Page 1

Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona

contents

Volume 8 Issue 1

June 2012

Giner S

9

foreword distinguished lectures Margalef Prize Lecture 2011

Castilla JC

11

Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era

CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE

CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE

CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE

focus Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Ros J

23

Rachel Carson, sensitive and perceptive interpreter of nature

Molina T

33

The theme of Earth Day and the social perception of what is really happening to our planet

Suriñach E

41

Recent large earthquakes from a geophysical perspective

Simó R

47

Sea and sky. The marine biosphere as an agent of change

Bradley RS

53

What can we learn from past warm periods? The Nobel Prizes of 2011

61

Dendritic cells (DC) and their Toll-like receptors (TLR): Vital elements at the core of all individual immune responses. On the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 awarded to Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann, and Ralph M. Steinman

Massó E

69

The accelerated universe. On the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess

Volume 8 Issue 1    June 2012

June 2012

Juan Otero M

Volume 8 Issue 1

Celebration of Earth Day 2011

research articles Martínez-Francés V, Hahn E, Juan J, Vila R, Ríos S, Cañigueral S

77

Ethnobotanical study of the sages used in traditional Valencian medicine and as essential oil: Characterization of an endemic Salvia and its contribution to local development forum

Piqueras M, Guerrero R, Omedes A

85

The Museu Blau, a natural history museum for the 21st century

Murià JM

93

A transition from indigenous to European technology in colonial Mexico: The case of tequila historical corner

Asensi F

99

Fighting against smallpox around the world. The vaccination expeditions of Xavier de Balmis (1803–1806) and Josep Salvany (1803–1810) biography and bibliography

Llimona X

Cub. Contrib 8-1.indd 1

107

Professor Creu Casas i Sicart (1913–2007)

Barcelona • Catalonia

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CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE

Instructions to authors

Free online access via www.cat-science.cat http://revistes.iec.cat/contributions/

General Contributions to Science publishes two kinds of articles, specialized reviews and general articles on scientifical and technological research (see front cover).

In the text, the position for a table is to be marked by «Table...» in the middle of an extra line. The caption must explain in detail the contents of the table. As for the table itself, it must be written so that it can be read and understood without reference to the text. References to a table are to be handled in the same way as references to the text (see References).

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CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCIENCE The International Journal of the Biological Sciences Section and the Science and Tech­ nology Section of the Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC). http://www.iec.cat Contributions to Science is also available on­line at: www.cat-science.cat http://revistes.iec.cat/contributions/

Cover: The Museu Blau in the Fòrum Park. The Museu Blau (Blue Museum) hosts the new reference exhibition of the Natural History Museum of Barcelona. The building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron for the Universal Forum of the Cultures (Barcelona 2004), has been adapted by the same architects for the new use. In this splendid site of culture and science, a space for knowledge and leisure comparable to the best museums in the world, a balance has been reached between the historical past of the Museum and the progress of science and technology of the 21st century. ISSN print edition: 1575-6343 ISSN electronic edition: 2013-410X Legal Deposit: B. 36385-1999

Contributions to Science is an open access journal that aims to promote the international dissemination of scientific research performed in Catalonia, in any of its branches, both pure and applied. Contributions to Science also publishes research performed in countries with linguistic, cultural and historic links with Catalonia. It also publishes scientific articles of international standing related to all such territories, especially considered as a whole. The journal also covers studies performed in all parts of the world by scientists from such countries. Preference will be given to original articles in the form of critical reviews that deal with the present state of a scientific field of current interest, by one or several authors. Such articles should summarize the development, the present situation and, where possible, future perspectives of a research area in which the author or authors have participated directly. The journal will also publish articles, short communications, notes and news items of international interest on historical, economic, social or political aspects of research in Catalonia and its areas of influence. HANDLING OF MANUSCRIPTS Manuscripts should be sent to the Editorial Office through the journal’s web site. Please read the Instructions to Authors on the back cover of each issue. PUBLISHER AND ADVERTISEMENTS All business correspondence, reprint requests, requests for missing issues, per­ mission from the Publisher to reproduce published material and information on advertisements should be addressed to the Publishing De­part­ment.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Volume 8 (2 issues). Subscription orders should be sent to the Publishing Departament. The subscription fee for two issues (including handling charges) is 75 Euros (VAT not included). Airmail charges are available on request. COPYRIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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This work including photographs and other illustrations, unless the contraty is indicated, is subjected to an Attribution—Non-Commercial—No Derivative Works 3.0 Creative Commons License, the full text of which can be consulted at http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work provided that the author is credited and reuse of the material is restricted to non-commercial purposes only and that no derivative works are created from the original material.

