Sierra Nevada, a natural laboratory in the service of science – biodiversity

Traditionally known for its natural values, the Sierra Nevada is currently one of the major centers of biodiversity due to the scientific knowledge generated by the study of ecosystems, making it a natural laboratory for understanding how they function in global change scenarios.

The comprehensive information obtained from the study of their ecosystems is what is collected together in the book “Landscape of the Sierra Nevada. A unique laboratory of global processes in Spain”, which is considered the first study of a single mountain range with a multidisciplinary approach by collecting information on all abiotic factors (climate and geology), biological inventory (flora and fauna, both aquatic and terrestrial) and the human dimension in mountains.

The uniqueness of the Sierra Nevada is that it is “diverse and heterogeneous” so that knowledge of its ecosystems can be extrapolated to, at least, the rest of the mountains of Europe and North Africa, Regino Zamora, professor of the Department of Ecology at the University of Granada, explains to EFE and editor of the book with University of Barcelona professor Marc Oliva.

Climate change and rural migration

Among the developments and scientific knowledge that have resulted from the study of the mountain range in recent times, both through satellites and sensors installed there and through the behavior of ecosystems and lakes, those related to climate change, such as evidence of a significant increase in temperature in the past 100 years.

His study has also shown the abandonment of mountainous areas in rural areas, something “curiosity had a positive effect: the restoration of vegetation,” which is more abundant now fifty or sixty years ago, he points out.

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