th century, and on the other, the rapid growth of the population of our planet. The development of technology and industry led to a multiple increase in consumed natural resources, which in turn had a detrimental effect on the environment.
While the number of people was rapidly multiplying, the number of other living beings began to decrease steadily. NTP allowed people to equip their place on the planet as comfortably as possible, but at the same time it was a disastrous factor for nature. There was an urgent need for operational study and study of habitat. The connection of ecology with other sciences has become inevitable.
Fundamental basics of science ecology
Fundamentals of ecology include the study of interaction with the environment of objects organized on species, biosphere, organism and biocentric levels. Thus, it is possible to single out several main sections that include general ecology:
- Autecology, or the ecology of organisms, is a section that deals with the study of individual relationships with the environment of each individual species and organisms that make up the general species group.
- Demecology, or ecology of populations. The tasks of this section are the study of the natural mechanisms responsible for regulating the number of different living organisms, their optimal density, and also the identification of permissible withdrawal boundaries for different species and populations.
- Synecology, or community ecology, studies in detail the interaction of ecosystems and populations with the natural environment, as well as the mechanisms and structure of biogeocoenoses.
Methods of ecological research
Modern ecology Uses a variety of methods to conduct research. However, they can all be conditionally divided into two categories: field methods and laboratory ones.
By the very names you can understand that all field research works are carried out directly in the natural environment. They, in turn, can be divided into:
- Stationary. These studies include both long-term observation of natural objects, as well as measurements, detailed descriptions, and an instrumental report.
- Route. Direct observations of the object are carried out, its condition is assessed, measurement, description is made, maps and charts are compiled.
- Descriptive - at the initial acquaintance with the object of research.
- Experimental. Here the main thing is experience and experiment, various chemical analyzes, quantitative evaluation, etc.
Laboratory methods are based on research in the laboratory. Since ecology is a science that studies a large number of factors, a special place in the practical study of bioobjects is given to the modeling method.
Living Environment of Living Organisms
In order to better understand how these or other environmental factors affect different living species, it is first necessary to understand the relationship between the habitat and the life of various objects. A variety of natural conditions that are found on our Earth - water, land-air, soil, organism - are the environment of life for a variety of species of plants and animals. It is from the environment that all living things get the substances necessary for life. And the products of exchange of living organisms return to the same place.
The very first habitat for the smallest inhabitants of the planet were reservoirs. It was in the water that life appeared in the form of tiny bacteria - in order to then master the land-air and soil environments. And the organism was successfully settled by parasites and symbionts.
Thus, it is the difference in the conditions of existence in different environments that made it possible for different organisms to develop a set of specific physiological, morphological, behavioral and other different properties that help them to adapt to the most difficult conditions of life.
Fundamentals of Ecology As sciences Great importance attached to individual environmental factors. Under the latter should be understood any elements or environmental conditions that cause these or other organisms to adapt to them and adapt. There are only three groups of environmental factors:
Biotic factors include various properties of living nature. They are capable of causing adaptive reactions in plants (phytogenic), in animals (zoogenic) and in fungi (mycogenous).
Abiotic, on the other hand, are components of non-living nature: geological (glacier movements, volcanic activity, radiation, etc.), climatic (temperature, light, wind, humidity, pressure, etc.), soil (soil structure, density and composition) , As well as hydrological factors (water, pressure, salinity, flow).
Anthropogenic factors of ecology refer to human activity. It must be said that it is the person causing very serious shifts in the biogeocoenosis. And for some species it becomes favorable, but for others it does not.
Ecological problems of our time
Today's environmental problems are mainly related to the anthropogenic impact on nature. The global ecology announces the following serious dangers: acid rain, ozone depletion, greenhouse effect, pollution of the world and the problem of recycling human waste, soil degradation and erosion, desertification, widespread felling of trees, extinction of animals, changes in climate, general weakening of human immunity , Depletion of resources (water, gas, oil, other natural resources), photochemical smog and other fatal changes.
All this is largely triggered by the active interference of people in the natural processes, as well as unreasonable implementation of recreational, military, economic and other plans that change the natural habitat.
Ecology is a science that studies, among other things, pollution of the environment (the biosphere). At the same time, pollution refers to the active entry into the biosphere of energy or substances, the number, location or properties of which are capable of adversely affecting the habitat of various living species.
The development of industry and world urbanization lead to pollution of the surrounding space not only with solid, liquid and gaseous substances and microorganisms, but also with various energies (sounds, noises, radiations) that adversely affect the various ecosystems of the planet.
There are two types of contamination of the biosphere, differing in origin: natural (natural) - occurs without human participation, and anthropogenic. The latter is much more dangerous, since the person has not yet learned how to restore the environment of his habitat.
Nowadays pollution is monstrous and it concerns atmospheric air, underground and surface sources of water, soil. Humanity polluted even near-Earth space. All this does not add optimism to people and can provoke a global ecological catastrophe. The early development of ecology as a science gives mankind a chance to escape the threat.
As a result of careless, unreasonable human activity, the soil around large cities and territories on which large industrial metallurgical enterprises are located, the thermal power station, the machine building enterprise, has been contaminated over huge distances.
Heavy metals, petroleum products, sulfur and lead compounds, combined with household waste - that is what is saturated with the modern environment of a civilized man. Any institute of ecology will confirm that along with the above substances, various carcinogens are abundant in the soil, which possess the ability to cause terrible diseases in people.
