Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index E > Category: Ecology

Ecology Quotes (21 quotes)

A species consists of a group of populations which replace each other geographically or ecologically and of which the neighboring ones integrate or hybridise wherever they are in contact or which are potentially capable of doing so (with one or more of the populations) in those cases where contact is prevented by geographical or ecological barriers.
'Speciation Phenomena in Birds', The American Naturalist (1940), 74, 256.
Science quotes on:  |  Barrier (5)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Geography (14)  |  Population (41)  |  Species (96)

Birds ... are sensitive indicators of the environment, a sort of “ecological litmus paper,” ... The observation and recording of bird populations over time lead inevitably to environmental awareness and can signal impending changes.
In Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America (2008), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Awareness (14)  |  Bird (57)  |  Change (133)  |  Environment (75)  |  Impending (2)  |  Indicator (4)  |  Observation (264)  |  Paper (25)  |  Population (41)  |  Recording (4)  |  Sensitive (5)  |  Signal (5)  |  Sort (7)

Both biological and cultural diversity are now severely threatened and working for their preservation is a critical task.
The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventure in the Simple and Compex (1994), 374-375.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (83)  |  Culture (44)  |  Diversity (32)  |  Preservation (14)  |  Task (32)

Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. There is no other way for land to survive the impact of mechanized man, nor for us to reap from it the esthetic harvest it is capable, under science, of contributing to culture. That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but latterly often forgotten.
A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There (1949), viii-ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Commodity (2)  |  Community (27)  |  Conservation (44)  |  Ethic (7)  |  Harvest (7)  |  Land (27)  |  Love (64)  |  Machine (56)  |  Respect (24)

Earthworms, though in appearance a small and despicable link in the chain of nature, yet, if lost, would make a lamentable chasm ... worms seem to be the great promoters of vegetation, which would proceed but lamely without them.
[Showing an early awareness in ecology.]
Letter XXXV (20 May 1777) in The Natural History of Selborne (1789, 1899), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (47)  |  Chain (21)  |  Chasm (5)  |  Despicable (2)  |  Earthworm (3)  |  Great (62)  |  Lamentable (2)  |  Link (12)  |  Lost (11)  |  Nature (534)  |  Proceed (7)  |  Seem (12)  |  Small (35)  |  Vegetation (12)  |  Worm (12)

Ecological differentiation is the necessary condition for coexistence.
'The Competitive Exclusion Principle', Science, 1960,131, 1296.

Ecologically speaking, a spilt tanker load is like sticking a safety pin into an elephant’s foot. The planet barely notices. After the Exxon Valdez accident in Alaska the oil company spent billions tidying up the coastline, but it was a waste of money because the waves were cleaning up faster than Exxon could. Environmentalists can never accept the planet’s ability to self-heal.
'Seat Leon Cupra SR1, in The Times (22 Dec 2002)
Science quotes on:  |  Alaska (2)  |  Environmentalist (4)  |  Money (87)  |  Nature (534)  |  Oil Spill (5)

For this knowledge of right living, we have sought a new name... . As theology is the science of religious life, and biology the science of [physical] life ... so let Oekology be henceforth the science of [our] normal lives ... the worthiest of all the applied sciences which teaches the principles on which to found... healthy... and happy life.
Quoted in Robert Clarke (ed.), Ellen Swallow: The Woman Who Founded Ecology (1973), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (83)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Life (460)  |  Name (58)  |  New (107)  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Religion (120)  |  Theology (21)

I always feel like our descendants—they're going to be upset with us for wrecking the planet anyway—but they're really going to be mad that we didn't even bother to take a good picture. [On the importance of thorough research of even a little ant species.]
Quoted from NPR radio interview, also published on NPR web page by Christopher Joyce, Morning Edition (1 Aug 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (10)  |  Bother (2)  |  Descendant (7)  |  Earth (250)  |  Good (81)  |  Mad (7)  |  Picture (25)  |  Research (360)  |  Upset (4)  |  Wreck (3)

I shall collect plants and fossils, and with the best of instruments make astronomic observations. Yet this is not the main purpose of my journey. I shall endeavor to find out how nature's forces act upon one another, and in what manner the geographic environment exerts its influence on animals and plants. In short, I must find out about the harmony in nature.
Letter to Karl Freiesleben (Jun 1799). In Helmut de Terra, Humboldt: The Life and Times of Alexander van Humboldt 1769-1859 (1955), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Botany (30)  |  Environment (75)  |  Exploration (48)  |  Fossil (73)  |  Geography (14)  |  Instrument (40)  |  Nature (534)  |  Observation (264)  |  Paleontology (16)  |  Plant (96)

If a man walked in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer, but if he spends his whole day as a speculator shearing of those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is estimated as an industrious and enterprising citizen—as if a town had no interest in forests but to cut them down.
Walden. Quoted in Dr. N Sreedharan, Quotations of Wit and Wisdom (2007), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Forestry (5)  |  Industry (49)

In New England they once thought blackbirds useless, and mischievous to the corn. They made efforts to destroy them. The consequence was, the blackbirds were diminished; but a kind of worm, which devoured their grass, and which the blackbirds used to feed on, increased prodigiously; then, finding their loss in grass much greater than their saving in corn, they wished again for their blackbirds.
Letter to Richard Jackson, 5 May 1753. In Albert Henry Smyth, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1905), Vol. 3, 135.

