What Is Humboldt’s Enigma?
Humboldt’s enigma has garnered increased attention in the field of ecology as researchers seek to understand the unexpected biodiversity found in mountain ecosystems, challenging traditional beliefs.
- Sparked by Alexander von Humboldt’s observations, it questions the conventional notion that tropical regions, fueled by ample sunlight, are the primary centres of biodiversity on Earth.
- It contends that despite receiving less sunlight and enduring colder temperatures, mountain ecosystems defy this notion by showcasing exceptional biodiversity, thereby challenging traditional ecological theories and prompting investigation into this anomaly.
- Humboldt suggested there was a relationship between temperature, altitude, and humidity on one hand and the occurrence patterns of species or their biodiversity on the other.
- His example of choice was the Chimborazo mountain in Ecuador, which has today become an important illustration of mountain diversity.