Introduction to Ecology What Is Biology? Biology comes from the Greek ology meaning science and biomeaning life. So Biology is the study of life. What Is Ecology? Ecology is the study of the interaction of organisms with their environment. The Biosphere Thin layer of earth where life is supported. Bio- means life. Sphere means circle. Closed system in terms of materials. What does this mean? Implies that materials must be recycled. Open system in terms of energy. What does this mean? Ecosystems are all the organisms in an area and their interactions with their environment. Everglades Old-growth forests of the Northwest Chesapeake Bay Components of an Ecosystem Biotic Courtesy of freeimages.co.uk Abiotic What Is a Species? X Horse x Donkey = Mule Each species occupies a unique role Squirrel Chipmunk Populations and Communities All the members of a species in a certain area are called a population. All the populations of all the different species in an area make up the community.