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ADDRESSES Publishing Department: Servei Editorial Institut d’Estudis Catalans Carrer del Carme, 47 E-08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, EU Tel. +34 932701620 Fax +34 932701180 Email: piec@iec.cat Editorial Office: Nicole Skinner, Managing Editor Contributions to Science Institut d’Estudis Catalans Carrer del Carme, 47 E-08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, EU Tel. +34 932701629 Fax +34 932701180 Email: contributions@iec.cat Printed in Catalonia

Cub. Contrib 8-1.indd 2

Authors are requested to register and submit manuscripts to the journal’s web site. The author is asked to upload the item and provide associated metadata or indexing information to facilitate online searching and for the journal’s own use. The author may also accompany the manuscript with supplementary files in the form of data sets, research instruments, or source texts that will enrich it while contributing to more open and robust forms of research and scholarship. The author can track the article through the editorial process – and participate in the copy-editing and prrofreading of articles accepted for publication – by logging in with the username and password provided.

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CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE 2012  Volume 8

Barcelona • Catalonia

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CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE Volume 8  Issue 1    June 2012

Barcelona • Catalonia

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CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE

Free online access via www.cat-science.cat http://revistes.iec.cat/contributions/

CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCIENCE The International Journal of the Biological Sciences Section and the Science and Tech­ nology Section of the Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC). http://www.iec.cat Contributions to Science is also available on­line at: www.cat-science.cat http://revistes.iec.cat/contributions/

Cover: The Museu Blau in the Fòrum Park. The Museu Blau (Blue Museum) hosts the new reference exhibition of the Natural His­ tory Museum of Barcelona. The building, de­ signed by Herzog & de Meuron for the Uni­ versal Forum of the Cultures (Barcelona 2004), has been adapted by the same archi­ tects for the new use. In this splendid site of culture and science, a space for knowledge and leisure comparable to the best muse­ ums in the world, a balance has been reached between the historical past of the Museum and the progress of science and technology of the 21st century. ISSN print edition: 1575-6343 ISSN electronic edition: 2013-410X Legal Deposit: B. 36385-1999

Contributions to Science is an open access journal that aims to promote the international dissemination of scientific research per­ formed in Catalonia, in any of its branches, both pure and applied. Contributions to Science also publishes research performed in countries with linguistic, cultural and historic links with Catalonia. It also publishes scien­ tific articles of international standing related to all such territories, especially considered as a whole. The journal also covers studies performed in all parts of the world by scien­ tists from such countries. Preference will be given to original articles in the form of critical reviews that deal with the present state of a scientific field of current in­ terest, by one or several authors. Such arti­ cles should summarize the development, the present situation and, where possible, future perspectives of a research area in which the author or authors have participated directly. The journal will also publish articles, short communications, notes and news items of international interest on historical, economic, social or political aspects of research in Catalonia and its areas of influence. HANDLING OF MANUSCRIPTS Manuscripts should be sent to the Editorial Office through the journal’s web site. Please read the Instructions to Authors on the back cover of each issue. PUBLISHER AND ADVERTISEMENTS All business correspondence, reprint re­ quests, requests for missing issues, per­ mission from the Publisher to reproduce published material and information on adver­ tisements should be addressed to the Pub­ lishing De­part­ment.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Volume 8 (2 issues). Subscription orders should be sent to the Publishing Departament. The subscription fee for two issues (including handling charges) is 75 Euros (VAT not included). Airmail charges are available on request. COPYRIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITIES

