Applications of Ecology

Discover the diverse applications of ecology in our latest Article. Explore how this field of study contributes to understanding ecosystems, conservation efforts, sustainable development, and more.

Introduction to Ecology

Ecology is the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment. The word ecology derives from two Greek words: Okios, dwelling place or house, and logos, meaning discussion. Thus ecology means the study of organisms in their homes.

The proper definition of Ecology

“Study of all the interactions between the tree and environment is known as ecology.”


“The Interaction of organisms with one another and with the physical and chemical environment”

Introduction about the topic:

For many centuries man has been using natural resources for his needs. The human population increases faster than the total resource requirement. The need for the conservation of natural resources.Such as Land, minerals, water vegetation, and livestock.

Has been felt only for a century. Different fields, like agriculture, forestry, irrigation or drainage, engineering, etc, deal with conservation problems.

Applications of Ecology

Ecology is applied in those days in the following fields.

  • Watershed management
  • Soil conservation
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Water conservation
  • Wildlife management
  • Range management
  • Aquaculture/Fish farming
  • Land management
  • Pollution

i) watershed management

An area from which a waterfall in the form of raindrops or snow collects into a stream and rivers is called a watershed.

Water storage for irrigation and producing electricity by constructing or making dams and barrages(Water canal gates) is called watershed management. Dams and barrages are the backbones of our agriculture.

Many dams are constructed worldwide; now, some are constructed. They have a lot of ecological impacts on the environment. 

There is a need to study all these ecological impacts before constructing a dam. Most of the dams are facing the problem of silting(filled with sand or silt).

Silting is more rapidly filling the dam. It is estimated and observed that most of the dams in Pakistan will become useless within 10 years due to the process of silting.

Ecology studies and their applications help to stop the silting process. The plantation of trees in the watershed area also reduces the silting of Dams.

Several dams constructed for water storage for irrigation have been reported to have become useless, within a few years, through the setting up of the reservoir. 

The dams met this fate not due to faulty construction but bad land management in the catchment places where soil erosion had continued due to constant grazing and lumbering.

An ecologist aims to control soil erosion by maintaining a natural balance between land and vegetation. Thus, irrigation projects must be looked after by engineers and ecologists.

ii) Soil conservation

Keeping the soil in position and maintaining the wealth of its minerals contents is essential for maintaining its productivity. The damage caused to the soil by erosion, water-logging, and salinity can be best controlled by knowledge of ecology.

Soil erosion is caused mainly by the removal of natural vegetation cover or by the cultivation of land with crops which exposes the soil to the direct influence of rainwater and runoff water.

Man disturbs natural vegetation for his need. He cuts down trees and causes deforestation, which causes soil erosion. The damaged vegetation can be preserved if the logging operation is well managed. So ecologists applied different methods to overcome these issues.

iii) Agriculture

Crops for the most valuable human resource, food. Textile fibers are an essential requirement of all men. Therefore Agriculture is the most important industry these days.

Agriculture depends on ecological principles, such as limiting factors, productivity, use of fertilizers, irrigation, pest control, etc. The climatic factor introduction to crops in different areas and acclimatization of crops.

In different areas and crops, species are the topics concerned with ecology. The green revolution is introduced in agricultural production by ecologists. The yield in the former type of farming is 4 times per acre date of letter type.

iv) Forestry

When the bulk of trees and some Woody plants are grown in a specific area, it is known as a forest. Cutting off too many trees from forests leads to the phenomenon of deforestation. The study of forest and forest ecosystems is called forestry.

Forestry is also treated as an industry these days. So that all the essential requirements for the crops are needed in bulk quantity, which is problematic.

Many ecologists use their ideas to solve deforestation and change vegetation. i.e. they should rise to the occasion and try to use their knowledge in the Rapid cultivation of trees. Developing countries like Pakistan are facing the problem of population explosion(More Population).

This rapid increase in population growth increases the requirements for food and shelter. Therefore man is cutting trees for agriculture and wood used in making houses.

If the forests are continuously cut down at the same rate, then there will be no leaf canopy left. This leaf canopy of forests protects the soil from driving rain and soil erosion.

Consequently, due to Rain, some soil will run away with water and reach into the streams and rivers. In this way, the soil will be wasted. Thus the fertility of the soil will be reduced and lost. There are three aspects of forestry:

a) Deforestation

Clearance of vast areas of forest for lumber, planting subsistence crops, or grazing cattle is called deforestation.

b) Reforestation

The re-plantation of trees in a forest is called reforestation. It is necessary or important that deforestation should be replaced with reforestation. Reforestation is essential for many of the conifers species.

