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Examine ecology as a major branch of biological science that involves the scientific study of the relationships among organisms and their environment. Ecologists distinguish between two parts of the environment as a whole: the living or biotic part and the nonliving or abiotic part. The biotic part of the environment includes all organisms, such as animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi. The abiotic part includes all physical features like temperature, humidity, availability of light, as well as chemical components, such as the concentrations of salts, nutrients, and gases. Ecology studies the interactions between and among the biotic and abiotic environments.

Because the discipline of ecology involves all living things and the environments in which they live, it is a broad field that is often narrowed into sub-disciplines, including organismal ecology (study of the structure, function, and evolution of organisms), evolutionary ecology (the study of adaptations that allow organisms to live in specific habitats), population ecology (study of a particular group of organisms living in the same area at the same time), community ecology (study of all the populations living in a given area), and ecosystem ecology (study of all the organisms in an area as well as the community and the abiotic factors that influence that community).

Ecology takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining life on earth and the systems in which all life exists. This approach utilizes many different fields of study, including geology, soil science, geography, meteorology, genetics, chemistry, physics, biology, and many others. The application of ecology is as limitless as the organisms and environments it studies. For example, ecology is often applied to conservation efforts to responsibly manage natural resources, studies to demonstrate the effects of human behavior on the environment, and even urban planning.

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Ecology Resources

Gale provides ecology resources that support research, including databases, primary source archives, and eBooks.


Gale databases offer ecology journals filled with resources to support research.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains full-text archives and collections that provide firsthand content, including historical documents, archives, journals, and news articles that examine and analyze ecology.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of ecological topics, including biology, social sciences, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download articles.

  • IGI Social Sciences and Humanities Frontlist Collection (2018-2020), 1st Edition

    IGI Social Sciences and Humanities Frontlist Collection (2018-2020), 1st Edition

     IGI Global  |  2020  |  ISBN-13: 9781799870487

    This is an academic collection of 47 titles from 2018 to 2020 with a focus on the social sciences and the humanities.

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  • Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order, 1st Edition

    Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order, 1st Edition

     Wiley-Blackwell  |  2013  |  ISBN-13: 9781118354209

    Land conversion, climate change, and species invasions are contributing to the widespread emergence of novel ecosystems, which demand a shift in how we think about traditional approaches to conservation, restoration, and environmental management. They are novel because they exist without historical precedents and are self-sustaining. Traditional approaches emphasizing native species and historical continuity are challenged by novel ecosystems that deliver critical ecosystems services or are simply immune to practical restorative efforts. Some fear that by raising the issue of novel ecosystems we are paving the way for a more laissez-faire attitude toward conservation and restoration. Regardless of the range of views and perceptions about novel ecosystems, their existence is becoming ever more obvious and prevalent in today’s rapidly changing world. In this first comprehensive volume to look at the ecological, social, cultural, ethical, and policy dimensions of novel ecosystems, the authors argue that these altered systems are overdue for careful analysis and require responsible intervention. This book brings together researchers from a range of disciplines along with practitioners and policy makers to explore the questions surrounding novel ecosystems. It includes chapters on key concepts and methodologies for deciding when and how to intervene in systems as well as a rich collection of case studies and perspective pieces. It will be a valuable resource for researchers, managers, and policy makers interested in the question of how humanity manages and restores ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.

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  • Real World Science: Biology in Your Everyday Life, 1st Edition

    Real World Science: Biology in Your Everyday Life, 1st Edition

     Enslow Publishing  |  2020  |  ISBN-13: 9781978509443

    Why are some people lactose intolerant? What happens to the brain during and after a concussion? What causes acne breakouts? The answers to these questions and many more are found in the biology of the human body. Featuring relatable scenarios and hands-on activities, this book details how biology affects practically everything in a person's everyday life. Sidebars consider myths about acne, sex testing in sports, antibiotic resistance, mental health, and how microorganisms transform food. By supporting Next Generation Science Standards for middle school life science classes, this book also provides students with a deeper understanding of scientific processes and the importance of biology in their lives.

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