This work including photographs and other illustrations, unless the contraty is indicated, is subjected to an Attribution—Non-Com­ mercial—No Derivative Works 3.0 Creative Commons License, the full text of which can be consulted at http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work provided that the author is credited and reuse of the material is restricted to non-com­ mercial purposes only and that no derivative works are created from the original material. ADDRESSES Publishing Department: Servei Editorial Institut d’Estudis Catalans Carrer del Carme, 47 E-08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, EU Tel. +34 932701620 Fax +34 932701180 Email: piec@iec.cat Editorial Office: Nicole Skinner, Managing Editor Contributions to Science Institut d’Estudis Catalans Carrer del Carme, 47 E-08001 Barcelona, Catalonia, EU Tel. +34 932701629 Fax +34 932701180 Email: contributions@iec.cat Printed in Catalonia

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CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE Volume 8 Issue 1 June 2012

Editor-in-chief Ricard Guerrero Department of Microbiology University of Barcelona

Associate Editor Salvador Alegret

Founder Editor Salvador Reguant

Department of Chemistry Autonomous University of Barcelona

Department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology University of Barcelona

Editorial Board Joaquim Agulló, Technical University of Catalonia • Josep Amat, Technical University of Catalonia • Francesc Asensi, University of Valencia • Damià Barceló, Spanish National Research Council (Barcelona) • Carles Bas, Institute of Marine Sciences-CSIC (Barcelona) • Pilar Bayer, University of Barcelona • Xavier Bellés, Spanish National Research Council (Barcelona) • Jaume Bertranpetit, Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) • Eduard Bonet, ESADE (Barcelona) • Josep Carreras, University of Barcelona • Joaquim Casal, Technical University of Catalonia • Alícia Casals, Technical University of Catalonia • Oriol Casassas, Institute for Catalan Studies • Manuel Castellet, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Josep Castells, University of Barcelona • Jacint Corbella, University of Barcelona • Jordi Corominas, Technical University of Catalonia • Michel Delseny, University of Perpinyà (France) • Josep M. Domènech, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Mercè Durfort, University of Barcelona • Marta Estrada, Spanish National Research Council (Barcelona) • Gabriel Ferraté, Technical University of Catalonia • Ramon Folch, Institute for Catalan Studies • Màrius Foz, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Jesús A. García-Sevilla, University of the Balearic Islands • Lluís Garcia-Sevilla, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Joan Genescà, National Autonomous University of Mexico • Evarist Giné, University of Connecticut (USA) • Joan Girbau, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Pilar González-Duarte, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Francesc González-Sastre, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Joaquim Gosálbez, University of Barcelona • Albert Gras, University of Alacant • Gonzalo Halffter, National Polytechnic Institute (Mexico) • Lluís Jofre, Technical University of Catalonia • Joan Jofre, University of Barcelona • David Jou, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Ramon Lapiedra, University of Valencia • Àngel Llàcer, University Clinic Hospital of Valencia • Josep Enric Llebot, Auto­nomous University of Barcelona • Jordi Lleonart, Spanish National Research Council (Barcelona) • Xavier Llimona, University of Barcelona • Antoni Lloret, Institute for Catalan Studies • Abel Mariné, University of Barcelona • Federico Mayor-Zaragoza, Foundation for a Culture of Peace (Madrid) • Joan Massagué, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York (USA) • Adélio Machado, University of Porto (Portugal) • Gabriel Navarro, University of Valencia • Jaume Pagès, Technical University of Catalonia • Ramon Parés, University of Barcelona • Àngel Pellicer, New York University (USA) • Juli Peretó, University of Valencia • F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, Harvard University (USA) • Norberto Piccinini, Politecnico di Torino (Italy) • Jaume Porta, University of Lleida • Pere Puigdomènech, Spanish National Research Council (Barcelona) • Jorge-Óscar Rabassa, National University of La Plata (Argentina) • Manuel RibasPiera, Technical University of Catalonia • Pere Roca, University of Barcelona • Joan Rodés, University of Barcelona • Joandomènec Ros, University of Barcelona • Xavier Roselló, Technical University of Catalonia • Claude Roux, University of AixMarseille III (France) • Pere Santanach, University of Barcelona • Francesc Serra, Autonomous University of Barcelona • David Serrat, University of Barcelona • Boris P. Sobolev, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russia) • Carles Solà, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Joan Anton Solans, Technical University of Catalonia • Rolf Tarrach, University of Luxembourg • Jaume Terradas, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Antoni Torre, Obra Cultural, L’Alguer (Sardinia) • Jaume Truyols, University of Oviedo • Josep Vaquer, University of Barcelona • Josep Vigo, University of Barcelona • Miquel Vilardell, Autonomous University of Barcelona • Jordi Vives, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona

contents

Volume 8 Issue 1

June 2012

Giner S

9

foreword distinguished lectures Margalef Prize Lecture 2011

Castilla JC

11

Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era focus Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

