Photograph via snooOG

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their biophysical environment.

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. This is the place to be when you want to discuss anything related to ecology!

If your submission is not related to ecological science or if it's not predominantly in English, expect it to be removed. In particular, environmental activism submissions belong in /r/environment or somewhere else.

Your post will probably be removed by the moderators if:

  • Is a /r/HomeworkHelp style question. If you are not a student then please state explicitly why you are asking the question

  • is a climate change post that is not focussed on one or more species. There are already numerous CC subreddits (that you can find in our sidebar), and also this sub would quickly get drowned out by this sort of content.

  • Your title does not adequately describe the content

  • Is a fundraising campaign/effort

  • Is a petition

  • Is a low effort image macro/meme post

What does ecology have to do with me?

Common Terms

Where Can I Go For More Information or Assistance?

Check out our Books about Ecology and Related Fields in the /r/ecology wiki books section

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Does a biome like this exist and if it does where might one find it ?

Okay so i'm not an ecologist or particularly interested in it in general so idk if this is allowed or not but,

I've recently been falling in love british isles and Irish wetlands but also wetlands in general and i was wondering (cuz i might have seem something like this)

Can a buome exist / does a biome exist that kinda shares a lot of features with marshes tall grass and muddy ground but unlike normal marshes it has trees alongside the grass not just out to the edge of the marsh, and instead of having wide waterways or a big pond it has small (1-2 person wide) waterways that are fairly shallow (think something similar to brooks or creeks).

23:11 UTC


What technique/technology are you using to message the heights of trees?

1 Comment
20:20 UTC


Cleaning out a (mostly vintage) wildlife biology library

Hi folks, I hope this is allowed here. I sincerely apologize if not, but I didn’t see any rules regarding this.

My dad is a retired wildlife biologist, in the USA. He’s also a bit of a pack-rat (hah, vertebrate pests were his specialty). There’s a ton of books that he was overwhelmed by, and I have convinced him that there’s another option between “horde forever” and “trash”- some could find new homes. I’ve convinced him to offer them online for essentially the price of shipping, which was an easier sell than taking all the boxes to the library book donations. I know he would feel great about sending them to people who are in his field or who just have a genuine interest.

Topics include biology, ecology, wildlife, pests, conservation, specific animals, study findings, and all kinds of things. Some of these are out of print, some of them have really cool spine or cover designs or fonts or plates, and would make great decor or props in addition to maybe having interesting content inside? The oldest I have seen so far is from the 1930s, though there might be older as we work through more. He got a lot of books from colleagues or professors of his, as well.

I made an Instagram to sell in the comments, so that we can keep adding books in waves as they have time to clean out various storage spaces. We’ll be shipping in the US via Media Mail, so we’ve rounded up to the nearest dollar to cover costs of packaging when we run out. (If you’re international to us and really want something and are willing to cover that shipping, please comment with where in the world you are and we’ll see if we can figure out what the cost would be to ship).

Bob’s Bookshelves on Instagram

Please check it out and follow- maybe we’ll have something you need! Also let me know if you’re looking for something he might have.

19:50 UTC


Dr. Roland Treu | The Wonderful World of Fungi | #126 HR Podcast

18:08 UTC


Recommendations for women's high waisted field trousers (UK)?

I'm looking for high waisted trousers to wear during woodland based fieldwork this spring/summer. None that I see online seem to obviously be high waisted (few mention their waist height, but pictures look mid rise in general). Does anyone have any recommendations? Ideally I don't want to spend too much on them as I do a lot of climbing over barbed wire etc so they are likely to be ripped and mended over and over.

I have one pair that I got from Mountain Warehouse that I got a few years ago, but they don't seem to sell them anymore. My ideal height is Very high waisted (belly button level) but could settle for a little lower than that!

15:23 UTC


eDNA question

Hello r/ecology!

I am a soon-to-be-graduated B.S. in Biology with an interest in ecology/zoology. Nice to meet you!

I've been looking through papers trying to find out:

How long does DNA last out in the environment in the context of its being detectable by eDNA survey. I know that the answer is "It depends on many environmental conditions and survey techniques," but I am trying to understand if we are talking about seconds, minutes, days, years, decades? I saw several sources talking about million+ year preservation in animal remains, and another referencing a 15-second window for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.

