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

And view our Job Guides and Resources in the /r/ecology wiki jobs section

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74,712 Subscribers


Why do old growth forests inhibit nitrification?

Hi, trying to study something else and I don't want to go down a huge rabbit hole researching this, but I stumbled across the fact that forests do this increasingly as the stand reaches maturity in my textbook (though it's an old book and very little detail is added- it just says it happens).

Is it part of the general inhibition of bacteria, or is there a specific reason for limiting this process?

1 Comment
10:07 UTC


Textbook recommendations for infectious disease ecology and invasion ecology?

Just starting out in the field and want to learn about concepts and modelling methodologies in these areas. Currently considering "Invasion Dynamics" by Cang Hui & David Richardson, "Infectious Disease Ecology and Conservation" by Johannes Foufopoulos. Want to get others opinions.

01:48 UTC


Is all cool water mixing done by upwelling?

I'm writing a paper on techniques to aid coral reefs and currently on a part about cool water mixing and injections, Ive written about the pipe injections now I want to write about the mixing of it but only finding stuff on artificial upwelling - is this the only technique used? Thanks:)

22:32 UTC


effects of pond lilies on fish populations

I'm in New England, and a neighbor is complaining about pond lilies overtaking his pond. He claims they are reducing the fish population. They appear to be the native water lily in the area.

So how do pond lilies alter water quality? My understanding is that they help keep the water cool, prevent evaporation, and provide food and habitat to the invertebrates fish depend on. It seems like overgrowth may limit air exchange with the surface, but I'm not finding much suggesting they are bad for the fish in any other way. Do they release enough oxygen into the water to balance out the surface air exchange?

I'm having a hard time researching this because most information is about landscaped koi ponds, and I'm curious about a larger, more natural body of water.

16:35 UTC


What would happen if Australia moved closer to Antarctica? How would this affect the fauna and flora? What adaptations would the animals have (how would they evolve)?

08:09 UTC


Open ecology article of the week: A metric-based framework for climate-smart conservation planning

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/full/10.1002/eap.2852

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!


Climate change is already having profound effects on biodiversity, but climate change adaptation has yet to be fully incorporated into area-based management tools used to conserve biodiversity, such as protected areas. One main obstacle is the lack of consensus regarding how impacts of climate change can be included in spatial conservation plans. We propose a climate-smart framework that prioritizes the protection of climate refugia—areas of low climate exposure and high biodiversity retention—using climate metrics. We explore four aspects of climate-smart conservation planning: (1) climate model ensembles; (2) multiple emission scenarios; (3) climate metrics; and (4) approaches to identifying climate refugia. We illustrate this framework in the Western Pacific Ocean, but it is equally applicable to terrestrial systems. We found that all aspects of climate-smart conservation planning considered affected the configuration of spatial plans. The choice of climate metrics and approaches to identifying refugia have large effects in the resulting climate-smart spatial plans, whereas the choice of climate models and emission scenarios have smaller effects. As the configuration of spatial plans depended on climate metrics used, a spatial plan based on a single measure of climate change (e.g., warming) will not necessarily be robust against other measures of climate change (e.g., ocean acidification). We therefore recommend using climate metrics most relevant for the biodiversity and region considered based on a single or multiple climate drivers. To include the uncertainty associated with different climate futures, we recommend using multiple climate models (i.e., an ensemble) and emission scenarios. Finally, we show that the approaches we used to identify climate refugia feature trade-offs between: (1) the degree to which they are climate-smart, and (2) their efficiency in meeting conservation targets. Hence, the choice of approach will depend on the relative value that stakeholders place on climate adaptation. By using this framework, protected areas can be designed with improved longevity and thus safeguard biodiversity against current and future climate change. We hope that the proposed climate-smart framework helps transition conservation planning toward climate-smart approaches.

1 Comment
06:20 UTC



I am a highschool senior and want to do ecological research, what type of degree should I go for?

21:06 UTC


Hardest type of field work?

I’m wondering what types of field work would be considered the hardest or most difficult. Like what kind of species or research question would lead to the most extreme, adventurous, and difficult field work to get the necessary data? Idk if y’all saw The Last Tepui with Bruce Means and Alex Honnold, but in a similar vein and just out of curiosity I am trying to imagine the most involved types of field work out there. Any thoughts?

16:34 UTC


Cold water creek in columbus ohio questions

I have a cold temp creek in my backyard but there are almost no plants growing in the water and it is clear so you see very little life but it has fast flowing parts and slow flowing parts. There is so much wildlife in my backyard but very little in this creek. Why is that? There are bugs and worms and small fish and crayfish in the creek if you look close enough but almost no vegetation. Is that because there is not enough dissolved oxygen? But if so then how to the fish and other invertebrates survive? Or is it just overfished by the local wildlife? (Deer, ducks, raccoons, foxes, bunnies, squirrels, birds, coyotes, etc.) I was taught that clear bodies of water with no vegetation don’t have much oxygen but there are lots of small living creatures but just no real plants.

00:09 UTC


Ecology projects for a novice

I’m a mature student halfway through an open degree in maths, statistics and I.T. and I’m also self teaching about natural sciences by reading lots of books.

I’m particularly interested in ecosystems and I’d love to tackle my own project but without the proper academic knowledge of this specific discipline I’m not sure where to start or how to go about it. I have some knowledge of Python and SQL which might help though.

I was thinking perhaps making some observations over time of a patch of a park near me or collecting some data from public domain sources and work on them (I’m particularly interested in mountains and their ecosystems).

Any ideas?

21:14 UTC


Looking for European ecology/tech bloggers


The company I work at is looking for a Europe-based blogger related to the following fields:

  • ecology
  • engineering
  • technologies (not only iPhone unpacking stuff)

Not necessarily all these fields are mandatory. Just an ecology or just an engineering blogger would be fine, too.

