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

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Question about quantity of sugars sent to roots


I'm taking an ecology course and plants sending sugars to their roots has been mentioned multiple times I believe (I think in the book and maybe in some articles / videos).

There's also been mention of the root to shoot ratio being a measure of comparison in plants in some contexts.

I'm wondering if there's any information on whether the percent of sugars made that are sent to the roots has an observed relation to the root to shoot ratio. My thoughts are that maybe within different categories of plant mutualisms (mycorrhizal plants, maybe binning together plants with nectaries based on the relative mass of the nectaries to the above ground mass or total mass, etc) you might see a well defined relation, but if anyone has any more thoughts or information I'd love to read it.

Thank you for your time!

1 Comment
14:31 UTC


Confusion around Maxent and ROC

hey brains I am learning about ENMs at uni and I am a little confused about how the ROC curve is calculated for these models.

most of the basic explanations for ROC on you tube compare the true positive rate against false positive rate at different thresholds to create the curve but we only have presence data for most models.

so my question is, how do we calculate the ROC given that we don't know if there are true negatives (true absence)

is the background data just used as absence data in this case? or is there some other way its done

03:51 UTC


The earth's magnetic field protects the earth from solar radiation, right? So if the earth's magnetic field magically disappeared today, then what would the effect be for all life on earth? Would we all get sunburnt a little more easily or would it be truly catastrophic?

To be clear, I understand that the earth's magnetic field couldn't actually just instantly stop existing.

The purpose of this question is to help me understand how the magnetic field helps keep the life on earth safe.

In the words of Joni Mitchell, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone."

So I figure that the best way to understand what we've gotten from having the magnetic field is to understand what would happen if it was hypothetically gone :)

19:38 UTC


I'm looking for a contact for a school project


I am looking for someone to help my friend with a project we have to do for our final exam of high school, which requires an international partner linked to the British Isles. We are in an international section in France, and we were wondering if anyone would be willing to spare some of their time to answer some questions. Her project consists of making a short animation about ecology - and mostly ecologic issues. I am not sure if this is the right sub, I'm not 100% sure of what her topic is, but I promised I'd try to help.

If you meet the following requirements (and even if you don't it's okay), please feel free to comment or DM me!

  • You need to be linked to the British Isles (aka having lived there, studied there, or still living there, studying about, etc)
  • You need to have a personal experience with ecology (doing research on it or learning it, etc), it's preferable if you study this topic or work in the field
  • You also need to be willing to be asked a couple questions, not necessarily right now

Thank you very much!

1 Comment
18:40 UTC


Are there any good examples of a symbiotic relationship between an organism and its host organism where certain changes in the environment can cause the symbiotic relationship to become parasitic?

Essentially the type of relationship shift that I am looking for examples of is: "At one point, during certain circumstances, two organisms were able to form a symbiotic bond. But later on, as circumstances change, that bond is no longer symbiotic and becomes parasitic."

The reason why I am asking this question is because I am looking for cool ecological examples to use as metaphors for human attachment theory and parent/child bonding. I would imagine that there are all sorts of fascinating examples of this phenomena in the natural world.

Here is a human attachment example, maybe it will help spark some ideas: the child of a narcissist adapts to their home environment by internalizing their parent's emotions ("You're not wrong for hitting me Dad, I was wrong for accidentally knocking my cereal off of the counter because I'm a bad child.") This is a very helpful survival strategy for the child and helps them to get as much care as the abusive/unresourced parent is able to provide for them. But as the child grows up and lives on their own, they still have that survival trait of internalizing other people's feelings, which often ends up leading them to enter into parasitic romantic relationships with narcissists. (I didn't personally grow up in an abusive household, but plenty of my ancestors did. And I'm looking to better understand their adaptational strategies by understanding natural ecological examples of similar phenomena.)

17:22 UTC


Kakhovka Reservoir Disappeared, but Khortytsia is Alive!??

How do the floodplain forests and meadows of Khortytsia look and feel now that the Dnipro has returned to its old level!

How the floodplains on Khortytsia Island, which were part of the Great Zaporizhzhia Meadow, are being restored. We can see how the old outlines of the reservoirs open up when the excess water has drained away, and how quickly the floodplain vegetation is recovering.

one of the Khortytsia lake Osokorove august 2023

another one Khortytsia lake Golovkivske august 2023

lake Golovkivske august 2023

Watch on our channel and see what is happening in the areas that have suffered the largest ecocide in the world in recent times!!!

How the floodplains are being restored on Khortytsia island, which is part of the Great Zaporizhzhia Meadow. We see how the old contours of reservoirs open up when the excess water has gone down, how quickly the floating vegetation is restored.

