Applied ecology is the study of how theories about ecology can be applied practically to areas such as medicine and agriculture. A farmer may study an environment and the relationships of organisms in it to determine the optimal climate and soils for his crops. Through applied ecology, farmers and ranchers may alter conditions to provide shelter and food for livestock, breed new kinds of plants and animals, and eliminate harmful pests. Ecological knowledge has even been helpful in fighting diseases. For example, the ecologists who studied the malarial mosquitoes' environment found it was possible to contain malaria by draining the swamps mosquitoes live in.
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