Behavior ecology

the behavior ecology can be regarded within biology as the recent branch of the evolution research, it examined in the broadest sense the reciprocal effects of behavior and environmental factors. Core of all behavior-ecological research beginnings is the certainty that ecological factors settle compellingly in the behavior of the animals (and in the consequence in their hereditary factors), since only so surviving of the individuals and their reproduction success are explainable.


behavior ecologists are occupied thus among other things with clarifying the question: How did a behavior which can be observed today develop as result of the evolution - by natural selection -? Furthermore they examine, which role a certain behavior in a certain environment for surviving the individuals and for their Vermehrung and/or. for the propagation of its kind plays. To emphasize internal mechanisms are in this connection that this kind of the question aims at neither primarily, („instincts “; see. Instinct theory) to analyze still the genes important for the behavior (see. To describe genetics); the behavior ecology examines rather the evolution of the behavior in the ecological connection and - formulated completely general - the adjustment of the organisms to its environment.

When „adapted “thereby a genetically caused characteristic designated, which makes a comparatively high biological Fitness ( chance of survival) for the carrier possible of this characteristic. In order to understand this, the genetic and physiological bases of a characteristic as well as its influence must be analyzed by environmental factors. The behavior ecology is thus an interdisciplinary Forschungsgebiet at the interface of behavior biology, ecology, evolution biology, genetics, physiology and population biology. It contributed successfully in this function extremely to make a spreading understanding possible of the evolutionary roots that variety of organisms on our planet.

In addition, behavior-ecological research results are for applied ranges such as nature protection or biological Schädlingsbekämpfung, even for the medicine of increasing importance. Under the various assigned methods behavior observations in the open land and in the laboratory, experiments, mathematical models, immunological methods and also paternity regulations are by means of „DNA Fingerprinting “.

Typical questions from behavior ecologists are for example: How does animal find their food, and which expenditure is worthwhile itself with the food search? According to which criteria do they select their mating partners? Do monogame birds go strangely? Why do some animals live in groups and others solitär? How is the district size affected?


  • cancer, J. R. and N. B. Davies (1996): Introduction to the behavior ecology. Berlin/Vienna: Blackwell science publishing house. ISBN 3-826-33046-3
  • Lamprecht, Jürg, Langlet, Jürgen and. Hit a corner-hard Schröder: Behavior biology in instruction: Behavior ecology. 2002: Aulis publishing house Deubner ISBN 3-761-42452-3

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