#Kahovka, #Kakhovka, #reservoir, #ecosystem #restoration, #Greatmeadow, #Revivalecosystem, #Kahovske #reservoir, #Great #meadow, #Zaporizhzhia, #ecology, #ecology, #Kahovka's #bottom now, #reservoir bottom now, #Zaporizhzhia, #resurrection of nature, #restoration of nature, #VelykyiLuh, #Ecology, #Ecosystem, #Ecosystem #Khortytsia #europe #Biggest_river_island #Khortytsia_island

1 Comment
06:22 UTC


Gbif is broken or glitchy

Hey, so I thought gbif pulls from INaturalist because I did a polygon for Oregon on gbif and put it to “araneae” which are spiders, and then I searched and went into families and some families are missing and not present like Zodariidae which is a known ant spider family in Oregon. Is there any filters I need to turn on or off?

00:06 UTC


Are there any species of animal that specifically thrive during the winter season? For example, nocturnal animals collect their resources at night, and rest during the day. So it made me wonder if there are "winterturnal" species that gather resources during the winter and sleep during the summer.

So from my understanding, all animals eventually adapt to thrive in a specific ecological niche. The shapes of their bodies and the types of senses and intelligences that they have are evolved to help them thrive in their very specific niche in a given environment. For example, a cheetah can catch a gazelle in the savannah, but a cheetah can't catch a tuna in the ocean. A cheetah is adapted to the savannah environment, but not an ocean environment.

What I'm wondering is, are there any animals that actually thrive during the winter more than the summer, for their given ecosystem?

For example, there are loads of creatures who are nocturnal. They thrive at night and rest during the day.

So it made me wonder if there could be an animal that would be adapted to thrive during winter, even though most of the animals were resting/starving during winter.

21:30 UTC


Examples of your favorite and least favorite figures in scientific literature.


I am trying to compile "good" and "bad" figures and tables in scientific literature. Would prefer it to focus on Ecology as that is my Masters however anything in science would work!

My hope is this will help navigate myself and future students in this program when thinking about how to display results in a clear and approachable way.

Thanks in advance and have a wonderful Monday!

17:30 UTC


What will happen if 1000 zebras are introduced in the great plains of the United States?

Would they survive?

05:25 UTC


Does anyone know what type of jelly fish this is?

20:03 UTC


Quick Interview over DMs?

Hi! I need to interview an ecologist for a school assignment and unfortunately have not been able to find anyone local for this. I only have 8 relatively simple questions. Let me know if you're able to answer them and I'll send you the questions in DMs. Alternatively I can do email if that's easier for you. Thank you for the help!

18:23 UTC


Careers advice?

Hey guys,

Does anyone have any recommendations for careers advisors etc in the UK? I have a BSc in Ecology and an MSc in Taxonomy, Biodiversity and Evolution, but have worked a few years in unrelated stuff since graduating (mainly retail, in recycling compliance now), don't have enough practical experience, and have realised I think my masters was not quite right for me (very set up as a pathway to a PhD rather than employment). I volunteer with a Wildlife Trust occasionally but that's kind of it.

I've also dealt with some personal mental health stuff over the years that's interfered with my motivation and planning. Trying to get more on track now - my current employer is great but the work is so boring and repetitive that it's kind of getting me down, and recent events in my life have really made me want to seize any opportunities I can and channel energy into what makes me happy, which is of course nature.

I'd love to speak to someone who can advise me on how to direct my efforts. I've been looking into a 3 month conservation traineeship through Ambios which I think looks good, or maybe something with Opwall. I don't have a very specific idea of what I want to do which doesn't help - just that I want it to be in ecology/conservation. I'm fascinated by rewilding and human impacts on ecosystems.

Sorry for rambling, hope this is the right place for this kind of thing - any and all thoughts appreciated!

17:55 UTC


Will getting a PhD limit my ability to travel

Hello! I am currently in a panicked state in applying to graduate schools because I cannot decide whether or not I should apply for MS degrees or PhDs. My main concern is what is going to happen after obtaining the degrees. I am only 21, and while I believe I am capable of doing a PhD and have research experience, I am afraid of getting locked into an academia job afterwards where I am tied to a university for age 27 on, going for tenure where I could be a contract field technician traveling around the country. I would like to do field research, analyzing data, and contributing to papers, but I am worried a PhD will get me a job in an office for the rest of my life. Is going for an MS and traveling while working contract jobs a more fun option than academia or PI positions? Or are post PhD positions more exciting than I anticipate?

01:21 UTC


Insight into Ecology/ Impasse with which degree to follow

Scroll all the way down for TL;DR:

Hello everyone, I am 26 currently looking to commit to a natural science that will alow me to have some form of field work. Currently I am torn between Geology and Ecology. I volunteered at a forest restoration program through my job (I work at a Credit Union) and it was eveything I wanted. It was science, it was hands on labor, and it was all meaningful. (We were putting mulch to create feetilizer in order to introduce more diverse species at the park, of which only had like 2-3 species of trees.)

