An extract on #navyrdie
Although the use of aircraft has for the most part always been used as a supplement to land or naval engagements, since their first major military use in World War I aircraft have increasingly taken on larger roles in warfare. During World War I, the primary use was for reconnaissance, and small-scale bombardment.
Aircraft began becoming much more prominent in the Spanish Civil War and especially World War II. Aircraft design began specializing, primarily into two types: bombers, which carried explosive payloads to bomb land targets or ships; and fighter-interceptors, which were used to either intercept incoming aircraft or to escort and protect bombers (engagements between fighter aircraft were known as dog fights). Some of the more notable aerial battles in this period include the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Midway.
Another important use of aircraft came with the development of the helicopter, which first became heavily used during the Vietnam War, and still continues to be widely used today to transport and augment ground forces.
Today, direct engagements between aircraft are rare the most modern fighter-interceptors carry much more extensive bombing payloads, and are used to bomb precision land targets, rather than to fight other aircraft. Anti-aircraft batteries are used much more extensively to defend against incoming aircraft than interceptors. Despite this, aircraft today are much more extensively used as the primary tools for both army and navy, as evidenced by the prominent use of helicopters to transport and support troops, the use of aerial bombardment as the "first strike" in many engagements, and the replacement of the battleship with the aircraft carrier as the center of most modern navies.
Plant ecology is the science of the functional relationships between plants and their habitatsthe environments where they complete their life cycles. Plant ecologists study the composition of local and regional floras, their biodiversity, genetic diversity and fitness, the adaptation of plants to their environment, and their competitive or mutualistic interactions with other species. Some ecologists even rely on empirical data from indigenous people that is gathered by ethnobotanists. This information can relay a great deal of information on how the land once was thousands of years ago and how it has changed over that time. The goals of plant ecology are to understand the causes of their distribution patterns, productivity, environmental impact, evolution, and responses to environmental change.
Plants depend on certain edaphic (soil) and climatic factors in their environment but can modify these factors too. For example, they can change their environment's albedo, increase runoff interception, stabilise mineral soils and develop their organic content, and affect local temperature. Plants compete with other organisms in their ecosystem for resources. They interact with their neighbours at a variety of spatial scales in groups, populations and communities that collectively constitute vegetation. Regions with characteristic vegetation types and dominant plants as well as similar abiotic and biotic factors, climate, and geography make up biomes like tundra or tropical rainforest.
Herbivores eat plants, but plants can defend themselves and some species are parasitic or even carnivorous. Other organisms form mutually beneficial relationships with plants. For example, mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobia provide plants with nutrients in exchange for food, ants are recruited by ant plants to provide protection, honey bees, bats and other animals pollinate flowers and humans and other animals act as dispersal vectors to spread spores and seeds.