Revised 24 May 2019

Nature never breaks her own laws - Leonardo da Vinci

Ecology can be defined as that branch of science which studies the relationship of living organisms with each other within their physical environment. Organisms and their physical environment form ecosystems. Human settlements also form ecosystems within larger ecosystems. At any point in time, ecosystems can be new or old, changing their boundaries and growing or declining, or in a form of climax or steady state. This section uses energy diagrams developed by Howard Odum (1976) to help compare ecosystems and recognise equivalent roles in different systems, including that of human settlements.