While at the volunteer event the host recommended that I seek a minor in geology while pursuing a major in enviromental science degree. Im not against enviromental science but most people tell me thats its considered a "new science" and most of it is just policies. There is plenty of programs offered by univerisites that blend things together (I think A&M offers a major in geology with emohasize on the environment.) Im based in Austin Texas btw.

The more I do research the more I realize I want to work in the field of Ecology. I can see the appeal of a Geology degree, its more demanding and there is jobs all offer the place for geoscience. However, I know ecology is a sub group of biology and im worried that if I go all out on one degree it will completely close off the other.

My questions: Would it be okay to minor in biology and major in geology or vice versa? What kind of Ecology jobs should I be looking for that will allow me to go hands on with an ecosystem? Any advice, or links to helpful websites YouTube videos, will be extremely appreciated.

Thank you!

TL;DR: -I love hands on meaningful science work. -Torn between Geology and or Biology (I want to work in the field of Ecology) -Was given advice to follow a Geology degree since its more "marketable". -I have also looked into Environmental Science but not sure about that path. -Questions (Last Paragraph)

00:08 UTC


Will the Black Sea survive the Russian attack on the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station?

A report by an ecologist and hydrobiologist! What are the dangers of toxic substances washed into the sea from the land and the bottom of the Kakhovka storage facility for animals and people? When will the ecosystem be able to recover and, most importantly, become safe for humans?

Black sea in Odesa city nowember 2023

#ecology #chornomore #kakhovkages #ecocide #ecoactivists #ukraine #river_dnipro #pollution #kakhovka #science #environment #environmental_monitoring #safety #water #water_reservoir #flooding

1 Comment
22:09 UTC


Learning Material Suggestions

Hey I'm starting an undergraduate degree in ecology I was wondering what books and papers are essentials to know?

18:29 UTC


R Coding: how to calculate significance of Jaccard index?

I collected samples from 7 large stream pools and 7 smaller stream pools and have calculated the similarity between these two habitats (small and large).

The code I’ve used so far is: Jacc.habitat <- round(vegdist(div.wide, method = “Jaccard”), digits = 3)

Ive also calculated the similarity between samples: Jacc.habitat <- round(vegdist(div.wide, method = “Jaccard”), digits = 3)

These tests only gave me the grid of how dissimilar they were but I’d like to know how significant this similarity is. How do I get a p-value from the Jaccard test? What code would I use? I’d only like to do it for the habitats.

17:26 UTC


Going back to school but unsure of what path

I'm 29 I worked in the beauty industry for 10 years and covid 19 also made me sit and have a long hard think about it and it wasn't my first time but I had 6 weeks to think about it. I had time to think about the environmental impacts, the sociology impacts, the psychological impacts. Seems like more bad than good came from it and I wasn't really passionate or anything about it I needed a career while I thought on what I wanted to be when I grew up and took the class and got licensed in a vocational school while in high school bc I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was 16. I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachia and as soon as I got home from school I was in the woods till the sunset. I played in the creek and caught salamanders and all sorts of stuff. I just liked hiking them and looking at the ground, finding bones or cool rocks to add to my massive collection. I was even out there with a trash bag on my own initiative picking up trash I found out there. I have 2 microscopes growing up. The veterinarian even learned i had one and donated a bunch of glass slides to me. All I had was plastic before that so that was big time to me. Of course I cracked the first one. As an adult I love being outside, I love plants and gardening, I love thinking of new ways to make them do better. I enjoy making natural terrariums. I love hiking. I love watching the birds and deer for hours. Just absolutely in love with it and always have been. I just think it'd be something I'd really enjoy. I'm a life long learner and have "hobby studies" and I enjoy a lot of biology. I also love animals. Its just so hard figuring out which branch. There's so many with every degree and I find no reason to stop at bachelor's. I'd want my masters at least. Seems to be more careers with that degree on more of what would interest me more, and it's such a competitive field. Is outside of the United States wanting ecologist or anything of that nature really bad? Could I get a work visa?

17:07 UTC


Molecular methods vs. Quantitative ecology and extending my MS to a PhD?

Hey ecologists,

I'm a current MS student on track to graduate in June 2024. However, I entered grad school with the option of staying to complete a PhD, which would extend my graduation to June 2027. I'm already 35 right now and coming into this as a career change from public school teaching (so I have a small savings, but nothing like those coming in from tech).

