Maps can generally be described as representation of the real world through graphics. However, this representation is usually considered an abstraction of the real world phenomenon (Chorley and Peter, 48). This is mainly as a result of the fact that the universe is infinite and it is quite impossible to capture its entire complexities in a single source. Maps can be used to represent various issues for instance: The distribution of human population, temperatures and other aspects of the environment. In the case of representing the distribution of nature in an accurate manner the following maps can be used:
The use of topographical mapping in the current mapping techniques entails the use of a graphical representation characterized by quantitative exhibition of relief, large-scale details through the application of contour lines (Lang et al, 141). In most case, topographical maps are used to represent the distribution of man-made features, but have also been applied to represent natural features for instance: The use of contour lines to indicate height above sea level of different regions. Topographical maps may also be used to represent certain natural conditions for example; the distribution of atmospheric pressure et cetera. Topographical maps are considered appropriate when mapping the distribution of nature considering the fact that they usually provide accurate graphic exhibition/representation of natural features as well as cultural features (Lang et al, 145).
In biogeography, thematic maps are described as graphical designs formulated to indicate specific themes related to a specific geography (Denègre, 7). Thematic maps are pertinent as they portray natural, social, economic and cultural aspects of a given state or region. Thematic maps are regarded as appropriate in the representation of distribution of bio-geography phenomena considering the fact that they focus on specific themes i.e. distribution of plant species in a particular place, hence are associated with a high level of accuracy (Denègre, 7). On the other hand, thematic maps usually place emphasis on the variation of limited number of bio-geographic distributions, this makes them more accurate. The other importance of thematic mapping that makes them more appropriate for representing distribution of nature is the fact that they do not only indicate spatial relationship, but also the interrelationships that exist within aspects of geographical distribution; this has led to a scenario where sometime they are referred as graphic essays (Denègre, 9).
Latitudinal Diversity Gradient in Species
In bio-geography, latitudinal diversity gradient is a commonly applied pattern for ecological studies (Soria-Carrasco, Víctor, and Jose, 11). It is based on the concept that there are more species in the lower altitudes compared to the higher altitudes. It has been applied in varying patterns in the contemporary society; certain researchers have argued that the application of latitudinal diversity gradient in recognizing ecological patterns presents various challenges to contemporary scholars and researchers (Soria-Carrasco, Víctor, and Jose, 12). There are certain hypotheses that are used to explicate the distribution of species in regard to various latitudinal conditions for instance:
Personally, I think that this hypothesis provides the most valid explanation in relation to the distribution of species in accordance to latitudes. This hypothesis asserts that latitudinal diversitt gradient exist mainly as a result of the fact that a few species are able physiologically withstand or tolerate the harsh environmental conditions associated with higher latitudes for instance higher latitudes are i.e. in the Antarctic are associated with extremely cold temperatures that can only be tolerated by few animal species such as Penguins, seals among others. On the other hand, the lower latitudes for example regions located around the tropical regions and the equatorial region are have relatively warmer temperatures that are facilitates the survival of species, hence a higher concentration of species in these regions.
This hypothesis is based on the fact that the amount of energy available in an ecosystem is a major determinant of ecosystem richness (Soria-Carrasco, Víctor, and Jose, 17). In this aspect, the higher the amount of solar energy in a specific region, the higher the primary productivity i.e. increased photosynthesis leading to facilitated crop development. This basically means that more animal species can be supported mostly in lower latitudes that are usually characterized with higher intensity of solar energy. From a personal perspective, I believe that this is the second best hypothesis providing an explanation to Latitudinal Diversity Gradient (LDG) considering the fact that it is based on primary productivity as a means that supports the survivability of many species. However I believe that the Climate Harshness Hypothesis is still the best owing to the fact that even primary production is limited in regions climatic harshness; consider a scenario of the Antarctic region that has few plants due to the extremely cold weather.
This hypothesis is based on the belief that the interaction between species for instance; parasitism, mutualism, competition as well as predation are relatively common and stronger in the tropical regions that are found in lower latitudes (Soria-Carrasco, Víctor, and Jose, 19). However, I feel that this hypothesis is not valid considering the fact that it does not provide an appropriate explanation on the reasons why the interaction of species is much stronger in the tropical regions.
My Three Priority Policies in Protection of Florida Bio-Diversity
Mainstreaming of Bio-diversity Protection in all Education Curriculum in Florida
As a member of Florida Bio-diversity protection Czar, I believe that the appropriate and effective protection of bio-diversity requires a high level of awareness. This awareness has to be provided to all societal members acknowledging the fact that the protection of various bio-diversity resources requires the participation of entire Florida Community. In this regard, I will advocate for mainstreaming bio-diversity protection course, subjects and units as a fundamental/core aspect of learning in the entire Florida Education curriculum. This will ensure that the younger generation is provided with appropriate knowledge on the importance of protecting bio-diversity and how this can be achieved.
Sharing Ideas, Lessons-learned and Experiences on Bio-diversity Protection
As aforementioned, knowledge is the key to effective bio-diversity protection; as a member of Florida bio-diversity protection Czar, I will organize networking conferences and meeting where different stakeholders shall be invited to share and exchange ideas in regard to protection of bio-diversity. I believe that the Florida community will benefit from this approach, in the sense that it will enhance their capacities and skills to protection our biodiversity.
Provision of Adequate Funds to Support Protected Areas
Apart from provision of adequate knowledge and skills, bio-diversity protection also requires adequate financial resource. I will ensure that this policy is implemented by advocating for more financial allocation to the biodiversity protection departments. I will achieve this through encouraging local authorities and other concerned stakeholders to consider biodiversity as top priority in the region.
Chorley, Richard John, and Peter Haggett. "Trend-surface mapping in geographical research." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (1965): 47-67.
Denègre, Jean, ed. Thematic mapping from satellite imagery: a guidebook. Elsevier, 2013.
Lang, Megan, et al. "Topographic metrics for improved mapping of forested wetlands." Wetlands 33.1 (2013): 141-155.
Soria-Carrasco, Víctor, and Jose Castresana. "Diversification rates and the latitudinal gradient of diversity in mammals." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2012): rspb20121393.