Midterm Ecology & Environmental Problems

1632 Words7 Pages
Marina Herbst
SC 253-301

Midterm Ecology & Environmental Problems

1. (a) How might one best define ecology today? (b) Please define the term “environmental problem”? (c) Briefly describe the relationship between the science of ecology and our understanding of environmental problems?

a) Ecology today can be defined as “the study of the interrelationships between living things and their environment”. It is important to understand that when we say that ecology includes the “environment”, we are talking about everything that is external to an organism, all the biotic and abiotic. Nowadays it also attempts to understand and explain the how and why of the origins and mechanisms of interactions.

b) Environmental Problems could be defined as the problems of humans and their relationships with their environment.

c) Ecology is the tool used to better understand the causes, effects, and potential mitigation of environmental problems.

2. (a) Define cybernetic; (b) define homeostasis, (c) define homeorhesis; (d) discuss the relationships between cybernetic systems and homeostasis/homeorhesis; (e) describe the significance of the cybernetic nature of ecological systems; (f) discuss the relationships between disturbance level and the establishment of reinforcing vs balancing feedback loops.

a) Cybernetic is the ability of a system to regulate itself through feedback loops. Ecological systems are cybernetic systems given that they are self regulated or controlled

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