I'm working on mostly disease monitoring right now, with training in molecular methods (qPCR assays, eDNA, Sanger sequencing). If I extended to a PhD, my dissertation would be focused on risk management ecological modeling for salmon in areas of heavy stream restoration. From the introductory modeling classes I've taken so far, I do enjoy the work, but I also enjoy my molecular work.

I sort of decided to decline the PhD, as I'd like to get into the job market and start earning money, especially since I'm a little closer to retirement than traditional grad students. However, quantitative ecology is much higher paying than what I'm doing now, which is causing me to reconsider. In addition, I absolutely love my lab and my advisor, and my partner and I currently own our home.

I love school, including the year+ I've spent in grad school so far. But a job in this field would be enjoyable as well. The ultimate goal is working somewhere on the west coast in a government agency (state or federal), or as a faculty research assistant at a university.

Should I stay with my earlier decision to stop at the MS level? Or keep building my modeling skills and search for quantitative ecology jobs after getting a PhD? I've seen many more job postings for statistical modeling positions, but the molecular jobs must exist as well, right? Or do the agency jobs just collect field samples and send them to labs? What would you do in my position?

17:00 UTC


Fat Ecologists

Hi! So there's this one girl I know that seems to be struggling in her ecology work because she is on the heavier side, while her group members are all skinny and fit. She seems pretty smart in her field, but sometimes she gets sad and embarrassed that she struggles to keep up with her group.

I can't relate because I'm in a field where body type doesn't matter much (chemistry). But I do kind of wonder, for those of you who are heavier, do you ever feel kind of down? What helps you get passed it? Would you say that being fit is a necessity or that you feel judged by your coworkers sometimes?

00:31 UTC


How many people would the Earth hold sustainably at an Upper Middle Class lifestyle?

I have heard before that the Earth could sustain 1.5-2 billion people at an American style middle class lifestyle. However, how much could it support in an Upper Middle Class lifestyle? My assumption is even less because upper middle class income people tend to consume even more, but it is relevant because even with its conspicuous consumption, it’s is still aspirational to most even at a time when the Earth is sickened. I have no doubt that people could get along sustainably at a middle class lifestyle, but they wouldn’t feel like it because it would be a downgrade from the upper middle class lifestyle.

19:45 UTC


Kakhovka Reservoir is turning into a Great Meadow again!!!

07:02 UTC


What is your local ecosystem’s relationship with fire?

Today I learned something very fascinating about my local forest’s fire relationship. In central Idaho, high severity fires actually have a beneficial relationship with stream ecology!

Decreased canopy cover in stream corridors raises water temperatures, and because the streams are so cold already, the increased temperatures have a beneficial impact on salmonid growth and development. Decreased canopy coverage also allows for nitrogen fixing diatoms to flourish in the stream bed, a very important addition since the soils are poor and nitrogen limited. This feeds a diverse array of invertebrates which in turn feed the salmonids. Log jams caused by stand clearing fires are also beneficial, creating great habitat for aquatic invertebrates and feeding more salmonids!

Cycles of mixed severity fires have created a mosaic of micro habitats in central Idaho that isn’t mirrored in any other landscape that I know of. I would love to hear about fire relationships in other ecosystems :)

05:42 UTC


Hubbard fellowship via TNC

I recently applied to the Hubbard fellowship for the seasonal year 2024-2025. I graduate in December and I’m getting antsy as to whether I have a chance of getting this fellowship. Anyway who was offered a position, can you give a rough timeline as to when I should hear anything if I I got a chance at an interview..? If there is even an interview as I’ve heard they don’t conduct them. The deadline was October 8th/9th.. any help would be appreciated ☺️

1 Comment
20:36 UTC


Planning to go for a phd, where could I apply?

I’m currently an undergrad studying ecology at an Ivy League university and I kind of hate the learning environment. People are so competitive, I don’t particularly like teaching, and I don’t really feel the need to do research. Everyone here wants to do a phd at Yale or upenn in evolutionary biology and be a professor or something but I really don’t care about that stuff. I don’t want to get stuck in the hellhole of postdoc after postdoc with no guarantee of a tenured position, I like research but not enough to spend my life chasing it. I’m starting to realize an Ivy League was probably the wrong choice for a wildlife management career. I enjoy population analysis and I think I would like being in a supervisory role, like being a senior biologist is USFWS. I’m going to publish at the end of my senior year after I finish my thesis but after that I don’t want to chase prestige anymore. My gpa is not awesome (3.3) but I have an ok amount of experience (lab jobs + internships). I think I will take 3-4 years off to get fieldwork experience (hop around conservation corps and seasonal positions) and then apply to phd and skip my masters. Would state schools like oregon state or montana state accept me straight to phd? I don’t want to do a masters bc of the pay cap and I might as well just full send it if I’m going to grad school anyway. Any advice would be appreciated!

17:05 UTC

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