Ecology studies environments at different levels of organization.
Let's take a few minutes to review the levels of organization. We can take this back to where we started this semester, and start with atoms.
We can talk about levels of organization in organisms and in the environment. In the image on the right, levels of organization in an organism are represented in red.
The levels of organization for the environment are represented in blue.
Taking a specific look at the new new levels of organization for the environment.
- Organisms - are individuals
- Populations - are groups of a single species that live in one area
- Community - a group of different species that live together in one area
- Ecosystem - this is where biology branches out a bit, and ecosystems include not only all organisms but things like climate, soil, water, and other non-living things in an area.
- Biome - a biome is a major area in a region, an example would be the Alpine Tundra. Take a minute to look at the World Biome Map, before moving on.
So who are ecologists? And what do they do?
Ecologists study the relationships within each level of organization as well as between levels.