A Brief Note On Science And Its Effects On The Middle Of A Small Pond

1940 Words Mar 16th, 2015 8 Pages
Dylan Fox
Professor Brinkerhoff
Advanced Ecology Midterm (1) Why is scale important in ecology?
Ecology is the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms, their interactions between each other and their environment, and the structure and function of ecosystems. To this end, the scale (spatial, functional, temporal, organizational, etc.) at which we observe nature and the multitude of environments that comprise it is an extremely important factor in the study of ecology. Dumping sewage effluent in the middle of a small pond is not going to register even a slight disturbance on a global or even regional scale , but there is a still massive disturbance to the organisms at the small scale of that pond ecosystem. Similarly, the ability of ecosystems to recover from disturbance is linked principally to the scale at which the disturbance occurs, and the scale at which the recovery is observed . Taking various scales into effect when conducting ecological research is extremely important, but can be easily overlooked. Scientists have known for a long time that organisms are not distributed randomly or uniformly within an environment, but are consistently found in some type of spatial pattern or arrangement. The heterogeneity (or homogeneity) of an environment is one of the primary factors responsible for the distribution of species found in it – organisms will disperse according to their physiological needs and by what is offered along the resource gradients…
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