Why are There So Many Species?
Prof. Dr. Matthias Glaubrecht: Why are There So Many Species?
In the field of the natural sciences, notions of force - understood as a cause that brings about change - by no means only permeate physics. Rather, they have gradually taken on a stronger contour in natural history too, with regard to form, diversity and distribution as determining influencing variables and evolutionary factors.
In recent times, biology has been emphasized and argumentatively substantiated several times as an autonomous science - i.e. one whose fundamentals cannot be reduced to physics, for example. Under the premise of presenting consistent guidelines, forces that are essential for biology can be characterized in several respects.
In order to clarify the shifting perceptions of the impact of natural forces in the context of biodiversity, a synergistic view, especially of ecology from an evolutionary perspective, seems especially promising. Here, understood in the classic sense as the study of the balance of nature, ecology is indeed developed as a key discipline of biology, but its fundamental conceptual idea of effective environmental forces, such as equilibrium-adjusting forces of the environment, needs to be examined more thoroughly.
Notions of a dynamic equilibrium, a state that is constantly changing and appears as if it were self-adjusting, are prevalent in natural history research in the field which was only much later referred to as ecology. However, so far no systematic investigation has been carried out to fathom and analyse the respective perceptions of the forces of nature that may underlie the occurrence of such an equilibrium.
The aim of this project is to work towards an assessment of conceptions and changing responses to the question of the forces, factors and mechanisms of biological diversity (biodiversity).