Ros J

23

Rachel Carson, sensitive and perceptive interpreter of nature Celebration of Earth Day 2011

Molina T

33

The theme of Earth Day and the social perception of what is really happening to our planet

Suriñach E

41

Recent large earthquakes from a geophysical perspective

Simó R

47

Sea and sky. The marine biosphere as an agent of change

Bradley RS

53

What can we learn from past warm periods? The Nobel Prizes of 2011

Juan Otero M

61

Dendritic cells (DC) and their Toll-like receptors (TLR): Vital elements at the core of all individual immune responses. On the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 awarded to Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann, and Ralph M. Steinman

Massó E

69

The accelerated universe. On the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess research articles

Martínez-Francés V, Hahn E, Juan J, Vila R, Ríos S, Cañigueral S

77

Ethnobotanical study of the sages used in traditional Valencian medicine and as essential oil: Characterization of an endemic Salvia and its contribution to local development forum

Piqueras M, Guerrero R, Omedes A

85

The Museu Blau, a natural history museum for the 21st century

Murià JM

93

A transition from indigenous to European technology in colonial Mexico: The case of tequila historical corner

Asensi F

99

Fighting against smallpox around the world. The vaccination expeditions of Xavier de Balmis (1803–1806) and Josep Salvany (1803–1810) biography and bibliography

Llimona X

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107

Professor Creu Casas i Sicart (1913–2007)

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 9–10 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

Pròleg

Foreword

El terme humanitats data del Renaixement i prové de l’expres­ sió llatina studia humanitatis, per a indicar una educació digna d’una persona culta, amb uns estudis que incloïen gramàtica, retòrica, història i filosofia (que incloia moral i cosmologia) deri­ vades de l’estudi dels clàssics grecs i llatins. I no obstant això, avui en dia, la seva definició, la seva situació en el món de la cultura i la seva relació en un món de ciència i tecnologia no és tan òbvia. El grec, el llatí, el conreu de la història i, més endavant, l’ar­ queologia van constituir la base de les humanitats a partir del Renaixement, quan van tornar a entrar a Europa com una críti­ ca a l’anterior pensament escolàstic. La gran paradoxa del de­ senvolupament de les humanitats és que durant el Renaixe­ ment va ser un canal pel qual es va tornar a introduir la ciència i, per tant, en va fomentar el desenvolupament. En el temps de Giordano Bruno, parlar d’humanitats era in­ troduir també la matemàtica, l’àlgebra o una visió de l’evolució de la humanitat o de l’espècie. Hobbes, un extraordinari filòsof polític, va fer esforços enormes per a entrar al món de l’òptica i de la física. El gran filòsof Spinoza va escriure un tractat d’ètica que vindria a ser també un tractat de geometria moral. D’al­ tres, com Leibniz, inventor del càlcul diferencial, tenien el doble vessant de matemàtic i filòsof. Fins i tot al segle xviii, trobem exemples com Goethe, el més gran escriptor de la llengua ale­ manya, que va dedicar gran part dels últims anys de la seva vida a l’òptica i a la cromatologia, a crear una teoria general dels colors. Malgrat tot, a partir del segle xviii s’esdevé una important bi­ furcació: es produeix una separació gradual entre la ciència i les humanitats. Es dóna una seqüència històrica en el pas de la metafísica a la teologia, i, com a gran cisma de la Il·lustració, l’autonomia de la ciència natural. Com a conseqüència de l’èxit de la ciència natural es produeix una marginació de les huma­ nitats, a més de la creació d’una tercera branca, les ciències socials, que englobaven l’economia política, la sociologia, l’an­ tropologia i la psicologia social. Aquestes tres grans disciplines es van anar desenvolupant durant el segle xix, i la de les ciènci­ es ho va fer d’una manera especial, diferent, amb precisió, efi­ càcia i obtenció de resultats. Atès l’enorme prestigi de la cièn­ cia i la tecnologia, va ocórrer un esforç fals, al meu entendre, de les ciències socials per esdevenir massa positivistes quan, en realitat, les troballes més interessants de les ciències socials no sempre són reduibles a les naturals. Es van intentar enunciar les grans lleis de la història com si fossin el mateix que les lleis de la gravitació universal. Es va in­ tentar matematitzar l’economia i la sociologia. Alguns acadè­ mics ho van fer amb gran èxit, com Vilfredo Pareto, enginyer industrial de la Universitat de Torí, que va introduir la sociologia matemàtica, o els treballs sobre els cicles econòmics de Wa­ ssily Leontief durant la primera meitat del segle xx. Hi ha teories científiques molt serioses sobre la història de la humanitat, so­ bre els ritmes del capitalisme, sobre la relació entre les creen­

