Ramon Margalef López

 Life could be a tragic end of a cosmic event 

One of the few Spanish ecologists who achieved international recognition. He left great contributions in different fields, limnology (study of continental waters), oceanography and theoretical ecology, among others.

He was one of the founders of modern ecology, thanks in part to its inclusive and comprehensive point of view. Since 1967 he chaired the first Chair of Ecology in Spain, at the University of Barcelona, until his retirement 20 years later.

He is the author of several works, classic and almost obligatory note for scholars of the guild, such as Information theory in ecology (1958) which first introduced the theory of information in the study of biological diversity. This is the basis of applied mathematics that quantifies the information contained in a system. The information contained in plants or animals, is calculated in bits per person. Will be greater the larger the number of species in the community, or the number of each species or the place of each species and personal identification and place of all people. It concluded that the amount of information of a community is about equal to its diversity.

Defined the structure of ecosystems based on their components (matter) and based on their interactions (energy).

He also introduced the concept of maturity of an ecosystem. Over time, this increases. The ecosystem becomes more efficient, it loses less energy and requires less energy to keep up. Ecological succession is a maturing of the ecosystem.

It also started an inventory of major water systems of the Iberian Peninsula by focusing on the study of plankton communities.

In short, their work contributed to the way it is now understood as the space-time structure of ecosystems, the relationship between diversity-stability-connectivity-the role of external energy-producing biological relationship between succession and evolution.

Other papers and books of great importance: On Certain Principles in unifying ecology (1963), Blue Planet, Green Planet (1992), biosphere Our (1997), Ecology (1974) and Lake (1983).

Finally, mention his educational work, equally relevant. Beyond classes and seminars, trained a generation of ecologists in the Spanish context.

(05/16/1919 – 05/23/2004)



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