Ecology and experimental biology

  • Harold Barnes
Experimental Ecology — Its Significance As A Marine Biological Tool

Summary

1. The definition of the word “ecology” is considered and the difficulties — both practical and theoretical — associated with a precise formulation outlined.

2. Ecology as the study of systems consisting of components, or variables, each made up of a number of vectors is discussed.

3. A comparison of the difficulties inherent in the definition with those — less apparent — in abiotic systems is made.

4. The meaning of the word “experimental” is considered and its relation to a series of transformations on a biological system discussed.

5. The meaning — in the restricted sense determined by the definitions given — of experimental ecology and the practical problems it poses are dealt with in some detail.

6. The meaning of “experimental biology” and its relation to experimental ecology, as defined above, is discussed in relation to plant and animal systems.

7. The future of ecology — experimental and otherwise is discussed.

8. The increase in information will call for a greater integrative approach and the possible ways by which this can be achieved are outlined, particularly as they relate to the marine biological sciences.

Ökologie und experimentelle Biologie

Kurzfassung

Der Begriff „Ökologie“ wird erörtert und die praktischen sowie theoretischen Schwierigkeiten aufgezeigt, welche einer präzisen Definition im Wege stehen. Ökologie wird als ein Forschungsgebiet aufgefaßt, das sich mit dem Studium von Systemen beschäftigt, welche aus Komponenten oder Variablen bestehen, von denen jede wieder eine Anzahl von Vektoren enthält und Vergleiche mit abiotischen Systemen anstellt. Die Bedeutung des Wortes „experimentell“ wird erörtert und dessen Beziehung zu einer Serie von Transformationen an einem biologischen System diskutiert. Eingehende Überlegungen werden dem auf Grund der gegebenen Definitionen eingeschränkten Begriffsinhalt „experimentelle Ökologie“ und den praktischen Problemen gewidmet, welche dieses Forschungsgebiet uns aufgibt. Die Konotation des Terminus „experimentelle Biologie“ wird behandelt und die Beziehung zwischen experimenteller Biologie und experimenteller Ökologie im Hinblick auf Pflanzen- und Tiersysteme diskutiert. Die Zukunft der Ökologie — experimentell und nichtexperimentell — bedarf besonderer Aufmerksamkeit. Das ständige Anwachsen der pro Zeiteinheit produzierten neuen Informationen macht eine stärkere Integration erforderlich; Vorschläge, wie dies erreicht werden könnte, werden vorgelegt, und zwar unter besonderer Berücksichtigung meeresbiologischer Aspekte.

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Copyright information

© Biologischen Anstalt Helgoland 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Barnes
    • 1
  1. 1.The Marine StationMillportScotland

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