Before getting to know the research methods involved in Ecology, it is important that we know what ecology is and why it is important.
What is ecology?
Ecology is a study that shows the relationship between the living beings on earth and how each one of us is connected to nature. The relationship is the living beings and nature is like the many to one function and since the components are connected to one parent we are all connected. The vicious cycle of the food chain in science that we learned at a very tender age of 12, is the first place where we knew that how each living creature on earth is connected and is interdependent on each other.
So the study of ecology is not new to us but why is it so important that many high-end research agencies have pinned their focus to it? Let’s figure out.
The importance of Ecological Studies:
- The simplest of all reasons is that we are all a part of the ecosystem and it is important that we know the way it works and its cause and effect.
- It is a proven fact that all organisms, biotic and abiotic, interact with each other. This interaction happens both in the physical and chemical environments.
- The powerful rule that impacts nature and the one that is the main reason for the evolution and existence is ‘The Survival of the Fittest’. This golden principle came into effect as a result of these restless ecological studies.
- Ecological studies help the world to locate resources that are available for the benefit of mankind.
- Despite a lot of these ecological studies, it is still believed that there are places on earth, where man has never set his foot!
Methods involved in Ecological Research:
There are three methods involved in Ecological Research, which are as follows:
Observation is the first methods in Ecological research. It simply means that you are fixated on your goal. You keep watching the subject all through the research period and then publish the results. The important point is that researchers do not interrupt the life flow of the subject. All they have to do is observing and field work. It can be either be a direct survey or indirect survey.
Here actual field work is not required instead you are recreating the life of the subject in your own laboratory. Today as technology is becoming a great boon, you need have to create physical models. The Artificial Intelligence can create simulations that are capable of replicating the life style of the subject. Observing this, the researchers come to a conclusion.
This is when you are going to disrupt the harmony of the ecosystem and find how the organisms in the ecosystem react to the change. These reactions are recorded and analyzed and then the outcomes are published as journals by the researchers.
None of these methods are simple, you have to put an equal effort, time and energy for all the three. Then why do we need different methods? Every organism is unique and can leave different impacts based on the different subjective realities. So the most feasible method is employed to achieve the desired outcome.