Simple Facts About Life and the Environment Not to Forget in Preparing Schoolbooks for Our Grandchildren

  • Ramon Margalef
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 7)


Ecology is becoming a very sophisticated science, at least in print. Complicated models of ecosystems are proposed; they may be helpful for interpolation, but their extrapolation rarely leads to accurate predictions. Usually the system is driven by inputs from outside that cannot be predicted from inside. We need to develop a whole spectrum of models of different scales and then to explore the regularities in the behavior of the whole set. Theoretical ecology, in its attempt to isolate relations and phenomena and to formulate testable hypotheses, offers an easy target for criticism; certain mathematical developments are highly unrealistic, perhaps justifying a factitious rule of thumb that any expression in ecological theory more than four inches long is false.


Eutrophic Lake Simple Fact External Energy Factitious Rule Ecological Segregation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramon Margalef
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EcologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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