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Important Ecology Terminologies

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Ecology Terminologies

·                 EXTINCT VS ENDANGERED

1.       Extinct
§  Species that are no longer known to exist in the wild.
§  A species is said to be extinct if it is not definitely known in the wild during the past 50 years.
2.       Endangered
§  Taxa in danger of extinction and whose survival is unlikely if the causal factors continue operating.
§  Taxa whose numbers have been reduced to a critical level or

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§   Whose habitats have been drastically reduced that they are deemed to be in immediate danger of extinction.
·                 VULNERABLE
Ø  Due to extensive destruction of habitat or other environmental disturbances Taxa with a population that is still under threat from severe adverse factors, Taxa will be moved into the endangered category.
·                 RARE:                  Taxa with small world population but that are not at present endangered or vulnerable but at risk.
·                 THREATENED:      That falls into any of the above categories.
·        THE RED BOOK: It is the name given to the book dealing with threatened animals or plants of any region e.g. on global level IUCN.
·                 GREEN BOOK:    The lists of rare plants growing in protected areas are given a green book.
·                  BLUE BOOK:       The UNEP has complied endangered species of the world.
1.       The natural course of the river has been affected, resulting in loss of fishing and farming in natural water.
2.       Part of the land dried up in the downstream due to loss of river course e.g. riverain forests.
3.       A fear of earthquake is predicted.
4.       Disturbing the ecology.
5.       Affect the tribal people living in the area and denied Tarbela and Mangla Dam.
6.       Traditional hunting and fishing sites have been affected.
7.       Dams also collect silt decreasing the effectiveness of reservoirs, starving stream beds and sand bars downstream.
8.       Forest land is being submerged.
·                 FELLING CYCLE
Ø    Under the selection system mature trees are scattered over the whole area of the forest.
Ø    Felling should proceed annually over the whole area should be followed by regeneration.
Ø    The yield is removed from a defined area of the forest annually and the forests are divided into Equi-productive blocks correspond with the length of time between successive fellings in the same block.
Ø    This period is known as felling cycle.
Ø    Showing arrangement of blocks treated in each successive year:-
Ø    Felling cycles in different parts of the world are as under:-
W. Germany
5 – 8 years
6 – 12 years
10 – 25 years
10 – 30 years
20 years
Ø    The felling cycle is fixed according to the requirement of each case.
Ø    The longer the felling cycle the heavier the fellings per acre.
Ø    With a yield assessed at 2% of the growing stock of the whole forest-introduction of a felling cycle of 10 years means that the intensity of marking in the annual coupe, the removal of 20% of the growing stock on the annual coupe.
Ø    If felling cycle is kept too short, involving large coupe, then works fairly costly, owing to the scattered nature of fellings.
Ø    If the felling cycle is kept too long, involving small coupes, fellings over definite coupes becomes intensive. It will results:-
(a) A large quantity of timber economic advantage.
(b) Create favourable conditions for regeneration – create large gaps.
(c) Upset the balance in the proportion of size classes.
(d) Cultural advantage is largely lost.
(e) The time character of selection forest is lost.
·                 FOREST RIGHTS 
Ø    Rights or privileges over Reserved Forests, Protected Forests, Wasteland
As per record of rights admitted at the time of settlement or subsequently admitted as the right holder by the Govt.
·                 ROYALTY
Ø    It is a money paid to the landowner for the right to use his property e.g.
i.       People extract stones from forest Area = Pay Royalty of stones.
ii.     Govt. forest Development Corporation (K.P.K) (FDC) extracts timber from forest pay royalty at the rate of 60:40 shares to concessionists & Govt. respectively.
·                 GUZARA FORESTS
Ø    The privately owned forests and waste-lands in some of the hill regions are called the “GUZARAS”.
Ø    These may be owned jointly or individually.
Ø    Joint ownership could be that of large village communities or small family groups.
Ø    Total area = 549766 hectares.
Ø    Managed under NWFP Guzara Rules 2004.
·                 MEHDOODA GUZARA
Demarcted Guzaras are called Mehdooda Guraza
·                 GHAIR MEHDOODA GUZARA
Un-demarcated Guzaras are called Ghair Mehdooda Guzaras.
·                 MARKING RULES
Ø    Marking officer ensure before going to markings:-
i.       Marking officer organize the camp for marking.
ii.     Working plan copy and Maps Calipers, Tapes, Field Books, Pencils, Papers, Calculators, Hammer Marks, Caving Chesal, Colour Markers, Coaltar, Axe man, Carving Person, Forest Shoes, First Aid Materials, Boarding and Loading Arrangements.
Ø    Marking rules will be as Follows:-
1.       All marking should be carried out by D.F.O. personally.
2.       The marking officer first to make a reconnaissance of the marking coupe before starting of the marking to apprise the general condition and distribution of various age classes particularly mature and over-mature trees which facilitate equal distribution of marking of trees so required.
3.       All Dead, Dying, Diseased Malformed, Wind-Fallen Dry, Moribund and suppressed trees will be removed on the priority basis.
4.       In marking prescribed volume is the criterion for a marking officer.