We would like to find someone for a long term cooperation.

The only interesting ones (that are somehow related to eco/tech) we found are either based in the US or have 5M+ subs (like Mark Rober or Tom Scott). 20k subscribers might already be good for us, but we are looking for quality not quantity.

Northern European and Eastern European bloggers would be great, but we consider anyone.

Please, share the links/recommend the tags I could use for a search.

1 Comment
12:46 UTC


Would love to get your advice for my tiny new cozy game where you grow plants to clean air 🌱🫧 Air Garden at mellowminx.itch.io

16:38 UTC


Did you know about World Penguin Day? 🐧

"World Penguin Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness about these fascinating flightless birds and the threats they face". It was actually on Tuesday, I didn't know!

Celebrate World Penguin Day: How to Contribute to Penguin Conservation at Your Level

1 Comment
20:49 UTC


art project advice - the connection between moss and coal?


I'm a new media artist working with the ethos of environmental awareness. I don't have any formal education on the scientific topics I am working with. So here I am seeking information from others who might be more qualified.  

I had a recent project in which I was using Spanish moss and coal (looks like Bituminous) in a composition and presentation. They were pretty much laying in a pile together. I've attached images.

Over the course of a month, I've noticed a change in the coal. It seems to be growing some sort of green element. (Maybe fungus, algae, or lichens)

I have two questions relating to this...

  1. What is actually growing on the coal and how could this scientifically happen? What is the biology that allows this to happen?
  2. What is the grander connection between moss (not particularly Spanish moss which from what I understand is not a moss at all) and coal? I understand the basics like coal is actually plants that got trapped in swamps 300 million years ago.  

My intention is to get scientific support in connecting the dots so that the art project could have a more meaningful impact on viewers.

Would be very grateful and appreciate any insight anyone might have.

Thank you in advance.


13:42 UTC


Any biological science technicians for the feds out there?

Does anyone here do this job either permanently or seasonally? What do you generally do day to day? I’m also wondering what your degree is in and what experience you had in order to land this job.

02:43 UTC


Someone free for an virtual interview our our school project?

Hi, does anyone here have a free time to be interviewed in our school project related to biodiversity? Send me a DM pls, will be a very big help.

01:07 UTC


Restoring the toxicity from East Palestine, OH derailment. Community Action Launch today at 5pm pacific!

23:37 UTC


Ecology career/PhD questions

Apologies if this is not an appropriate place to post. Despite having little ecology background, I managed to receive a PhD offer from a great EEB department.

I would like some kind of non-academic research career, but I wish I knew more about the options and the best paths (no one in my network knows anything about the field, unfortunately).

Is this kind of career unlikely no matter what? Will a PhD help me achieve it? What is the importance of program ranking (e.g. top university makes career more achievable or something)?

Im really trying to decide if I should go to the program I was accepted to, if I should reapply eventually after more experience, or if I should not do a PhD at all.

Any guidance or resources would be greatly appreciated!

14:10 UTC


Looking for remote internship !!!

Hi !!

I'm an undergraduate student from India, hoping to major in Biology or Environmental Sciences. I have a broad goal of working towards anything that helps us better understand the life around us. That being said, I have opportunities at my college to work around plant ecology and evolution, bioacoustics, developmental biology, neurogenetics and bioinformatics (as a Biology major) OR hydrology, geology, climate change, river science, isotope oceanography and seismology (as an Earth and Environmental Sciences major). I'm currently at the end of my second year but as there are very few opportunities and funding for ecology and conservation based research in India, I haven't received any positive responses to internship applications. Can anyone recommend any remote/virtual/online internship opportunities in any of the above mentioned fields that can be done for free ? I badly need some research experience to get into any offline internship since the existing opportunities here are so few and it's a highly competitive field.


I'm looking for free internships in biology/environmental science/earth sciences that can be done remotely to add to my research experience.

(If it doesn't work out, I plan to improve my skills at programming(R, Python), gain a handle on GIS, do online courses on behaviour, statistics, systems biology and genetics, and read up all kinds of information on ecology and climate change models. But even basic data analysis of ecological/environmental data would help a long way in securing an offline internship in the next summer at least. )

11:39 UTC


Careers focusing on rodents?

Apologies if this isn't the right subreddit. I am an aspiring rodentologist, I truly adore rodents and would be my happiest dedicating my time to the study of them and their environments, protecting vulnerable species and eventually becoming an expert on their order. I am however, really struggling to pin down an actual profession or job role that would allow me to do this, as a career. Is there anyone out there who holds a job focused on a rodent/s, knows someone who does or has any realistic suggestions so I can marry my passion with my career? Or at least go in the right direction. Thank you!

00:06 UTC


Underreported Ecology Topics

Hi all -- I'm a former ecologist and current freelance journalist on the science and nature beat. In addition to my regular reporting work, I've recently started up a Substack to write about the kind of ecological research that won't get pickup in major publications. For instance, this week I wrote about the diversity of inland aquatic habitats in Antarctica in light of a recent paper calling for their protection; a couple of months ago, I wrote about how gene expression plays a role in the population dynamics of locusts.

I'm curious to know what kinds of stories you all, as people interested in/studying ecology, find fascinating but don't see reporters covering. Some stuff (esp. stuff like modeling or statistics) is obviously is too esoteric to be good journalism, but there are plenty of fascinating nooks and crannies of ecological science that don't get the kind of coverage they deserve. IMO, plenty of other scientific fields get coverage and reporting on some of their detailed research (particularly biotech/health stuff) -- and I'm trying to bring that to the science of ecosystems. Thanks!

23:01 UTC


Binocular recommendations?

Buying my first set of decent bins tomorrow. Any hints/tips or brands to look out for?

21:40 UTC

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