The expression ‘humanities’ dates from the Renaissance and is derived from the Latin humanitas studia, to indicate the edu­ cation befitting a refined and cultivated person, with studies that included grammar, rhetoric, history, and philosophy de­ rived from the study of Greek and Latin classics. Yet today, the definition of ‘humanities,’ its position in the sphere of culture, and its relationship to a world currently dominated by science and technology is no longer so clear. Greek, Latin, history, and, later on, archeology, formed the basis of the humanities at the beginning of the Renaissance, when they re-entered Europe as criticism to the previous scho­ lastic thought. The great paradox of the humanities is that their development in the Renaissance opened the door that allowed for the re-introduction, and thus the great development, of sci­ ence. At the time of Giordano Bruno, studying the humanities meant discussing mathematics, algebra, and a vision of human evolution as the evolution of our species. Hobbes, an extraordi­ nary political philosopher, made tremendous efforts to enter the world of optics and physics. The great philosopher Spinoza wrote a treatise on ethics that could also be considered a trea­ tise of moral geometry. Others, like Leibniz, one of the modern founders of differential calculus, assumed the dual role of mathematician and philosopher. Even in the 18th century, we find examples, such as Goethe, the greatest German writer, who dedicated a great part of the last years of his life to optics and chromatics, to develop a general theory of colors. Nevertheless, the 18th century marked the beginning of a very important bifurcation: the gradual separation of sciences and the humanities. There is a historical sequence in the transi­ tion from metaphysics to theology and, as the great schism of the Enlightenment, the autonomy of the natural sciences. As the result of natural sciences’ success, the humanities were marginalized, while a third branch, the social sciences, which encompassed political economy, sociology, anthropology, and social psychology, was created. These three disciplines devel­ oped during the 19th century, but the development of science was unique, emphasizing accuracy, efficiency, and results. Moreover, given the enormous prestige attained by science and technology, there was a false effort—in my view—by the social sciences in its attempts at positivism, when in fact the most interesting findings of the social sciences are not always quantifiable. There were attempts to articulate the great laws of history as if this was the same as stating the laws of universal gravita­ tion. In the mathematization of economics and sociology, some efforts met with great success, such as those of Vilfredo Pare­ to, an industrial engineer from the University of Turin, who intro­ duced mathematical sociology, and Wassily Leontief, with his work on economic cycles during the first half of the 20th cen­ tury. There are serious scientific theories about the history of mankind, the rhythms of capitalism, the relationship between

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10   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