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5.       The exploitable size has been fixed 2.4″ and above for main selection felling.
6.       Broadleaved should no be marked due to limited number in coniferous forests.
7.       Keeping in view ecological balance marking will be tilted towards inferior species e.g.
i.   Retention of Deodar will be preferred over Kail, Fir, and Spruce.
ii.  Kail over Fir and Spruce.
8.       Trees adjacent to cultivation and habitation or on border of the compartment up to 30 – 40 meters should not be marked.
9.       Trees will not be marked near Road, Hamlet water-course, Graveyard and Shrine.
10.     No tree shall be marked on steep slopes subject to soil erosion or where regeneration has no chance after removal of the existing trees.
11.     Marking of trees will be systematically started from uppermost boundary gradually coming down the whole compartment shall be traversed and evenly distributed.
12.     Felling shall be made in groups of 2 – 3 trees to create gaps for natural regeneration.
13.     Under the principle of single tree selection system one tree out of four (4) of Kail and Deodar and out of Five (5) mature trees of Fir and Spruce will be marked.
14.     The marked trees properly numbered. Serially with year of marking carved and hammered with marking number at stump height and entered in the field book thereof.
15.     The marking shall be evenly spread over the entire well-stocked part of the compartment.
16.     Healthy trees with clean boles, better crow, suitably located for seed dispersal will be retained at the compartment.
17.     Thinning should be carried out with a new to eliminate unhealthy competition, encourage normal rate of growth to develop vigorous stand.
18.     Felling will primarily bear on trees of 24″ d.b.h. and over diameter.
19.     Calliper will be put from upper side of trees at d.b.h.
·                 BIOTIC COMPLEX
Ø  Ecosystem
§  This is an integrated approach in which all organisms (Plants and Animals) along with their environment and studied as one unit. Materials and energies pass in and out of the components.
Odum has defined ecosystems as “The basic fundamental unit of organisms and their environment interacting with each other and within their own components.”
§  Study of an ecosystem may be carried out in various sizes.
§  It may be the edge of a pond, a lake, a patch of forests land or even and acquarium.
Odum has recognized the following components of an ecosystem:-
(a) Abiotic substances
     These are the non-living constituents like:
     CO2, O2, H2O, Ca, N,P,K. etc.
(b) Producers
These are the autotrophs which are able to produce food from inorganic compounds. Main autotrophs are green plants and some forms of bacteria.
(c) Consumers
·       They are those constituents of the ecosystem which consume the food which has been produced by the producers or autotrophs.
·       The herbivores which depend upon green plants for their food requirements are the primary consumers e.g. Insects, Rodents etc.
·       The primary consumers are fed upon by primary carnivore such as Frogs.
·       The primary carnivores are fed by Secondary Carnivores such as Snakes.
·       The Top carnivores include Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Vulture etc.
(d) Decomposers
The function of these decomposers is to break down the dead cells, tissues etc. into simple substances to be reused by producers e.g.
i.   Bacteria (Bacillus, Clostridium) etc.
ii.  Fungi (Agaricus, Mucor) etc.
·                 ECOLOGICAL PYRAMID
Ø    Different types of ecosystem support different types of food chains, each consisting of all three levels.
Ø    There is a proportionate relationship between the number, biomass or amount of energy flow at producer, primary, secondary and tertiary consumers level of a food chain.
Ø    All these kinds of relationship can be represented characteristically in the form of pyramids called ecological pyramids.
Ø    These are the following types:-
i.       Pyramid of Numbers
ii.     Pyramid of Biomass
iii.   Pyramid of Energy
     Energy Pyramid.
·                 ENERGY PYRAMID
i.                 During the process of Photosynthesis solar energy is trapped by producers and converted into chemical energy.
ii.               This energy flow in the food chain from the producers to the top carnivore, decreasing at successive trophic levels.

