Ecology is the study of a community of biota, including the interactions with abiotic factors such as soils, water, and meteorological factors. The field of ecology addresses interactions of plants and animals including feeding behavior, selection of nesting or denning sites and competition among species. Time changes are particularly important, such as landscape changes arising from plant succession. Conservation of habitats is analyzed in order to determine the viability of not only individual species, but of the entire assemblage of flora, fauna and micro-organisms in a given ecosystem.

  • Review: Forest restoration Featured Article Review: Forest restoration Review: Forest restoration

    This Review, written by Raf Aerts and Olivier Honnay*, appeared first in BioMed Central Ecology—a peer-reviewed, open access journal. This review article is part of the... More »

  • Orangutan Featured Article Orangutan Orangutan

    The largest of the Asian primates, the orangutan, belongs to the Hominidae (or Great Apes) family whose members also include humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas.  While fossil... More »

  • Arctic marine environments Featured Article Arctic marine environments Arctic marine environments

    This is Section 10.2.1 of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Lead Author: Michael B. Usher; Contributing Authors:Terry V. Callaghan, Grant Gilchrist, Bill Heal, Glenn P.... More »

  • Habitat fragmentation Featured Article Habitat fragmentation Habitat fragmentation

    Habitat fragmentation involves alteration of habitat resulting in spatial separation of habitat units from a previous state of greater... More »

  • Terrestrial biome Featured Article Terrestrial biome Terrestrial biome

    Introduction Many places on Earth share similar climatic conditions despite being found in geographically different areas. As a result of natural selection, comparable... More »

  • Virus Featured Article Virus Virus

    A virus is a microscopic organism that can replicate only inside the cells of a host organism. Most viruses are so tiny they are only observable with at least a conventional... More »

  • Europa Island Featured Article Europa Island Europa Island

    Europa Island located in the southern Mozambique Channel, between Madagascar and Mozambique. Europa Island is about 100 kilometers (km) southeast of Bassas da... More »

  • Mojave Desert Featured Article Mojave Desert Mojave Desert

    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Mojave Desert is the smallest of the four North American deserts. While the Mojave lies between the... More »

  • Cheetah Featured Article Cheetah Cheetah

    The Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is a vulnerable species within the cat family. While the fastest land animal and an adept hunter, this felid is not agressive... More »

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East African halophytics Last Updated on 2014-12-22 14:42:45 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The East African Halophytics ecoregion is composed of two hypersaline lakes situated within Tanzania, along the Great Rift Valley. These lakes constitute an inhospitable environment for most plants and animals, since the waters are saline, elevated in temperature, and subject to rapid salinity changes following rains. In fact, Lake Natron, exhibits one of the highest salinities of any lacustrine body on Earth, attaining super-saturated salt levels of 340 parts per thousand. However, the lakes are home to huge flocks of lesser and greater flamingos that breed on the mudflats which surround the lakes. The lesser flamingos filter the blue-green algae from the salty waters, and the greater flamingos feed on copepod larvae within the shallow lake waters. The East African Halophytics habitat is threatened by active... More »
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Canada Last Updated on 2014-12-08 19:23:12 The contiguous national parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho, with the adjoining Mount Robson, Hamber and Mount Assiniboine provincial parks (50°34'-53°28'N, 115°10'-119°32'W), are World Heritage Sites located at the continental divide of the central Rocky Mountains at their highest point. They protect an approximate linear extent of 400 kilometres (km) of forested mountain landscape studded with dramatic peaks, glaciers, lakes, cascades, canyons and limestone caves,. The Burgess Shale fossil site, inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1980 and noted for its fossil remains of soft-bodied marine fauna, is within Yoho National Park. The parks are a 400 km long continuous belt of protected areas bestriding the central Rocky Mountains at their highest, along the British Columbia-Alberta border. The ridge axis extends from north to south: Jasper... More »
Species diversity Last Updated on 2014-12-07 19:11:57 Species diversity is a measure of the diversity within an ecological community that incorporates both species richness (the number of species in a community) and the evenness of species' abundances. Species diversity is one component of the concept of biodiversity. Species diversity is influenced by species richness. All else being equal, communities with more species are considered to be more diverse. For example, a community containing 10 species would be more diverse than a community with 5 species. Community A Species Abundance 1 20 2 20 3 20 4 20 5 20               Species diversity is also influenced by the relative abundance of individuals in the species found in a community. Evenness measures the variation in the abundance of... More »
Turtle Last Updated on 2014-12-07 16:28:36 To look at a Snapping turtle with its horny shell and scaley tail, you might imagine that you are glimpsing a dinosaur. In fact, turtles are even older than dinosaurs and were common on earth 50 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared. The scientific name for turtles, comes from the Latin testudo, which means tortoise. Six reptile families of the order Testudines are represented in Canada: Chelydridae, Emydidae, Dermochelyidae, Cheloniidae, Trionychidae, and Kinosternidae. The world's 250 turtle species all share certain traits. They all have four feet, ribs fused to their shell, and leg bones that are tucked into their body cavity. A turtle's head and extremities can ordinarily be pulled into the shell for protection. In species where this is not possible, other methods of defence are used. For example, the snapping turtle has very powerful snapping... More »
Biogeography Last Updated on 2014-11-30 22:10:52 Biogeography is the study of the spatial distribution of biological organisms. The scale of analysis ranges from very small micro-topography regimes to continental dimensions. Fundamental concepts in this field of study are the nature of barrier formation and response of species in their patterns of travel and migration; in particular, the presence of rivers, mountain ranges, deserts and other natural boundaries are examples of large scale barriers. Besides such major landform barriers, there are soil, topographic and meteorological factors that influence the distribution of each species. In the case of smaller scale regimes that are applicable for some bacteria or limited range plant species, there are often very restricted niches; for example, certain bacteria extremophiles may be limited to such localized features as small geyser pools, and some rare plants may have a single extant... More »