Organisms and their Environment
The living organisms and the environments in which they live play a complex interdependent and interrelated role. Ecology deals with the various principles that govern the relationships between the organisms and environment. The term Ecology (Gk. Oikos-house or place to live, logos-study or discourse) was first introduced, by Reiter (1885). E. Haeckel (1886) a zoologist defined ecology as 'the study of the reciprocal relationships between organisms and their environment'.
The term 'environment' means surroundings, in which the organisms live. Any constituent or condition of the environment which affects directly or indirectly the form or functioning of the organism in any specific way is called environmental or ecological factor. The environment consists of different types of environmental factors such as light temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, physical and chemical nature of soil, plants, animals. etc.
The adaptations of the organisms allow them to live in perfect harmony with their surroundings.
All living organisms, including human beings live in some sort of abiotic component of environment, that contains matter and energy. Various environmental factors can be divided into following two groups:
1. Climatic factors 2. Edaphic factors 3. Biotic Factors. The former two factors are abiotic components that contain matter and energy.
I. Climatic Factors
These are related to the aerial environment of the organisms e.g. light, precipitation, temperature, atmospheric humidity, wind, etc.
II. Edaphic Factors
They include the factors related to the soil. e.g. soil composition, organic matter, soil water, soil air, soil organisms etc.