Again I understand there's a lot of "It depends," but if somebody could give me a basic rundown of some time frames in a given environment, or multiple environments, or point me toward a paper which does so, that would be awesome.


02:22 UTC


Changing research subjects

I just started my Master's in ecology studying freshwater turtles, and already I can tell it's not quite for me. I love everything about it except, well, the turtles. Deep down I would much rather be studying birds. Unfortunately, most of my career so far has been herp-based, and at this point I'm seriously worried that if I don't change topics now I won't be able to get into a good ornithology program for my PhD due to lack of experience. My question is: how founded are these fears, really? Is it possible to make such a big leap in grad school in this field?

01:42 UTC


Diversity metrics using relative abundance ?

Hello fellow ecologists,

I am analyzing some microbial community metagenomic data and my advisor has suggested I look into community diversity metrics. I generally think metrics are overrated, but I thought Id look into it. I have relative abundance data, which may be tricky to analyze, does anyone have a suggestion on a diversity metric that can be used with phylum/class relative abundance data?

20:48 UTC


Ideas for grad students stick in Ecology course

Hi my ecologists friends. Hope you're doing fine

I'm doing my doctorate in Ecology and this semester I'll help my supervisor in his discipline 'Introduction to ecology'. The discipline is very general, open and normally we just present corner stones ecology concepts (like competition, facilitation, and idea of richness, abundance). That said, I want to make something that the students would probably like the course more than normal. Do you have any ideas that you think it'll help them to like more the course? Like a experiment, for instance.

Thanks in advance!!

13:42 UTC


English ivy

I live in the Pacific West coast of Canada where English Ivy is rampant noxious invasive.

Pulling ivy off of trees is one thing, but when we have to restore a forest that has ivy on the ground, I almost want to give up.

I'd love to know what keeps the ivy at bay in its native lands.

Could those balancing factors be used in Canada? Or perhaps functional factors that are endemic?

17:48 UTC


Help. Me and my team are creating a video game regarding nature, animals, biomes etc. and we need some help with the research about biomes and the animals in each biome in Netherlands specifically. If anyone knows anything about nature and animals, I would rlly need your help. Thank you.

13:20 UTC


Joke from Weekend Update (Saturday Night Live)

Monday (27 February) is International Polar Bear Day.

It used to be called International Polar BearS Day.

06:29 UTC


How is disease controlled in nature? Does biodiversity help?

I'm building a 7th-grade biodiversity curriculum and I want to discuss that "biodiversity helps control diseases in nature" but I'm having a hard time rationalizing it. My internet searches all direct me to covid and that's not what I'm asking about. Humans can get immunized, wear masks, socially distance, wash hands, etc., but not squirrels.

How does a resilient, biodiverse ecological system control/protect against diseases, if it does at all?

Please add to and/or correct my thoughts so far. Thank you!!

  • With a healthy food web, there are enough predators to control the populations of their prey, and predators would be likely to pursue diseased individuals because they would be easier to hunt. Fewer diseased individuals = Lower risk of disease outbreak
  • With access to diverse and necessary resources, immune systems are stronger. So healthier animals might not get sick, even if exposed.
  • With a large diversity of species, if one gets wiped out there are others to fill the niche to maintain ecological balance.
00:17 UTC


How the small water cycle impacts climate change

As land cover increases and the soil has more organic matter, the small water cycle increases, which can help lessen climate change. https://climatewaterproject.substack.com/p/how-the-small-water-cycle-impacts

18:39 UTC


What are some species (flora and fauna) that have a range small enough that a singular nuclear bomb or other human armed conflict could make it extinct?

I got this thought when reading about the Palos Verdes blue and El Segundo blue butterflies.

16:18 UTC


Open ecology article of the week: Habitat fragmentation reduces survival and drives source–sink dynamics for a large carnivore

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing well! I have another open ecology article and this is a return to Ecological Applications.

You can find the open access link here: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eap.2822

As always, please feel free to discuss this article in the comments below if you like. Questions, comments, or anything remotely relevant is fair game!

