Difference Between Ecology and Ecosystem, and Their Relationship

Hyundai Motorstudio Senayan Park 2022.10.06
Difference Between Ecology and Ecosystem, and Their Relationship

When we first time studying science, many people may misjudge that ecology and ecosystem are the same. In fact, the difference between ecology and ecosystem is quite significant.

In fact, if we misinterpret, it can result in errors in analysis and study reports. Therefore, in this article we will understand the differences in ecology and ecosystems in more detail from several aspects.

Understanding the Difference Between Ecology And Ecosystem

Although they look similar, there are clearly visible ecological and ecosystem differences. Especially in terms of definition. The difference between ecology and ecosystems is that ecology is the study of ecosystems and the environment.

Meanwhile, the ecosystem is a unit of the field of ecology that discusses the components of living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) in a community.

Living organisms will interact with each other due to various factors, such as food, shelter (habitat), resources, and so on.

This interaction is a natural phenomenon that is quite interesting. To describe the interactions between living and non-living organisms, we use the popular terms ecology and ecosystem.

Ecology is the broad study of the relationship between organisms and their surrounding environment. So, the ecosystem is a branch of the field of ecology.

What is Ecology?

Ecology is the field of study of the ecosystem as a whole. In ecology, experts will study the various relationships of living organisms. Including, the internal and external relationships of living and non-living organisms.

So, in ecology, there are three main components of study. Among them:

  • Living organisms.
  • Relationships between organisms.
  • The relationship of organisms to the environment.

Ecology further describes the genetics, physiological patterns, behavior, and nutrition of organisms.

Moreover, nutrition is a major branch of ecology. With regard to nutrition, in ecology organisms are grouped into various categories, such as symbionts, saprophytes, parasites, predators, etc.

Meanwhile, according to environmental conditions, ecology can be classified as temperature, soil properties, water availability, humidity and rainfall.

What is an Ecosystem?

Ecosystem is a branch of ecology. An ecosystem includes all the biotic and abiotic components of a particular community. Biotic components are living organisms, such as plants and animals.

Meanwhile, abiotic components include non-living components, such as sunlight, climate , water, and so on. Living and non-living factors will be connected through the ecosystem due to nutritional needs.

Plants use sunlight to produce food. Furthermore, animals and humans fulfill their nutritional needs by eating plants.

What is the Basic Difference Between Ecology and Ecosystem?

Ecology is the comprehensive study of the relationship of organisms to their environment, their habitat, and their interactions with one another.

On the other hand, ecosystem is a part of ecology and refers to the system which includes all the organisms in an area with their habitat environment.

Key Differences between Ecology and Ecosystem

Ecology pays attention to threats to the environment and how to prevent the impact of environmental damage. In addition, ecological changes can disrupt ecosystems. Thus, if natural phenomena change ecological processes, the ecosystem will also be affected.

In addition, ecology provides insight into the biodiversity of a single entity, namely the ecosystem.

How Do Ecology and Ecosystem Differences Affect Human Life?

Every ecology and ecosystem has mechanisms that are interrelated and affect human life.

Examples include the water cycle, oxygen cycle, energy cycle, carbon cycle , and nitrogen cycle. Every ecosystem is controlled by these cycles. And each ecosystem has different living and non-living components.

All ecosystem functions depend on the growth and regeneration of plant and animal species. For example, the water cycle depends on rainfall to sustain plants and animals.

Meanwhile, the carbon cycle is found in ecosystem components and becomes the building block of plant or animal tissues.

In the atmosphere, carbon is referred to as CO2 or carbon dioxide. Plants will regulate and monitor the percentage of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere.

Both plants and animals release CO2 during respiration or breathing. In addition, carbon is also released back into the soil as waste or sewage.

When plants and animals die, their bodies return to carbon in the soil. This carbon cycle and oxygen cycle will be an iterative process.

Then, in the nitrogen cycle, plants will absorb nitrogen in the form of nutrients and use it in their growth. Nutrients are recycled back from animals to plants.

Then, what about the energy cycle? The energy cycle recycles nutrients into the soil where plant life grows. In fact, our own life is closely related to the functioning of this life cycle.

Energy cycles are part of global life processes and have specific characteristics in each ecosystem. Each cycle is also associated with adjacent ecosystems as well as the plant and animal communities in the region.

Together, the cycles are responsible for sustaining life on Earth. If human activities continue to change it beyond the limits that nature can maintain, it will eventually damage the sustainability of nature and make humans unable to survive.

Differences in Ecology and Ecosystem Based on Definitions, Correspondence, and Relationships

In terms of definition, the differences between ecology and ecosystem are as follows:

  • Ecology: Ecology is the branch of biology that deals with the relationship of organisms to each other and to their physical environment.
  • Ecosystem: An ecosystem is a community of organisms that interact with their physical environment.

Differences in ecology and ecosystem by correspondence:

  • Ecology: Ecology is the study of ecosystems.
  • Ecosystem: Ecosystem is a subset of ecology.

Differences in ecology and ecosystem based on the relationship:

  • Ecology: Ecology includes the study of the relationship between living organisms and their environment.
  • Ecosystems: Ecosystems are places like forests, taiga, grasslands, deserts, calm waters, rivers or streams, coral reefs, etc.

Ecology and Ecosystem Form a Balanced Environmental System

Although there are a number of ecological and ecosystem differences, they both describe the relationship between biotic and abiotic in an environmental system.

Ecology is the study of ecosystems. Meanwhile, the ecosystem describes the mass relationship of living organisms, including in the same or different communities.

This is the key difference between ecology and ecosystem that can be more easily remembered . Organisms maintain relationships and interactions with one another for the purpose of obtaining the basic necessities of life, such as food, nutrition, water, and shelter.

It is the same with humans who should continue to maintain the balance of nature so that they can continue to survive for generations to come.