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Ecology and Ecosystem Difference

ecology and ecosystem

Competitive entrance examinations do not just consist of technical questions; you might come across questions related to the environment too. In order to ace your competitive exam preparation, make sure that you know about all the important components of the environment- ecosystem and ecology. Read on to know more about this.


Ecology can be defined as the relationship shared by organisms with the environment and with each other. The main three constituents of ecology are the following-

  • Interactions and relationships with the surrounding environment
  • Interactions and relationships with other organisms
  • Living organisms

Every plant and animal present in the ecology relies on the numerous aspects of the environment, in order to get nutrients, water, and food. Another thing that is studied in the field of ecology is how the organisms respond to the atmosphere, topography, soil, and climate and water availability. Additionally, the following things are studied in extensive detail when it comes to ecology-

  • Biodiversity within the ecosystem
  • Abundance and distribution of organisms present in the environment
  • Progress changes and modifications in the ecosystem
  • The effects of environmental factors on organisms present in a population
  • Adaptations, interactions and life processes of any specific species


The ecosystem consists of all the living species in a community and dealing with several external and abiotic factors. An ecosystem is divided into two parts-biotic and abiotic. Biotic factors include the living beings of the ecosystem and the abiotic factors include the non-living physical beings. The most common abiotic factors are water, soil, sunlight, minerals, and other things. Two aspects hold the biotic and abiotic factors together-

  • The cycling of various nutrients in the ecosystem
  • The flow of energy through the ecosystem

Differences between ecology and ecosystem

Ecology and ecosystem differ in the following ways-

  • Ecology revolves around the relationship between the environment and living organisms.

Ecosystem revolves around the study of different places and environments, such as streams, still water, desert, river, grassland, forest etc.

  • Ecology is the study of the environment and different ecosystems.

The ecosystem is generally the subset of the broader ecology.

  • There are no general classifications when it comes to the ecology.

However, the ecosystem can be of different types such as sea ecosystem, forest ecosystem and pond ecosystem.

  • Ecology is an extensive study of living beings or organisms and their interactions and relationship with the environment.

On the other hand, the ecosystem is considered the subset of ecology and it revolves around all the complex interactions between living beings and non-living beings in a community or area.

  • Ecology is a broader perspective of the environment.

An ecosystem consists of every biotic and abiotic factor of the environment.

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Both ecology and ecosystem are crucial to the well being of the environment. Without understanding the concepts of ecology and ecosystem, it will be very difficult for you to understand environmental studies in general. You might find questions related to this topic in your SBI PO practice set; therefore, make sure that you have a good idea about these.