Over and over again, we must stress that a healthy ecology is the basis for a healthy economy.
Quoted in Glenn D. Paige, To Nonviolent Political Science (1993), 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (25)  |  Economy (25)  |  Health (93)

Pervasive depletion and overuse of water supplies, the high capital cost of new large water projects, rising pumping costs and worsening ecological damage call for a shift in the way water is valued, used and managed.
From a study Postel wrote for Worldwatch Institute, quoted in New York Times (22 Sep 1985), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Capital (9)  |  Cost (15)  |  Dam (2)  |  Damage (9)  |  Depletion (3)  |  High (12)  |  Large (22)  |  Management (6)  |  Pervasive (2)  |  Project (5)  |  Pump (4)  |  Shift (9)  |  Supply (15)  |  Use (54)  |  Value (63)  |  Water (122)

Since my first discussions of ecological problems with Professor John Day around 1950 and since reading Konrad Lorenz's “King Solomon's Ring,” I have become increasingly interested in the study of animals for what they might teach us about man, and the study of man as an animal. I have become increasingly disenchanted with what the thinkers of the so-called Age of Enlightenment tell us about the nature of man, and with what the formal religions and doctrinaire political theorists tell us about the same subject.
'Autobiography of Allan M. Cormack,' Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures 1979, editted by Wilhelm Odelberg.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (143)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Formal (4)  |  Interest (82)  |  Men (12)  |  Nature Of Man (4)  |  Problem (180)  |  Religion (120)  |  Study (157)  |  Teach (19)

The interactions of man with his environment are so complex that only an ecological approach to nutrition permits an understanding of the whole spectrum of factors determining the nutritional problems that exist in human societies.
World Health Organization, Nutrition in Preventive Medicine, 13. From http://whqlibdoc.who.int/monograph/WHO_MONO_62_(chp1).pdf
Science quotes on:  |  Environment (75)  |  Nutrition (11)

The theory here developed is that mega-evolution normally occurs among small populations that become preadaptive and evolve continuously (without saltation, but at exceptionally rapid rates) to radically different ecological positions. The typical pattern involved is probably this: A large population is fragmented into numerous small isolated lines of descent. Within these, inadaptive differentiation and random fixation of mutations occur. Among many such inadaptive lines one or a few are preadaptive, i.e., some of their characters tend to fit them for available ecological stations quite different from those occupied by their immediate ancestors. Such groups are subjected to strong selection pressure and evolve rapidly in the further direction of adaptation to the new status. The very few lines that successfully achieve this perfected adaptation then become abundant and expand widely, at the same time becoming differentiated and specialized on lower levels within the broad new ecological zone.
Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Abundance (10)  |  Achievement (73)  |  Adaptation (23)  |  Ancestor (17)  |  Character (39)  |  Descent (8)  |  Development (122)  |  Difference (135)  |  Direction (27)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Expansion (18)  |  Fragment (13)  |  Group (24)  |  Isolation (16)  |  Level (16)  |  Mutation (12)  |  Numerous (6)  |  Occupation (28)  |  Pattern (18)  |  Perfection (43)  |  Population (41)  |  Position (18)  |  Pressure (18)  |  Probability (56)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Selection (20)  |  Small (35)  |  Specialization (8)  |  Station (6)  |  Status (5)  |  Theory (353)  |  Typical (6)  |  Zone (2)

The theory of evolution by natural selection is an ecological theory—founded on ecological observation by perhaps the greatest of all ecologists. It has been adopted by and brought up by the science of genetics, and ecologists, being modest people, are apt to forget their distinguished parenthood.
'A Darwinian Approach to Plant Ecology', Journal of Ecology, 1967, 55, 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (342)  |  Genetics (79)  |  Natural Selection (57)

The time has come to link ecology to economic and human development. When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all. What is happening to the rain forests of Madagascar and Brazil will affect us all.
Quoted in Jamie Murphy and Andrea Dorfman, 'The Quiet Apocalypse,' Time (13 Oct 1986).
Science quotes on:  |  Ant (10)  |  Biology (83)  |  Bird (57)  |  Brazil (2)  |  Economics (19)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Rain Forest (14)  |  Tree (88)

The tragedy of deforestation in Amazonia as well as elsewhere in the tropics is that its costs, in... economic, social, cultural, and aesthetic terms, far outweigh its benefits. In many cases, destruction of the region’s rainforests is motivated by short-term gains rather than the long-term productive capacity of the land. And, as a result, deforestation usually leaves behind landscapes that are economically as well as ecologically impoverished.
From Anthony Bennett Anderson (ed.), Alternatives to Deforestation: Steps Toward Sustainable Use of the Amazon Rain Forest (1990), xi. As cited in Lykke E. Andersen (ed.), The Dynamics of Deforestation and Economic Growth in the Brazilian Amazon (2002), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (10)  |  Amazon (2)  |  Benefit (21)  |  Capacity (15)  |  Cost (15)  |  Cultural (5)  |  Deforestation (27)  |  Destruction (52)  |  Economy (25)  |  Gain (23)  |  Landscape (14)  |  Long-Term (3)  |  Productive (4)  |  Rain Forest (14)  |  Result (129)  |  Social (16)  |  Term (34)  |  Tragedy (9)

Three hundred trout are needed to support one man for a year. The trout, in turn, must consume 90,000 frogs, that must consume 27 million grasshoppers that live off of 1,000 tons of grass.
From Energetics, Kinetics, and Life: An Ecological Approach (1971), 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Consume (4)  |  Food Web (5)  |  Frog (24)  |  Grass (10)  |  Grasshopper (2)  |  Million (29)  |  Need (57)  |  Support (26)  |  Thousand (32)  |  Ton (2)  |  Year (69)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton