Free Essay Sample: Fieldwork and Observations as Types of Experiments in Ecology

Published: 2022-10-28
Free Essay Sample: Fieldwork and Observations as Types of Experiments in Ecology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Ecology
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 454 words
4 min read

Ecology concerns itself with the study of organisms and their interaction with one another in their respective natural and physical environment. In order to study this relationship, the study looks at different levels such as organisms, community, population, biosphere, and the ecosystem. On the other hand, experimental ecology is the use of experimental methods in the study of ecology. In order to give an adequate description of the natural environment and its relationship with different organisms, the instrumentation is required in the study. Chiefly, there are three experiments used in ecology: fieldwork and observations, modeling, and experimentation.

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The study of the natural environment generally begins with field observation. This observation often starts in a non-quantitative approach. The observation usually takes a long period of time, as some changes take a long time and hence observing them requires patience (Underwood, 2000). The observation can take many forms, such as capturing organisms and releasing after taking blood samples or conducting a simple survey whereby one literally counts the visible animals. This survey may either be direct or indirect. The direct survey is where the researcher uses eyes to observe natural world ("Competition: Experiments, Observations, and Null Models," 2011). On the other hand, where scientists look for signs of animals and regularly collect the data, the can figure out patterns in population change by use of an indirect survey. Secondly, the questions about the ecosystem that cannot be answered in the observation phase are experimented by use of manipulative experiments. These experiments test different hypotheses with a control experiment to identify how an ecosystem works. These experiments may involve adding a prey in an ecosystem to observe and verify the relationship between the prey and the predators. Finally, modeling involves real-life representation by use of models (Underwood, 2000). These models represent certain phenomena either physically, or in the modern world, the use of computers. Models help researchers make predictions n the study they are conducting. A good model enables a researcher to test different scenarios that would be too expensive if done as experiments.

In conclusion, the study of the natural environment involves the use of different methods in order to make descriptions and drive conclusions on the organism's relation to the natural environment. To do so, researchers may use observation, manipulated experimentation or modeling. Observation is conducted in a fieldwork where the researcher is able to either directly or indirectly survey the environment to observe changes taking place. Experimentation is a manipulated approach where the researcher tests his hypotheses in a controlled environment. Finally, modeling involves the use of representations of the organisms either physically or electronically where experiments could be expensive to use. The above methods are useful in conducting research and drawing conclusions on a certain ecosystem.

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