ces religioses i la prosperitat econòmica o de la conducta de les classes mitjanes i la democràcia. Són fefaents, són sugge­ rents, són magnífiques, però no sempre són matematitzables. La immensa diferència és que mentre l’essència de la cièn­ cia és l’anàlisi, l’essència de les humanitats és una cosa que la ciència no fa: jutjar. La missió de les humanitats avui dia conti­ nua sent la mateixa que la que tenien en els segles xvii, xviii i xix: ser crítiques amb el món, interpretar i jutjar els éssers hu­ mans. Deia Kant que «pensar és jutjar». L’avenç científic és po­ derosíssim, la ciència constata l’estructura de la realitat, és precisa i eficaç. Però portem cent cinquanta anys en què la fu­ turologia científica s’ha equivocat sovint per la senzilla raó que no sabem per on anirà la innovació —principal motor de la hu­ manitat en aquests moments de la història— ni quines en se­ ran les conseqüències. No podem, doncs, conèixer l’esdeve­ nidor tot i que és per mitjà de la ciència que podrem afrontar els problemes que actualment afecten la humanitat. No obs­ tant això, ho haurem de fer mitjançant una decisió crítica que només vindrà de les humanitats. Prenguem en compte tres ca­ sos de la creixent perillositat del món: 1. L’explosió demogràfica continua el seu curs. Tot i que en molts països l’acceleració comença a disminuir, no es corregeix al ritme necessari. Anem malament. 2. La destrucció ambiental continua el seu camí i els intents d’arranjament no són satisfactoris ni suficients. 3. La  irracionalitat induïda, en la qual l’ésser humà incre­ menta i optimitza la producció, però es tracta sovint tam­ bé de la producció de desastres. Estem creant doncs masses crítiques de situacions intolera­ bles com el creixement sense fre de les ciutats i una expansió de la misèria.  Hem de reflexionar sobre aquestes situacions humanísticament, perquè cal interpretar, criticar i jutjar, coses que, com ja s’ha dit, la ciència no fa, per definició. Per a rescatar les humanitats de la seva present crisi d’estar arrecerades davant l’explosió de la ciència espectacular, les hem d’intentar relacionar amb els grans problemes actuals que ens duran al desastre si no els esmenem amb energia. Cal que la filosofia moral entri en les facultats acadèmiques per la porta gran convencent els alumnes que el tarannà analític i el combat contra la desraó pertanyen a les humanitats. Només el pensa­ ment humanista, crític, filosòfic i ètic ens permetrà comprendre i actuar sobre el món contemporani. I recordar que, més enllà de la ciència, sempre és necessària la interpretació de la condi­ ció humana.  Perquè si la ciència ens dóna coneixement, les humanitats ens donen saviesa. Salvador Giner President, Institut d’Estudis Catalans

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religious beliefs and economic prosperity, and the conduct of the middle classes and the nature of democracy. They are reli­ able, suggestive, and can be considered as great, but mathe­ matics and equations cannot always be included. The great difference is that while the essence of science is analysis, the essence of the humanities is something that sci­ ence does not do: judgment. Scientific progress is very power­ ful and science confirms the structure of reality, accurately and effectively. And it is through science that we can address many of the problems currently affecting humanity. But we should do it through critical decision-making that will come from the hu­ manities. The mission of the humanities today remains the same as in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries: to be critical of the world and to judge human beings. Kant said “To think is to judge.” During the past 150 years, scientific futurology has of­ ten been wrong simply because we do not know which path innovation—the driving force of humanity at this time in histo­ ry—will take, or what its consequences. Thus, we cannot know the future. Let us consider three cases of increasing dangers in our world: 1. The population explosion continues its course: Although in many countries, it is beginning to decelerate, this de­ celeration is not happening quickly enough. 2. Environmental destruction continues its pace and the so­ lutions proposed are not satisfactory or sufficient. 3. Induced irrationality, the way in which we increase and optimize production, may also involve the production of disasters. We are thus creating a critical mass of intolerable situations such as an unbounded urban growth and the expansion of poverty. We must reflect on these situations from a humanistic point of view, i.e., interpreting, criticizing, and judging, things that science does not do, at least by definition. To rescue the humanities from their present crisis of being cornered by the spectacular explosion of science, we must try to relate them to the major problems that affect society today and which will inevitably lead to disaster if not amended. Moral philosophy should make a grand entrance in academic facul­ ties, by convincing students that the analytical spirit and the battle against unreason belong to the humanities. Only human­ ist, critical, philosophical, and ethical thought will allow us to understand and act on the contemporary world.  We should keep in mind that beyond science, it is also always necessary to interpret the human condition. For if science gives us knowl­ edge, the humanities give us wisdom. Salvador Giner President, Institute for Catalan Studies

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 11–21 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.129   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

distinguished lectures

Margalef Prize Lecture 2011

Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era* Juan Carlos Castilla Departamento de Ecología, Centro Interdisciplinario de Cambio Global y Núcleo Milenio de Conservación Marina, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago

Resum. La conservació és un concepte «esmunyedís» que es pot interpretar de moltes maneres. Aquest assaig revisa alguns enfocaments històrics de la conservació i les seves romànti­ ques (fins i tot, patriòtiques) connotacions equitatives inicials equitables amb la preservació, segons proposaren els filòsofs i els naturalistes nord-americans del segle xviii. També presenta la perspectiva oposada, defensada en la mateixa època pels filòsofs europeus, consistent a reconèixer que el món real no és el mateix per a tota l’eternitat, sinó que és dinàmic i produc­ te de la societat, la indústria i l’Estat. En el context del segle xxi, es tracten els fonaments científics, socials i ètics de l’era antro­ pocènica i els objectius i els nivells espacials de la conservació, com també les connexions entre la conservació, la sostenibili­ tat i l’equitat econòmica. L’assaig explora dues opcions per a fer front a la conservació de la natura a l’Antropocè. En primer lloc, el punt de vista sostingut pel moviment de l’«ecologia pro­ funda», i en segon, el representat pel Projecte Millennium d’Avaluació dels Ecosistemes. Hi ha una visió personal de prio­ ritats sobre què cal conservar, i on i com fer-ho. Es tracten as­ pectes com la sostenibilitat ecològica i social i la conservació dels recursos marins a llarg termini a Xile considerant-los com a exemple d’un enfocament modern i comprensiu de conser­ vació. Finalment, l’assaig se centra en la manera com el pro­ fessor Ramon Margalef (1993) va visualitzar la complexa inte­ racció entre els éssers humans i la natura i com els elements centrals d’aquest assaig continuen estant en consonància amb els seus punts de vista. Paraules clau: conservació · era antropocènica · sistemes socioecològics · ètica ambiental · sostenibilitat · governança · gestió · Xile · pesca · Margalef

Summary. Conservation is a ‘slippery’ concept that can be interpreted in many different ways. This essay reviews historical approaches to conservation and its romantic (even patriotic), initially equitable connotation of preservation, as proposed by 18th century North American philosophers and naturalists. The opposing view is presented as well, i.e., that the real world is not the same for eternity but dynamic, and the product of the interaction of society, industry and the state, as proposed by European philosophers around the same time. In the context of the Anthropocene era of the 21st century and based on scien­ tific, societal and ethical grounds, the aims and spatial scales of conservation are discussed, as are the connections between conservation, sustainability, and economic equity. Two options to deal with the conservation of nature in the Anthropocene are explored herein. First, the view held by the ‘deep ecology’ movement, and second, that represented by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment project. A personal view on the priori­ ties of what, where, and how to conserve is presented. The long-term social-ecological sustainability and conservation of coastal marine resources in Chile is discussed as an example of a modern and comprehensive approach to conservation. Fi­ nally, this essay calls attention to Professor Ramon Margalef (1993), specifically, his visualization of the complex interplay among humans and nature, which is very much in line with the views of the author. Keywords: conservation ∙ Anthropocene era ∙ socialecological systems ∙ environmental ethics ∙ sustainability ∙ governance ∙ management ∙ Chile ∙ fishery ∙ Margalef

* Based on the lecture given by the author at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona, on 26 October 2011. Juan Carlos Castilla was the recipient of the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology 2011. Correspondence: J.C. Castilla, Departamento de Ecología y Centro Interdisciplinario de Cambio Global, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile. Tel. +56-23542651. Fax+56-23542621. E-mail: jcastilla@bio.puc.cl

