Paleoecology (also spelled palaeoecology) is the study of interactions between organisms and/or interactions between organisms and their environments across geologic timescales. As a discipline, paleoecology interacts with, depends on and informs a variety of fields including paleontology, ecology, climatology and biology.

Paleoecology emerged from the field of paleontology in the 1950s, though paleontologists have conducted paleoecological studies since the creation of paleontology in the 1700s and 1800s. Combining the investigative approach of searching for fossils with the theoretical approach of Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humboldt, paleoecology began as paleontologists began examining both the ancient organisms they discovered and the reconstructed environments in which they lived. Visual depictions of past marine and terrestrial communities have been considered an early form of paleoecology. The term "paleo-ecology" was coined by Frederic Clements in 1916.[1]

  1. ^ Egerton, Frank N. (2015-05-20). A Centennial History of the Ecological Society of America. CRC Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4987-0070-2.

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