12 Branches of ecology

Ecology is the science that studies living things and their relationship with the environment. It can be considered a peculiarity of biology. Here are the 12 main branches of ecology .

Ecology branchesGuyDefinition
Microbial ecologyEcology that studies microorganisms in their habitat.
Landscape ecologyEcology that studies the elements of a landscape.
Recreation ecologyEcology that takes into account the impact of man’s recreational activities on the environment.
Population ecologyEcology that studies the populations of living beings and their relationship with the environment.
Evolutionary ecologyEcology that analyzes the relationship between living beings and the environment in the development of time.
Social ecologyEcology that reflects on the role of man with respect to other living beings and the environment.
Human ecologyEcology that it places as a primary object of study.
Mathematical ecologyEcology that uses mathematical theorems and methods.
Urban ecologyEcology that focuses its object of study on urban agglomerations.
DendroecologyEcology that uses the information stored in the concentric rings of woody species.
Ecological healthEcology that studies the implications of human activity and the environment from a health point of view.
Industrial ecologyEcology that deals with its study in the environmental consequences of industrial activity.

Ecology is a highly developed science, which today often results in a multitude of branches. Specialization is an excellent way to embrace the complexity of the field of study.

Microbial ecology

This branch is devoted to the study of microorganisms in their habitat. Despite being the smallest beings on the planet, they influence all ecosystems.

Here the objective is to understand what is the structure of different beings and how microorganisms affect them, directly or indirectly.

Landscape ecology

It is the type of ecology that studies all the elements of a landscape. With this we want to point out what can be temporary, such as what is structural, also considering cultural issues.

Perhaps the main function of this branch is the conservation of species, through the study and defense of the different landscapes that correspond to a community of living beings. It is important to recognize how the hand of man may have modified different landscapes.

Recreation ecology

A branch perhaps somewhat ignored by neophytes of ecology, but without a doubt very important. If we talk about recreation in these cases we refer to humanity and its relationship with the environment in these types of activities.

The objects of study will then be the trails, games, corridors and dispersal areas, among others.

Population ecology

Here the study of ecology is based on the set of living beings of the same species that inhabit at the same time and in the same space. Of course, if we talk about population, the science of demography enters, which takes into account the population and factors such as sex and age distribution, birth rate and mortality, among other indicators.

Evolutionary ecology

If we said that ecology is the science that studies the complex relationship between living beings and their environment, the evolutionary branch takes into account a certain population over time. That is, it is based on a diachronic study.

Here the different transformations and changes that take place as a result of the convergence of different factors are evaluated.

Social ecology

Social ecology is a deep reflection on the relationship of human beings and the environment, which of course is made up of other living beings. We talk about issues of transformation, behavior, impact and even projections of all kinds.

If you will, it is a philosophical enough branch from the moment that it analyzes the place that people occupy in a world with multiple types of life.

Human ecology

Human ecology bases its work on the relationships that exist between environments and human beings. Perhaps the cultural and artificial aspect here has a great impact, since man is the protagonist of this branch of ecology.

It is a highly varied branch, with professionals from various areas such as psychology, economics, geography, anthropology, sociology, and epidemiology. Also, views and approaches vary greatly.

 Mathematical ecology

Mathematical ecology is the science that studies the relationships between living beings and the environment, but from the application of mathematical theorems and methods to all the problems that arise between beings and their environment.

It is a branch of ecology closely linked to populations.

Urban ecology

Urban ecology is a discipline whose object of study is the interrelationships between the inhabitants with their environment, but logically in an agglomeration or urban environment.

It is a fairly recent discipline, which takes into account traditional concepts of ecology; but also others such as urban planning, economics, sociology, engineering, law, anthropology, etc.


This is a branch of ecology that uses the information stored in the growth rings of woody species, mostly trees. Many, however, understand it more than anything as a technique, widely used although there are others: the chemical analysis of the rings, for example.

The growth of woody species is discontinuous, if we take into account that at the moment the seasons favor their growth and in others they remain in a state of dormancy. In this process, the wood develops, forming layers that are added to those of the previous year. If you make a cross section you can see the concentric rings.

Ecological health

This term refers to the relationship of human health and the environment. Both environmental factors and human activities are taken into account here for healthy development. For example, you can analyze a city and observe its healthy habits in energy conservation, recycling, among other methods.

Industrial ecology

Industrial ecology focuses its efforts on the creation of strategies that make it possible for the same industrial actions not to affect the environment. But this branch of ecology should not only be observed from the negative point of view: they also conserve and protect the environment.

It is linked to engineering and allows developed societies to be sustainable from this point of view. A good example is how, in a recycling process, waste from industrial activities can be converted back into raw material.

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