(c) Afforestation

The establishment of new forests where no forests existed previously is called afforestation.

Ecology helps in reforestation and afforestation. Ecologists are devising or making ways to stop deforestation, desertification, and overgrazing.

1-Forest Management

A forest is an ecosystem or area with a predominant(large number) species of tall annual woody trees. Forest maintenance and sustaining(Keeping or tolerating) is called forest management. 

Forest management is the most important example of applied ecology. Forest management includes:

  1. The forest near the climax stage(Long Trees) is easier to maintain. Dependent or Subordinate species should also be given importance in forest communities. The subordinate plants act as indicators for the evaluation of dominant species.
  2. Silvicultural practices should be used to establish artificial forests in ill arid regions. For this purpose or this method, exotic species can be introduced in these areas(ill arid regions).
  3. Proper cutting, weeding, planting, and mechanical and chemical treatment techniques should be used.
  1. Protective measures also should be taken against grazing. Browsing or trampling by. Animals.
  2. Positive selective thinning should be used to reduce the competition among or between the trees.
  3. Suitable pruning(cutting) can improve the quality of wood.
  4. Harvesting is done only when the mean annual increment (MAl) is highest.
  5. There should be efficient logging, seasoning (drying), stacking, preservation, and marketing.

V) Water conservation

Sitting up of water reservoirs, rivers, and streams called by eroded soil, create problems, such as flooding, which cause wastage of water sources. This problem can be solved by applying the ecological principle.

One remedy, for instance, is controlling grazing and lumbering in the catchment areas. Floods may be controlled by providing thick vegetation cover in the basin of rivers and streams.

Vi) Wildlife management

Wildlife is defined as uncultivated plants and undomesticated animals if life is known as wildlife. Human activities change the environment and damage wildlife very severely. Deforestation is the primary cause of the extinction of wild species.

Many species of plants and animals are endangered due to man-made activities. Wildlife plays a vital role in the food chain process. The food chain is disturbed or does not survive without wildlife.

So, it is much more challenging to maintain a balance in an ecosystem without wildlife. The imbalance of dis-management in wildlife can jeopardize man’s existence on Earth.

All living organisms are interdependent(depend on others); a balance is present between living organisms and the environment or within the food chain.

Man has been disturbing this balance for a very long. A species that is near extinction or have limited numbers in an area is called endangered species. 

Today there are thousands of endangered plants and animal species are present. Wildlife is a non-renewable resource(Not recovered after depletion). Ecologists are trying to save endangered species by protecting their remaining species and making more breeds of them.

Alternate Methods to protect Wildlife:

The following NGOs are made to protect animals and plants.

  • WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
  • IUCN (International Union for Conservation and natural resources)
  • UNEP (United Nations environmental programs).

vii) Range Land management

The grassland the animals use for grazing and Browsing is called range land. The application or the work of science on range-land for producing a maximum number of grazing livestock(Grazing Animals) regularly is called range-land management. 

Range-land has created great importance for livestock development. Unfortunately, man has changed or converted most of the range land into agricultural land. Therefore, only fewer range of land is left in the country.

This way, these rangelands are needed to be protected from overgrazing because Overgrazing can change a range of land into a desert.

Agricultural or postures are needed or important for grazing animals. Most of the Grassland has been converted by man into propellants(Non-Grassland), hence there is a need for better range management measures.

Livestock management is also directly concerned with range management. Ecologists provide new ideas that overgrazing can be overcome by making compartments and grazing allowed alternatively(One time not all animals graze.

They can be allowed for specific time grazing in specific part) i.e. a grazing year must be alternatively with nongrazing year.

There are the following steps of range land management.

  1. The palatability of forbs(associated herbs) and grasses should be tested. Most suitable livestock or feeding grass animals for these grasses should be introduced in this range of land.
  2. The effects of grazing on the community structure should also be given much attention. The carrying capacity of different grasslands should also be studied in different seasons of the year.
  3. The water requirements of important grasses should be tested. The effects of different types of cover on runoff. Flooding, erosion, and water supply should also be studied.
  4. The exclosure technique should be used to study rangeland. In this technique, a part of the rangelands is excluded from grazing. It is used to determine the nature of climax and related successional communities.
  5. The introduction of foreign species should be discouraged. Seeding of native species should be done only with locally produced seeds.

Viii) Aquaculture for fish farming

Breeding and caring for fish and other edible aquatic animals in freshwater and marine water is called aquaculture./ The breeding of fish and forming fish forms is called fishery. The culturing of aquatic animals is called aquaculture. 