The land that feeds us is exposed not only to erosion and pollution by harmful chemical elements, but also waterlogged, salinized, seized for construction of various structures. And if the natural destruction of the surface fertile layer can occur very slowly, the erosion caused by anthropogenic activity is striking at its accelerated pace.
Agriculture with abundant use of pesticides is becoming a scourge for humanity. The most dangerous in this case are stable chlorine compounds that can persist in the soil for many years and accumulate in it.
The next serious environmental threat is pollution of the atmosphere. Again, it can be caused by natural factors, for example, volcanic activity, flowering plants, smoke from burning forests or wind erosion. But the anthropogenic impact causes much more harm to the atmosphere.
Anthropogenic, or man-made air pollution occurs due to the entry into the atmosphere of a large number of certain harmful substances. The chemical industry is particularly harmful in this regard. Thanks to it, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen sulphide, hydrocarbons, halogens and other substances are emitted into the air. Entering each other in chemical reactions, they are capable of forming very dangerous highly toxic compounds.
The situation is exacerbated by automobile exhausts. In most large cities in windless weather, a phenomenon such as photochemical smog has become common.
Contamination of the planet's water resources
Life on the planet is impossible without water, but in our time, environmental studies have led scientists to come to a bitter conclusion: anthropological activities have a disastrous effect on the hydrosphere of the Earth. The natural reserves of fresh water are declining, and even the huge World Ocean is undergoing global changes in its ecosystem, and many marine life are doomed to extinction.
Particularly alarming is the fact that not only surface waters are affected by pollution, but also underground ones, which are affected not only by industrial waste, but also by municipal landfills, sewage, livestock waste, storage of fertilizers and chemicals. In addition, civilization can not do without major accidents. Accidental discharge of waste into water bodies is not a rare case.
Relationship of ecology with other sciences
First of all, ecology is a science that studies the problems of the environment, and it alone can not remedy the situation. Now, when it became clear how disturbing the situation is in different ecosystems, it becomes even clearer how important the relationship of ecology with other sciences. Without close interaction with medicine, biology, chemistry, physics and some other scientific fields, it will simply be impossible to actively solve environmental problems.
Scientists have to make joint efforts in order to try to minimize the harm that a person does to nature. Scientists of different countries in a hurry to find safe sources of energy. In some states, the share of cars working on electricity has already grown significantly. Much depends on the efforts of chemists, they will have to solve the problem of minimizing the harm of industrial wastes in the new century. In solving common problems, all areas of ecology must necessarily be involved.
Ecological situation in Russia
Unfortunately, the ecology of Russia is far from in the best condition. According to authoritative ecologists, our country is among the three states that most actively pollute the planet's ecosystem. In addition to Russia, the infamous list includes China and the United States.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that while the most developed European countries spend up to 6% of their budget on environmental protection annually, in Russia these costs do not even reach 1%. The authorities persistently do not want to respond to attempts by environmentalists to draw their attention to the deplorable state of affairs in this area.
Meanwhile, the ecology of Russia Causes concern of the entire world community, as the territories it occupies are truly huge, there are a lot of industrial enterprises, waste is not recycled and disposed of properly, and all this looks simply threatening against the backdrop of the economic crisis.
The impact of ecology on human health
It has already been said above, how adverse environmental factors affect human health. First of all, this, of course, concerns children, because this is our future. But what will be the future if the little man from the diaper has to breathe polluted air, eat foods that have harmful chemical preservatives added, drink water only from plastic bottles, etc.?
In recent years, doctors have emphasized that the incidence of broncho-pulmonary diseases is getting higher and higher. The number of patients with allergies is growing, most of them again being children. Globally, there is an increase in diseases associated with immunodeficiency states. It can be assumed that if humanity does not come to its senses in the near future and does not try to conclude a peaceful harmonious union with Mother Nature, then in the not so distant future, we can be apprehended by the fate of many extinct species. It must be remembered that the ecology and health of people are inextricably linked.
2014 - the year of ecology
Every year in our country there are many events devoted to environmental education. And 2014 was no exception. So, since the beginning of the year, a large-scale competition "National Environmental Award" ERAECO "has been held in Russia as part of this event, films on environmental themes are shown in various cities of Russia, festivals and lectures are held.
There will also be presentations on eco-building and demonstration of the possibilities of ecological farms in Moscow and the Moscow region. Eco-lessons were held at schools where children were told about the problems of environmental protection and various issues on ecology were discussed in detail.
Organizers of "ERAECO" plan to open a mobile ecological mini-laboratory, through which it will be possible to carry out rapid analyzes of samples taken from water, air and soil. Experts of the laboratory with the support of environmental experts will be schoolchildren of different ages and students.
"Eco-Patrol" detachments will be formed, which will continue their activities not only during the competition, but also after its termination. Children of primary school age will also be able to join many interesting events, and afterwards they will be asked to create a visual report in the drawings.
International cooperation in the field of environmental protection
Our planet is united, and despite the fact that people have divided it into many different countries and states, the solution of acute environmental issues requires unification. Such cooperation is carried out within the framework of international programs of organizations such as UNESCO and the United Nations, and is governed by interstate agreements.
The principles of environmental cooperation were developed. One of them says that the ecological well-being of a state should not be provided without taking into account the interests of other countries or at their expense. For example, stronger countries can not use the natural resources of underdeveloped world regions.
Another principle proclaims that mandatory control over threatening changes in the environment must be established at all levels and all states are obliged to render every possible assistance to each other in complex environmental problems and emergency situations.
It is important to realize that, only if united, mankind can save the Earth from the impending ecological collapse. From now on, every citizen of the planet must understand this.