6 Differences between Autecology and Synecology

The term ecology was coined by Ernest Haeckel. “Ecology”, the term was derived from two Greek words-‘oikos’ meaning house and ‘logos’ meaning study. E.P.Odum, the famous ecologist defined ecology as ‘the study of structure and function of nature’. In simple terms, ecology is the branch of biology that deals with the scientific study of the interactions among organisms and their environment.
The branch Ecology is further divided into Autecology,  Synecology and Habitat ecology.
Refer figure for better understanding
                                                              Autecology vs Synecology
 Autecology vs Synecology
It is the study of individual organism or individual species or a population in relation to their environment
It is the study of group of organisms or many species or communities in relation to their environment
It is also called as population ecology
It is also called as community ecology
The study is at the level of an individual, a population or an entire species
Synecology is concerned with study of the highest level of biological organization; many populations in an area (called as community) interacting with each other and also with the environment. It can even be the study of an ecosystem
Autecology is comparatively simple experimental and inductive.
Synecology is complex, philosophical and deductive. (Refer: Inductive vs Deductive)
Autecology studies can be accommodated in a laboratory setup and data is interpreted using conventional mathematical tools**
Synecology studies refers to the interaction of a whole system and that cannot be accommodated in a laboratory setup as the system is naturally formed after interactions of hundreds of years such as a forest ecosystem
Example: Study of Zebra population in relation to its environment (may be factors like rainfall, hunting, lion population etc in a grassland ecosystem) see the figure (in dotted black lines)
Example: Study of entire grassland ecosystem
(including all the species or communities) see the figure (in green thick border)

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