Abstract: Rigorous understanding of how environmental conditions impact population dynamics is essential for species conservation, especially in mixed-use landscapes where source–sink dynamics may be at play. Conservation of large carnivore populations in fragmented, human-dominated landscapes is critical for their long-term persistence. However, living in human-dominated landscapes comes with myriad costs, including direct anthropogenic mortality and sublethal energetic costs. How these costs impact individual fitness and population dynamics are not fully understood, partly due to the difficulty in collecting long-term demographic data for these species. Here, we analyzed an 11-year dataset on puma (Puma concolor) space use, mortality, and reproduction in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA, USA, to quantify how living in a fragmented landscape impacts individual survival and population dynamics. Long-term exposure to housing density drove mortality risk for female pumas, resulting in an 18-percentage-point reduction in annual survival for females in exurban versus remote areas. While the overall population growth rate appeared stable, reduced female survival in more developed areas resulted in source–sink dynamics across the study area, with 42.1% of the Santa Cruz Mountains exhibiting estimated population growth rates < 1. Since habitat selection is often used as a proxy for habitat quality, we also assessed whether puma habitat selection predicted source and sink areas. Patterns of daytime puma habitat selection predicted source areas, while time-of-day-independent habitat selection performed less well as a proxy. These results illuminate the individual- and population-level consequences of habitat fragmentation for large carnivores, illustrating that habitat fragmentation can produce source–sink dynamics that may not be apparent from other metrics of habitat quality. Locally, conserving high-quality source habitat within the Santa Cruz Mountains is necessary to support long-term puma population persistence. More broadly, source–sink dynamics may at play for other carnivore populations in similar fragmented systems, and linking landscape conditions to population dynamics is essential for effective conservation. Caution should be used in inferring habitat quality from habitat selection alone, but these results shed light on metrics of selection that may be better or worse proxies to identify source areas for large carnivores.

04:04 UTC


I need help with my future path. I'm a future biologist and im completly LOST.

Hello all. I'm an Argentinian 25 y.o guy who is completly lost about the future. I gonna divide the post in different parts so it's more organized. I would REALLY appreciate if you read the post and use your time to answer with your opinion/ideas/whatever come to your mind.


I study a "licenciatura" in biological sciences in Argentina. It is a career that is considered as "bachelor's degree + master's degree" abroad. I have been studying it for 7 years and I will graduate in approximately 4 months. Did it take me a long time to complete it? Completly. But the reality is that in Argentina the biology degree is much longer and also has the disadvantage that the degree is not oriented to a certain branch in particular as it happens with the masters. Most of my cohort has not graduted it yet / some are doing it these days / others will take longer than me. I'm going to graduate with quite decent grades, having done 1 volunteering, 3 internships, teaching practices, and some courses. I don't think I've really acquired tools that are in demand with internships/etc anyway. I am currently finishing my degree thesis in the area of ​​marine ecology, and my idea is to publish the thesis when I finish. I know how to speak/write English decently although I lack practice. During my career I realized that I like practically everything, when I get interested and learn it I end up liking it. But the downside is that I'm not passionate about anything. Neither in marine ecology, nor in microbiology, nor in molecular biology, nor in anything (what I like the least is actually molecular biology). The good part is that i really like science. Not only as a career path but also as a way of thinking. My profile is currently more oriented towards what is research in marine ecology (both because of the internships I did, as well as because of a scholarship that I have for research in marine sciences, and because of the thesis that I am currently doing). But I am willing to change course because I'm not sure on pursuing a research career.

I would like to try my luck in Europe (I also have Italian citizenship).