Wild aquatic ecosystems have been used up so much by overfishing because man has to compensate for the shortage of protein food by aquaculture.

Therefore, the population of fish is decreasing in these water bodies. Ecological principles help people maintain the fish population in rivers, ponds, and lakes. Fishes’ feeding habits, breeding physiology, and habitat are studied for many years.

The fishes are cultured or breeds in small or large ponds. Fish farmers and ecologists give them suitable nutrition and other ecological factors necessary for their growth.

Oxygen is also a limiting factor in ponds. Therefore, oxygen is supplied artificially in different ways. Fishes are hatched (Lay eggs) in special hatcheries.

These steps are much helpful in increasing the population of fish. By making fish farming, the shortage of food problem can be solved.

ix) Pollution

Undesirable change in the environment is known as pollution. The industrialization has greatly destroyed our environment. These industries are producing huge industrial waste that pollutes our environment.

The waste from different industries contains many toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing agents) materials. Automobiles and tanneries factories and shops produce heavy metals like chromium. 

These metals affect our health especially affect the throat and cause throat infection and affect the voice. Pollution greatly affects living things and nonliving things. Many types of pollution are present in our environment. i.e.

  • Land pollution
  • Agricultural pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Air pollution
  • Thermal pollution etc.

All these pollution types greatly harm the environment very badly. To overcome the pollution, ecologist should control pollution by the Cliff method i.e. plantation, Retention, and the bio-remediation technique. 

The removal or the degradation of environmental pollutants or toxic materials by a living organism is called bio-remediation, and also by applying cleaning rules in each polluted area.

x) Land management

The proper utilization of land is a very important application of ecology. For example, suppose grassland in regions with low rainfall is properly maintained and moderately grazed by cattle. In that case, it will be good land use because livestock, which is a beneficial human resource, will continue to flourish, and land health also be maintained.

If, on the other hand, same grassland is ploughed up and wheat is sown in it. The rainfall is scanty. The land will be changed into a desert; soon or later, it will be bad land management.

Key Points

  • Ecology is the study of the relationship between organisms and their environment.
  • Applications of ecology are used in watershed management, soil conservation, agriculture, forestry, water conservation, wildlife management, range management, aquaculture/fish farming, pollution control, and land management.
  • Watershed management involves the storage of water for irrigation purposes and the construction of dams and barrages.
  • Ecology studies help address ecological impacts, such as silting in dams, and planting trees in watershed areas reduces silting.
  • Soil conservation aims to keep soil in position and maintain its mineral content by controlling erosion, water-logging, and salinity through ecological knowledge.
  • Agriculture relies on ecological principles such as limiting factors, productivity, fertilizers, irrigation, pest control, and adaptation of crops to different climates and regions.
  • Forestry involves studying and managing forests, addressing issues like deforestation, vegetation change, and maintaining a balance between land and vegetation.
  • Water conservation focuses on preventing wastage and controlling floods through ecological principles like vegetation cover and grazing control.
  • Wildlife management aims to protect and conserve uncultivated plants and undomesticated animals, considering their role in the food chain and maintaining ecosystem balance.
  • Range management is concerned with maximizing grazing livestock productivity in grasslands while protecting them from overgrazing and desertification.
  • Aquaculture/fish farming involves breeding and caring for fish and aquatic animals to compensate for declining fish populations in the wild.
  • Pollution control addresses various types of pollution (land, agricultural, noise, water, air, thermal) through ecological methods like planting, retention, and bioremediation.
  • Land management focuses on proper land utilization and maintenance, considering rainfall, grazing, and sustainable land use practices.


What is the application of ecology in human daily life?

Specialties within ecology, including marine, vegetation, and statistical ecology, offer valuable insights that enhance our understanding of our world. Moreover, this information plays a pivotal role in fostering environmental improvement, effective natural resource management, and safeguarding human health.

What are the 5 practical applications of ecology?

Watershed management.
Soil conservation.
Water conservation.
Wildlife management.
Range management.
Aquaculture/Fish farming.

What is the aim and application of ecology?

Ecology primarily focuses on comprehending the arrangement of living and non-living elements within the environment. This encompasses exploring biotic and abiotic factors and their intricate interplay with the surrounding ecosystem. By studying these dynamic relationships, we gain a deeper understanding of the intricate web of life.

What is the application of ecological niche?

Ecological niche modeling (ENM) aims to delineate the environmental conditions conducive to the presence of a specific species by analyzing the associated environmental variables in occurrence records. It then proceeds to identify the spatial distribution of suitable habitats that align with these favorable environmental conditions. Through ENM, we gain insights into the species’ ecological preferences and potential geographic range under study.

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