Ecology is a division of biology and deals with the study of environment in relation to organisms. Ecology is mainly divided into two branches Autecology and Synecology. The environment (surrounding) includes physical, chemical and biological components. These factors can be classified into living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic), which make the environment of an organism. The ecological factors are meaningfully grouped into four classes, which are as follows:
1. Climatic factors Edaphic factors 3. Topographic factors 4. Biotic factors.
Climate is one of the important natural factors controlling the plant life. The climatic factors includes light, temperature, water, wind, fire, etc. Edaphic factors, the abiotic factors related to soil, include the physical and chemical composition of the soil formed in a particular area. The surface features of earth are called topography. Topographic influence on the climate of any area is determined by the interaction of solar radiation, temperature, humidity ,rainfall, latitude and altitude. The interactions among living organisms, the plants and animals are called biotic factors, which may cause marked effects upon vegetation.
The modifications in the structure of organisms to survive successfully in an environment are called adaptations of organisms. Based on the habitats and the corresponding adaptations of plants, they are classified into 1) Hydrophytes 2) Xerophytes 3) Mesophytes 4) Epiphytes and 5) Halophytes. The dissemination of seeds and fruits to various distances from the parent plant is called seed and fruit dispersal. It takes place with the help of ecological factors such as wind, water and animals.
Antibiosis: An association of two organisms which is harmful to one of them.
Biome: A major regional community of plants and animals with similar life forms and environmental conditions.
Biosphere: The envelope containing all living organisms on earth.
Community: A group of organism living in the same place.
Flora: The kinds of plants in region
Frugivores: Fruit eating organisms
Hekistotherms: (Temperature less than 70°C) Where very low temperature prevails and the dominant vegetation is alpine vegetation.
Landscape: The visible features of an area of land.
Lianes: Twining vines with woody stems, common in forest of warm climate.
Megatherms: (Temperature more than 240°C) Where high temperature prevails throughout the year and the dominant vegetation is tropical rain forest.
Mesotherms: (Temperature ranges between 170°C and 240°C) Where high temperature alternates with low temperature and the dominant vegetation is tropical deciduous forest.
Microtherms: (Temperature ranges between 70°C and 170°C) Where low temperature prevails and the dominant vegetation is mixed coniferous forest.
Population: A group of individuals of a single species.
Scotoactive type of stomata: Stomata opens during night in succulent plants and closes during the day.
Vivipary: When seeds or embryos begin to develop before they detach from the parent.