Ecology is on my mind this week as the success of a current site planning project in my office depends on the outcome of a pending environmental survey. The question on the table is this: is this development consistent with current Florida law?
What the survey doesn’t ask is far more relevant: Will the development significantly impact wildlife currently living on the site? It’s a far more difficult question that has, until now, eluded real answers.
Field Ecologists are hampered by the baseline complexity of the natural world. Everywhere we look, undisturbed systems are complex, richly convoluted and compounded. Study areas contain thousands of plants, animals, fungi, all with lives depending on one anther for shelter and food. Species compete in this ultimate battlefield, each living out a normal existence inexorably consuming availably resources. Species have regard for nothing but survival.
How are these interactions described? How do we predict changes when they are disturbed?