The term "ecology" first appeared in the scientific community in 1866. Then this word was proposed to call the branch of science that studies the existence of different communities of living beings, interacting among themselves and with the surrounding natural environment.
With the development of technical level of civilization is the influence of technogenic factors on the natural habitat steadily increased. And this influence, as a rule, had a devastating, negative. When the changes have reached such scales that began to influence the life of the human community, the study of ecology came to humanity in a number of priority tasks.
Since that time the word acquired its modern meaning: ecology is the scientific study of everything, including technogenic and anthropogenic impact on the established system of relationships of living beings in a particular region.
Some people mistakenly think that ecology studies only the harmful effects of anthropogenic factors on the nature and methods of protection of existing ecosystems, but it is not.
Today is considered the most correct definition, which was developed in 1990 at the International Congress of ecology: is the science that studies the interaction of animate and inanimate nature.