AskDefine | Define synecology

User Contributed Dictionary



From syn- + ecology.


  1. One of two broad subdivisions of ecology (the other being autecology), meaning the study of groups of organisms associated as a unit (essentially a biological community).


  • 1959:"In regard to subdivisions, ecology is commonly divided into autecology and synecology." — Odum

Extensive Definition

Community ecology is a subdiscipline of ecology which studies the distribution, abundance, demography, and interactions between coexisting populations. Interactions between populations, determined by specific genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, is the primary focus of community ecology.
Community ecology has its origin in European plant sociology. Modern community ecology examines patterns such as variation in species richness, equitability, productivity and food web structure; it also examines processes such as predator-prey population dynamics, succession, and community assembly. Patterns and processes in turn can be considered in terms of space and time, at different scales.


  • Odum, E. P. 1959. Fundamentals of ecology. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia and London. 546 p.
  • Barbour, Burke, and Pitts, 1987. Terrestrial Plant Ecology, 2nd ed. Cummings, Menlo Park, CA.
  • Ricklefs, R.E. 2005. The Economy of Nature, 6th ed. WH Freeman, USA.
synecology in Arabic: علم البيئة الجماعي
synecology in Danish: Synøkologi
synecology in Spanish: Sinecología
synecology in French: Synécologie
synecology in Hebrew: סינאקולוגיה
synecology in Italian: Ecologia della comunità
synecology in Japanese: 群集生態学
synecology in Polish: Synekologia
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