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Eco-semiotics: A new field of competence for ecology to overcome the frontier between environmental complexity and human culture in the Mediterranean

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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The Mediterranean region shows unique environmental and ecological characteristics. The observed ecological complexity is the result of a long-lasting and intense co-evolutionary process between human and non-human organisms.Most of the valuable landscapes at the present time are under serious threat from agricultural intensification, land abandonment and forestation, urban sprawl, and mass tourism. The urgency of conservation clashes against these threats.Such complexity of human–nature interactions is best represented by the “full and empty” world ecological model. Cultural landscape and niche construction theories belong to this framework. In turn, perception and cognition are central themes in the definition of such paradigms. This leads ecological research into the field of eco-semiotics, a new scientific perspective that can provide powerful tools for the study of the Mediterranean ecological complexity, as it addresses the interpretation of signs that human and other evolutionary drivers leave in the environment. Such signs are the expression of mutual interactions that shaped patterns and processes in the region.The eco-field paradigm, derived from the eco-semiotic approach, is a theoretical tool that allows one to intercept a portion of such signals to model the relationship between any species and its environment.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Biomathematics and Institute of Morphological Sciences ; 2: Institute of Morphological Sciences ; 3: Institute of Biomathematics and Institute of Morphological Sciences


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