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Ecological Management

Association – In community ecology and phytosociology an association is a type of ecological community with a conventional species symphony, dependable physiognomy (structural appearance) which exists in a particular type of habitat.

The term association was originally invent ed by Alexander von Humbold and was made formal by the International Botanical Congress in 1910.
An association can be defined as a real, incorporated body formed either by species interactions or by related habitat requirements or it can be defined as simply an ordinary spot along a scale.
There are a lot of examples in nature of two organisms living in close association with each other. The relationship can be made up of two animals, two plants, a plant and an animal, or merely a fungus and an algae for example as obtained in lichens.
Biologists have made efforts to explain different types of biological associations like ‘symbiosis’ and ‘mutualism’ and ‘parasitism’ but it is frequently difficult to identify where one type of association stops and another starts.
It is in all probability better to take these associations as part of a wide range of scale that begins with free-living organisms that rely on others for food, to two organisms that will fail to exist if they are not constantly together like the alga and fungus that join to form each lichen ‘species’.

Types of biological association

1. Symbiosis:
This is derived from a Greek word which simply means ‘living together’ and can be utilized to explain any association that exist between two organisms.
2. Mutualism:
This can be used to describe an association between two organisms and where both organisms seemingly benefit from each other.
3. Commensalism:
This is a type of association where one organism known as the commensal benefits, and the other known as the host is seemingly unaffected. In ecology, commensalism is a type of relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits but the other is neutral.
There is no harm or benefit to the neutral organism. Commensalism is derived from the English word commensal, meaning “sharing of food” in human social interaction, which was in turn derived from the Latin cum mensa, meaning “sharing a table”
Examples of Commensal Relationships
Commensalism is much more difficult to exhibit than parasitism and mutualism, for it is simpler to show a single example where the host is affected, than it is to demonstrate or invalidate that possibility.
Cattle Egrets and Livestock
An example of commensalism is cattle egrets pasturing in fields together with cattle or other livestock. As cattle, horses, and other livestock graze on the field, their movements stir up different types of insects which are being fed on by the cattle egrets.
The egrets benefit from this relationship due to the fact that the livestock have assisted them to discover their foods while the livestock are characteristically not affected by it.
Tigers and Golden Jackals
In India, one golden jackals barred from their pack have been found to be forming commensal relationships with tigers.
4. Parasitism
This is the type of association where one organism known as the the parasite benefits, while the other known as the host is negatively affected, injured, weakened, sickened or killed. An example of parasitism is the association between the parasitic tapeworms and the vertebrate hosts.
This type of association would as well suit the relationship that exists between a carnivore and its live prey and herbivore and the plant it feeds on, particularly if they are extremely specialized in the food they eat.
Parasites are usually defined as organisms that cannot survive without their host and which have unique modifications to their body or their life cycle for this association. In a lot ways though, the variation that exists between a lion eating a gazelle and a flea feeding on a dog, is an issue of relative size.
A lot of sea slugs have evolved close relationships with other organisms. Solar Powered Sea Slugs is another rather different group of relationships that have been discovered with sea slugs. This relationship involves plants and plant organelles.
A group, the herbivorous sacoglossan sea slugs keep chloroplasts and other plant plastids alive from the plants they consume and make use of the sugars they synthesize from photosynthesis for their own nutrition.
Conventionally, parasite is used to describe organisms that are visible to the naked eye, or macroparasites like the protozoa andhelminths. Parasite currently includes microparasites, which are generally smaller, like viruses and bacteria.
A few examples of parasites include the plants mistletoe and cuscuta, and animals like the hookworms.
As opposed to predators, parasites do not kill their host. They are usually much smaller than their host, and will frequently live in or on their host for an extensive period. Both the parasite and the predator are particular instances of consumer-resource interactions.
Parasites exhibit a high degree of specialization, and replicate at a faster rate than their hosts.
Parasites diminish host biological fitness by common or dedicated pathology, like parasitic castration and mutilation of secondary sex characteristics, to the modification of host behavior.
Parasites increase their fitness by exploiting hosts for resources necessary for their survival, e.g. food, water, heat, habitat, and transmission. Although parasitism applies unmistakably to a lot of cases, it is part of a range of types of interactions that exist between species, instead of the exclusive category.
In a lot of cases, it is not easy to illustrate that the host is harmed. In others, there may be no obvious specialization on the part of the parasite, or the interaction that exists between the organisms may be momentary.
Types of parasitic relationship between organisms
Parasites are classified based on their interactions with their hosts and on their life cycles. An obligate parasite is completely reliant on the host to complete its life cycle, while a facultative parasite is not.
Human head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) are ectoparasites. Parasites that live on the surface of the host are known as ectoparasites . Example-mites. The parasites that live inside the host are known as endo-parasites which as well include parasitic worms.
Endoparasites can survive in one of two forms: intercellular parasites ie parasites that inhabit spaces in the host’s body or intracellular parasites ie parasites that inhabit cells in the host’s body.
Intracellular parasites, like protozoa, bacteria or viruses, have a propensity of depending on a third organism, which is commonly referred to as the carrier or vector. The vector does the function of transmitting them to the host.
An instance of this interaction is the spread of malaria, caused by a protozoan of the genus Plasmodium, to humans by the bite of an anopheline mosquito. Those parasites living in an intermediary position, being half-ectoparasites and half-endoparasites, are every now and then called mesoparasite.
An epiparasite is a parasite that feeds on another parasite. This relationship is as well occasionally known as hyperparasitism. An example is exhibited by a protozoan (the hyperparasite) inhabiting the digestive tract of a flea living on a dog.
Social parasites take advantage of interactions that exists among members of social organisms like ants or termites. An instance is Phengaris arion, a butterfly whose larvae make use of mimicry to parasitize definite species of ants.
In kleptoparasitism, parasites share food obtained by the host. An instance is the brood parasitism practiced by cuckoos and cowbirds, which do not construct nests of their own and leave their eggs in nests of other species.
The host acts as a “babysitter” as they raise the young as their own. If the host takes away the cuckoo’s eggs, a few cuckoos will come again and attack the nest to force host birds to remain subject to this parasitic association.