This can be depicted by the pyramid where the base showing energy utilization at the producer level and apex showing energy utilization by the top carnivores.

·                 ECOSYSTEM
Ø    The concept of the ecosystem was first put forth by A.G. Tansley, 1935.
Ø    Definition by Odum, E.P. 1959. “An area of nature, that includes living organism and non-living substances, interacting to produce an exchange of materials between the living and non-living parts.”
Ø    In the ecosystem non-living environment provides Energy, Raw Materials, and Space to the living organism for their growth and development.
Ø    “The organisms and the physical features of the habitat form an ecological complex or more briefly an ecosystem.” (Clarke, 1954).
Ø    Ecosystem is the major ecological unit.
Ø    It has both structure and functions.
Ø    The structure is related to species diversity.
Ø    The more complex is the structure the greater is the diversity of species in the ecosystem.
Ø    The function of an ecosystem is related to the flow of energy and cycling of materials through structural components of the ecosystem.
Ø    According to Woodbury (1954). “Ecosystem is a complex in which habitat, plants, and animals are considered as one interesting unit, the materials, and energy of one passing in and out of others.
Ø    According to E.P.Odum, The ecosystem is the basic functional unit of organisms and their environment interacting with each other and with their own components.
Ø    An ecosystem may be conceived and studied in the habitats of various sizes e.g.
i.       One square meter of grassland.
ii.     A Pool
iii.   A Large Lake
iv.   A Large Tract of Forest
v.     Balanced Aquarium
vi.   A certain area of river and ocean
Ø    All the ecosystem of the earth are connected to one another e.g.
i.   River ecosystem is connected with the ocean.
ii.  A small ecosystem of a dead log is a part of a large ecosystem of the forest.

·                 STRUCTURE OF ECOSYSTEM
Ø    From the structural point of view all the ecosystems consist of the following basic components:-
1.  Abiotic Components
2.  Biotic Components
1.  Abiotic Components
§  It include basic elements and compound of the environment such as Soil, Water, Gases like Carbon dioxide (Co2), Oxygen.
§  Materials like Carbonates, Phosphates etc and variety of organic compounds.
§  It also include such physical factors as: Moisture, Wind, Currents and Solar Radiation.
§  Solar energy is the source of energy for all ecosystem.
2.  Biotic Components
§  Biotic is the living component of the ecosystem.
§  It is further divisible in two main parts:
i.       Autotrophs
ii.     Heterotrophs
i.   Autotrophs or Producers
§  Autotrophs are able to fix light energy and manufacture food from simple inorganic substances.
§  The mainly consists of green plants.
ii.  Heterotrophs or Consumers
§  They are the living organisms that utilizes rearrange and decomposes the complex material synthesized by the producers or Autotrophs.
§  The Heterotrophs do not produce their own food.
§  The Heterotrophic component includes:-
i.       Macro Consumers
ii.     Micro Consumers or Decomposers.
§  Macro consumers include large animals. It is further divided into:-
(a) Primary Consumers
(b) Secondary Consumers
(c) Tertiary Consumers
(a) Primary Consumers
§  They are purely Herbivorous animals that are dependent for their food on producers or green plants, Insects, Rodents, Rabbit, Deer, Cow, Buffalo, Goat, Sheep are some common Herbivores in the Terrestrial Ecosystem and small crustaceans, Molluscs etc in the aquatic habitat.
§  Elton (1939) Named Herbivores of ecosystem as: “Key Industry Animals”.
§  The Herbivores serve as the chief food source for Carnivores.
(b) Secondary Consumers
§  These are carnivores and omnivores.
§  Carnivores are flesh eating animals and omnivores are the animals that are adapted to consume Herbivores as well as plants as their food e.g. secondary consumers are: Sparrow, Crow, Fox, Wolves, Dogs, Cats, Snakes etc.
(c) Tertiary Consumers
     These are the top Carnivores which prey upon other Carnivores, Omnivores and Herbivores e.g. Lion, Tigers, Hawks, Vulture, etc.
§  The Parasites, Scavengers, and Saprobes are also included in the consumers.
§  The Parasitic plants and animals utilize the living tissues of different plants and animals.

§  The scavengers and Saprobes utilize dead remains of animals and plants as food.
For Correction and Improvements please use the comments section below.

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Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu ( Forestrypedia (, All Pak Notifications (, Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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