The ABC of Ecology

Before the diorama presentation of ecosystems in Oltenia, through interactive information systems, visitors are given the possibility to learn basic notions of ecology. This segment of the exhibition represents an interactive database of documentary and scientific data intended to improve education of youth in particular, but also of other categories of visitors, on environmental issues.

The two information systems provide visitors theoretical notions and illustrations regarding the following topics:
•    "Levels of integration and organization of the living matter"
•    "Matter cycle"
•    "Swamp ecosystem"
•    "Food chains and webs in an aquatic ecosystem"
•    "Ecosystem diversity"

For topic "Levels of integration and organization of the living matter", the levels of matter integration are explained, starting from the atom - molecules – cells (plants and animals) – tissues (plants and animals) - organs (plants and animals), integrated in the organism (plants and animals), the organism representing a higher level of integration of the living matter and, in the same time, the first level of organization of the living matter.

Level organism is followed by the next levels of organization of the living matter: levels population (of the species) – biocenosis – biosphere (photo 1).

"Matter cycle" allows visitors to easily understand not only the matter cycle, but also the water cycle as well as the functions of green plants: photosynthesis, breathing and perspiration. Through their functions, plants synthesize and provide both organic substances and oxygen necessary for their lives, as biological individuals, but also for the lives of animal organisms, including the human organism.

The illustration starts with the soil (in which minerals, water, bacteria are pictured); gradually, other elements are depicted, such as: a tree with all component parts typical for green plants, focusing on the leaf, the plant cell and cytoplasmic organs: chloroplast and mitochondria (photo 2).

The ecosystem is presented as a unit consisting of two components: biotope and biocenosis. The three notions are defined and illustrated with all components, within a swamp ecosystem (photo 3).

"Food chains and webs in an aquatic ecosystem" presents the three categories of organisms from the trophic point of view: producers, consumers and reducers or decomposers, as well as the complexity of inter-specific trophic relationships existing between the three trophic categories (photo 4).

"Ecosystem diversity"- offers visitors the possibility to learn about various types of ecosystems, according to four classification criteria (photo 5).

Through this segment, the exhibition provides basic knowledge on ecology for all categories of visitors, regardless their age or professional expertise, having no other source of information. It represents, in the same time, an excellent additional educational material, where teachers may organize for students biology lessons. The topics covered in this exhibition segment allow visitors to supplement, diversify and strengthen their knowledge on ecology.