Illustration about ecology

Ecology and the environment

Studying populations in place

In ecology scientists are concerned with understanding what determines population size and how populations of different species interact within ecosystems. Pond ecology, for instance, could involve studying algae to understand how algal population growth affects water quality in ponds, and how that in turn affects the survival of fish and other animals.

Biodiversity, an important concept for ecologists, measures the diversity of life  usually the number of different species in a given area.

Lead image:

Illustration © Glen McBeth

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Populations’ in June 2014.

Ecology and environment
Education levels:
14–16, 16–19, Continuing professional development