Ecology, Environment and Ecosystem are three common words. In our surroundings, no living organism is a discrete individual or lives in isolation, but each organism is a part of an intricately linked system of living and non living elements and ecology (Gr. Oikos = house) is a science by which we study how organisms (animals, plants and microbes) interact in and with the natural world.
It deals with the ways in which organisms are moulded by their surroundings, how they may use their surroundings and how they are altered or affected by the presence of an organism.
Everything that effects an organism during its lifetime is collectively known as its environment (Gr. Environ = surroundings or outside).
The environment supplies the required food, nutrient and energy and other living condition that may influence the organisms directly or indirectly. The environment therefore can be of two types – living and non living.
The components of the living or biotic environment are all living beings (plants and animals) with whom the organism or its population or the entire community interacts.
The physical and chemical components that influence the living organisms make up the non-living or the abiotic environment. The components are the atmosphere, climate, water, nutrients, sunlight and soil.