APPLICATIONS OF ECOLOGY

There are following applications of ecology:

1. Agriculture

Ecology has great applications in agriculture. Agriculture provides us food and fibers. Agriculture depends on ecological principles. These principles are limiting factors, irrigation requirement, pest control and productivity. Ecology helps to conserve the land. It helps to reclaim the. alkaline and water logging soil..

2. Forestry

The study of forest is called forestry. The developing countries like Pakistan are facing problem of population explosion. This rapid increase in population growth increase requirements for food and shelter. Therefore man is cutting trees for agriculture and for wood used in houses. If the forests are continuously cut down at that rate, there will be no leaf canopy left. This leaf canopy protects the soil from driving rain.. Consequently, some of the soil will run away with water and reach into the stream and river. This soil will he wasted. Thus the fertility of the soil will be reduced. There are three aspects of forestry:

(a)   Reforestations: Clearance of vast areas of forest for lumber, planting subsistence crops or grazing cattle is called as deforestation.

(b)   Reforestation: The replantation of trees in a forest is called reforestation. It is necessary that deforestation should be replaced with reforestation. Reforestation is especially important for many of the conifers species.

(c) Aforestation: The establishment of new forests where no forests existed previously is called aforestation.

Ecology helps in reforestation and aforestation. Ecologists are devising ways to stop deforestation. desertification and over grazing.

  1. Wild life management

All non-cultivated plants and non-domesticated animals are included in wild life. Wild life plays very important role in food chain. The food chain is disturbed without wild life. So. it becomes very difficult to maintain the balance in ecosystem w idiom wild life. Man is trying to change the environment. The effects of these changes in environment are becoming more and more apparent with the passage of time. The imbalance in wild life can jeopardize the existence of man.

All living organisms are interdependent, A balance is present between living organisms and environment. Man is disturbing this balance since very long. A species that is near to extinction is called endangered species. Today there are thousands of endangered plants and animals. Wild life is a non-renewable resource. Ecologists are trying to save the endangered species.

  1. Fishery and Aquaculture

The breeding and rearing of fishes is called fishery. The culturing of aquatic animals is called aquaculture. There is almost over fishing in rivers, lakes and seas. Therefore. population of fishes is decreasing in these water bodies. Ecological principles help to maintain population of fishes in rivers, ponds and lakes. The feeding habits, breeding physiology and habitat of fishes are studies. The fishes are cultured in ponds. They are given suitable nutrition and other ecological factors necessary for their growth. Oxygen is limiting factor in ponds. Therefore, oxygen is supplied artificially. Fishes are hatched in special hatcheries. These steps have increased the population of fishes.


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  1. Range land management

The grass land used by the animals for grazing is called rangeland. The application of science on rangeland for producing maximum number of grazing livestock regularly is called rangeland management. Rangeland has great importance -for livestock development. Unfortunately. man has changed most of the rangeland into agricultural land. Therefore, fewer rangelands left in the country. These rangelands are needed to he protected from overgrazing. Overgrazing can change a rangeland into desert. The optimum utilization of rangeland

maintains the rangeland. It also provides continuous supply of milk and flesh to humans. ‘Me maintenance of rangeland is one of the applications of ecology. Ecological studies tell us how much population of grazer a rangeland can sustain. It also tells us about the impact of destruction of rangeland on ecological cycle.

  1. Water shed management

An area from which water fall in.the form of rain or snow collects into a stream and river is called watershed. The storage of water for irrigation and for producing electricity by constructing dams and barrages is called water shed management. Dams and barrages are back bone of our agriculture. Many dams are constructed all over the . world. They have a lot of ecological impacts. There is need to study all these ecological impacts before constructing a dam. Most the dams are facing the problem of silting. Silting is rapidly filling the dam. It is estimated that most of the dams in Pakistan will become useless within 10 year due to silting. Ecology helps to stop the silting process. Plantation of tree in water shed area can reduce silting.

  1. Conservation of soil

Soil provides all essential contents to the plants. It provides water. mineral and oxygen to plant. All these contents are required in balance state. Soil erosion, alkalinity and water logging have badly affected the soil. Similarly, over Cropping has reduced the nutrients of the soil. Ecology provides us the solution of all these problems. Soil erosion can be controlled by planting trees and keeping thick vegetation cover. Similarly, there are certain crops which can grow in alkaline soil. These crops reduce alkalinity of soil. Ecology has devised many methods to control water logging. The use of humus and crop rotation can maintain nutrient balance in the soil.

  1. Control of pollution

The contamination of environment with harmful and unwanted chemicals is called pollution. Industrialization has destroyed our environment. These industries are producing a huge amount of industrial wastes. Those wastes pollute our environment. The industrial waste contains a large amount of toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing) materials. Automobiles and tanneries produce heavy metals like chromium. These metals affect our health.

Ecology helps us to control pollution. The ecologists are using the technique of bioremediation. the removal or the degradation of the environmental pollutants or toxic materials by living organism is called bioremediation.

 

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