-from greek oikos, meaning house (ecology = oekologia)
-house refers to all the relationships of the animal to both its organic and inorganic envir.
the scientific study of interactions that determine distribution and abundance of organisms
biotic vs abiotic interactions
living organisms interacting vs living organisms interacting with non-living environment
hierarchy of ecology
organism (basic unit of ecology), population, community, ecosystem (community + abiotic), biosphere
observation of nature outside of a formal, hypothesis-testing investigation—provides important knowledge about ecosystems.
ecological vs. natural experiment
ecological experiments are designed studies to help observe change in ecosystems by formulating hypotheses, manipulating systems etc. natural experiments are events in nature that teach us about how ecosystems respond (volcano erupt etc)