Begoña García has spent many years passionately studying a curious plant, Borderea chouardii. It is a rare species with a biogeographical origin that dates back to the Tertiary and remains confined to a few limestone cliffs in the Central Pyrenees. Unknown until the middle of the 20th century, it is considered an endangered species. But... is it?
Recently, my friend Paul Zedler raised a question between insidious and philosophical: our scientific procedure based on searching for processes and establishing causal relationships, has no significance unless it translates into actions. I had no other option than accept the premise, otherwise I would get exposed at the top of the infamous ivory tower.
For Ramon Margalef, in the centenary of his birth. Why do not we find ecosystems in the atmosphere, as in oceans and continents? In the atmosphere, spores, pollen grains and micro-organisms float, most of them expelled from soils. But trophic networks are not established, nor are there large flows of energy and matter controlled by living beings.
Life is supported on the planet by the interactions between organisms. This interactions often are subject to a set of more or less distorted appearances, and that appearances define each interaction and the living environment of each organism.
Maps are a key tool for ecologists and naturalists. What is its origin? What applications can have? The phenomena that studies ecology have an important geographical base, depend on the space environment in which they occur. For this reason, cartographic techniques in combination with computing and large databases can help us to study, for example, the relationship between climate, human legacy and the current distribution of species.