Pollution of the environment

Pollution can be defined as introduction of contaminants into the atmosphere. There are different types of pollution. These pollutions are as a result of a lot of varieties of sources. They all have many effects to the surroundings.

Different Types of Pollution

Air Pollution
Air pollution can be defined as any contamination of the atmosphere that interrupts the natural composition and chemistry of the air we breathe.
It can be in the form of particulate matter like dust or excessive gases such as carbon dioxide or other vapors that cannot be efficiently removed through natural cycles, like the carbon cycle or the nitrogen cycle.
Air pollution care caused by a lot of sources. Some of the major sources of air pollution are:
•automobile or exhaust from manufacturing industries
•Forest fires, volcanic eruptions, dry soil erosion, and other natural sources
•Building construction or demolition
Depending on the amount of air pollutants in the atmosphere, a lot of effects can be observed like smog increases, increased acidic rain, reduction of crop yield as a result of insufficient oxygen, and higher rates of asthma. A lot of scientists think that air pollution also leads to global warming.
Water pollution:
This is introduction of contaminants into water surfaces, which can be in form of chemical, particulate, or bacterial matter that reduces the quality and purity of the water. Water pollution can take place in the oceans, rivers, lakes, and underground reservoirs, and as various sources of water.
Causes of water pollution are:
•Higher sediment from soil erosion
•Poor waste disposal and littering
•Leaching of soil pollution into water sources
•Decay of organic material into water sources.
The effects of water pollution are reduction in the quantity of drinkable water accessible, reduction of water supplies for crop irrigation, and impacting fish and wildlife populations that need water of a particular purity for survival.
Soil Pollution:
Soil, or land pollution, is contamination of the soil that inhibits natural growth and balance in the land whether it is utilized for cultivation, habitation, or a wildlife preserve. A few soil pollution, like the creation of landfills, is purposeful, while some are accidental and can have broad effects.
Sources of Soil pollution are:
•Harmful waste and sewage spills
•Non-sustainable farming practices, like excessive use of inorganic pesticides
•Strip mining, deforestation, and other negative practices
•Domestic dumping and littering
Soil contamination can result to impaired growth and low crop yields, loss of wildlife, water and visual pollution, soil erosion, as well as desertification.
Noise Pollution:
Noise pollution is undesirable levels of noises brought about by human activity that disturb the average of living in the affected area. Sources of noise pollution are:
•Roadtraffics
•Airports
•Railroads
•Manufacturing plants
•Construction or demolition
•Concerts
Some noise pollution may be short term while other sources are long term. Some of the effects of noise pollution are impaired hearing, wildlife disturbances, and a generalized degradation of lifestyle.
Radioactive Pollution:
Radioactive pollution is uncommon but awfully damaging, and even deadly, when it happens. Due to its intensity and the difficulty of averting the harm it may cause, there are stringent government regulations to control radioactive pollution.
Sources of radioactive pollution are:
•accidents or leakage of nuclear power plant
•Poor disposal of nuclear waste
•Uranium mining operations
Radiation pollution can lead to birth defects, cancer, sterilization, and other health issues for human and wildlife populations. It can as well sterilize the soil and lead to water and air pollution.

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