Ecology is the scientific study of interactions of organisms with one another and with the physical and chemical environment. Although it includes the study of environmental problems such as pollution, the science of ecology mainly involves research on the natural world from many viewpoints, using many techniques. Modern ecology relies heavily on experiments, both in laboratory and in field settings. These techniques have proved useful in testing ecological theories, and in arriving at practical decisions concerning the management of natural resources.
An understanding of ecology is essential for the survival of the human species. Our populations are increasing rapidly, all around the world, and we are in grave danger of outstripping the earth’s ability to supply the resources that we need for our long-term survival. Furthermore, social, economic and political factors often influence the short-term distribution of resources needed by a specific human population. An understanding of ecological principles can help us understand the global and regional consequences of competition among humans for the scarce natural resources that support us.