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Applying Ecology

Updated Monday 7th March 2005

Studying ecology is not just about increasing our knowledge of how the natural world works. It can also help us to understand and find the solutions to many environmental problems

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Biological control – Stopping pests

Whether you are controlling crop pests, or trying to stop an invasive species, understanding the ecology of pests is vital in the hunt to find safe and cost effective methods of controlling pest species.

Conservation – Saving species

Many animals have shown rapid declines in numbers over the last century and many are on the verge of disappearing completely. The work of ecologists helps in understanding what causes declines, how to stop declines and how to help increase the numbers of endangered species.

Harvesting natural resources – Fisheries

The waters around the British Isles are some of the most productive in the world, but with an increasing pressure on the stocks of fish many species are threatened by overfishing. Ecologists can help by modelling fish populations so that fishermen know how many fish they can catch without threatening the survival of fish species. This technique can be applied to many other species from bacteria to elephants!

 

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