I have 3 options here (in order of priority): a) apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship (for that I have to take the IELTS) and spend two years in Europe doing a Master. Pros: maybe I can get contacts/language experience or living abroad/I wouldn't stay away from academia in case I eventually want to go back to Argentina and pursue a PhD. Option b) Go to work in Europe for 1 year in things that have nothing to do with my career. Advantages = I would get money/experience in languages ​​and living abroad that might help me try to find a job from what I studied at the same time. Disadvantages: I need to raise a LOT of money in Argentina (at least 6 months of work because I need to prove funds to leave). In addition, I would not have as much continuity with my academic profile. c) Look for a job as a biologist in Argentina (or remote, although it would be difficult to find) and raise money. I don't know what I would do with my life afterwards. This is the least feasible option I see. I would like to stay with option a) and failing that, b). The issue is that since I don't know what I want to dedicate myself to/or the availability of jobs abroad, it's hard for me to choose the master's program. I liked the remote sensing/gis part a bit but I have practically no experience of that at university. I was just interested. It could be something related to marine ecology, although I see it as very research oriented. Or perhaps microbiology, idk. Perhaps the best option for my profile is to look for a master's degree that will give me the tools for tomorrow to be able to work in industry, consulting, or research. Perhaps something related to statistics/big data? But I don't have a good level in statistics either and I think it would be more accessible for me to enter in ecology programs (although maybe I don't want to because I don't know if they would give me the tools I need for the future!) Age is a factor that worries me too. Taking a master's degree at 26 means finishing at 28 without work experience in the field. Here in Argentina it is relatively common. But it scares me because I know that in other countries it works differently and there is other competition. I'm afraid I won't be able to land a job of what i have studied.


I don't even know what response I hope to get from all this I wrote. But I wanted to get it off my chest. Any advice/opinion will be greatly appreciated. I would like to find a job that I like one day and to earn enough money to live nice, just that. Also, I would like to one day transition to remote work as well, to be able to work in different countries. I don't know how viable it is. I'm lost.

TL;DR: I need help choosing my path as a biologist. I feel a bit behind and want to choose a path that will give me some kind of stability in the future. Although perhaps stability is an illusion, idk. I would like to live in Europe for a while to test myself. Any comment is REALLY welcomed.

17:55 UTC


How to go about finding funding or tuition help for Grad school?

I have recently been accepted to an ecology program. There is a chance some of the projects are funded but tuition is not. Recently just paid off the last remaining bit of my loans from my undergrad and really don't want more. Anything proactive I can do in the next few months to help the funding and tuition problems? Or best thing to just embrace the loans?

21:21 UTC


A Video on the Competition-Colonization Tradeoff

17:12 UTC


I am working on a settlement building game with rich ecology simulation. I would love to know what you guys think?

08:46 UTC


Equipment Recommendations

I’m currently looking into ecology as a profession out of college. I’m currently applying for several summer positions do you wonderful people have equipment recommendations. Anything from boots to binoculars thanks!

21:54 UTC


I have an idea for a oxygen generation system to supply air for enclosed biodomes4space exploring ect. its a big bubble wrap looking blanket to be transported n unrolled n filled with water n photo plankton. the bubbles would float up to the top to be collected. just a random thought k bye

15:14 UTC


Something a bit different - the impact of stone-stacking

Something I've come across a fair bit on outdoorsy subreddits is a profound dislike of stacked stones/rock piles, with people claiming they (among other things) damage the environment and ecosystem. (Best to note that this doesn't really extend to those century-old cairns used as markers for paths or burial sites, and is mainly directed at small ones of a few stones).

Before coming across these posts I'd never felt any animosity towards them, thinking they were cute and nice markers of others' enjoyment and a record of those who came before, but since I've heard of them disrupting habitats and causing erosion. I did a little research, found many a magazine article listing their negative effect on the environment, but little scientific (save this letter: DOI: 10.26077/secn-2a27 ).

I wonder what others' thoughts are on this highly contentious issue? I now feel less favour for them and certainly wouldn't create them myself, but I can't quite let of my feelings towards them.

13:22 UTC


Weed killers

What are the ecological implications of using glyphosate weed killers in residential yards? I live in Arizona and have been trying to get native herbs, shrubs and trees to establish in my yard. Because of our wet winter, I am hand pulling all the invasive annuals in my yard but there are thousands. All of my neighbors have been using herbicides but I have so far resisted. I live in a floodplain so every time we get decent rains my yard floods and flows to the nearby wash that has spade foot toads in the summer. I’d really love to do some spot treatments but not without knowing what ecological implications there are.

01:20 UTC


After a 20y study the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland have published free summaries of the noted changes in flora. Observations include non-native plant species, a few of which become invasive, now outnumber native plant species in the wild and over ½ the native species have declined. MiC

01:19 UTC

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