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Introduction Over the course of two centuries, ‘conservation’ has been in­ terpreted in so many different ways that nowadays it can even represent opposing views. For example, in the 1800s and early 1900s, environmental thinkers in North America understood conservation to mean ‘preservation.’ Thus, to conserve ‘wil­ derness’ was seen as the most important mechanism to pre­ serve the world. Wilderness was the final refuge to escape from modern life, and a natural cathedral in which to experience God. Wilderness was viewed as a moral, spiritual, inspirational, and even patriotic reservoir [30,48,61,76,93]. In the 19th cen­ tury, the world’s wilderness faced serious threats: accelerated human development, advanced urbanization at a pace previ­ ously unknown, and new and aggressive technologies. Human societies underwent revolutionary and rapid changes, particu­ larly in the northern hemisphere. To confront the human inva­ sion of wilderness, the preservationist movement developed the flagship idea of creating ‘parks devoid of people’ or ‘parks away from people’ as means to protect it (see comments on the impacts of this conservation strategy and the displacement of indigenous populations in [48]). At that time, ecology had not really developed as a science; hence, the implementation of protected areas was not scientifically based. Aldo Leopold [52] was one of the first to incorporate the 19th and early 20th cen­ tury preservationist movement into an ethical approach, by seeking to strengthen the relationship between humans and nature and by preaching the value of nature in itself. Although seldom mentioned (but see Riechmann [76]), in Europe, Marx and Engels [58] held ideas totally opposite to the prevailing ones about nature and society: “the sensible world… is not for eternity and always the same, but is the product of industry, the state and society. Today the nature that proceed­ ed human history does not exist anywhere”. This analytical and pragmatic view was completely unethical to the more religious/ romantic view of nature and human society held by North American romantics such as Emerson, Thoreau, Muir, and Leopold. Marx and Engels did not seek to provide a recipe of how to solve socio-environmental problems, but rather deline­ ated a framework for and a diagnosis of the challenges human activity can impose on the environment. In their view, the chal­ lenge was to motivate society, government, and industry (mar­ kets) to confront the ever-changing socio-ecological realms. The European industrial revolution of the 19th century, fol­ lowed by the intense economic activity after World War II, a period of accelerated industrial developments, and the discov­ ery and use of powerful ways to manipulate (directly or indi­ rectly) the environment substantially changed Planet Earth, with marked impacts on its biophysical systems. Thus, it has been argued that the Holocene era (characterized by a warmer and more stable climate than that of the Pleistocene era) there­ by ended and a new era emerged: the Anthopocene [88,89], the beginning of which coincided with the initial phases of the industrial revolution (ca. 1800) [25,91,97]. In the Anthropocene, the human footprint and the signs of socio-environmental fa­ tigue are vividly obvious. Indeed, concern has been raised that we have already surpassed several socio-ecological thresh­

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Castilla

olds, and about the speed at which we are reaching numerous ‘points of no return’ [74]. Clearly, the last 200 years of eco­ nomic development, technical, and social discoveries, and previously unimaginable innovations have vastly improved hu­ man health and well-being. Nonetheless, one billion people (1/7 of the total population) continues to live under extreme poverty, defined as earnings of less than 2.5 USD per day. In this context, we must to ask ourselves: What does ‘conserva­ tion’ mean in the Anthropocene era? This essay addresses this question from different angles. First, it explores the definition and meaning of conservation and its relation to environmental sustainability and equity. Second, it examines some of the main options that have been proposed to tackle modern conservation problems. Third, the autor presents his own view on the what, where, and how of conser­ vation, highlighting the need for better governance approach­ es. Finally, a practical approach to conservation and sustaina­ bility is offered, including a description of the Chilean experience in the management and conservation of common-pool coastal marine resources.

Conservation A matter of definition. In line with the 19th century North American view of nature, in specialized dictionaries such as that of Allaby [1], the aim of preservationist approaches is de­ fined as to “maintain the environment and resources quality and balances among the species in a particular area.” Accord­ ing to other preservationist definitions the aim of conservation is to maintain natural systems in ‘natural equilibrium’ [6,52], in ‘natural homeostasis’ [79], or under an adequate ‘health condi­ tion.’ Nevertheless, as argued by many authors [85–87], we do not have a holistic ecological theory supporting the idea that natural biological systems tend towards homeostasis, single equilibrium points, fixed predicted balances, or stable environ­ mental health states. On the contrary, nowadays there is sub­ stantial experimental ecological evidence showing that the Earth’s diverse terrestrial, freshwater, and marine communi­ ties/systems show highly varied spatial and temporal dynamics and tend to move among multiple stable points ([83] and refer­ ences therein). Moreover, ‘resilience’ [32,39,83,89] has emerged as a key concept in the analysis of the spatial and temporal dynamics of socio-ecological systems. In essence, resilience can be understood as the capacity of a system (individual, community, city, economy) to deal with change and to continue to develop. Thus, in my view, in the Anthropocene era, and particularly in the 21st century, the definition of conservation has to include: (a) the rational management of biophysical sys­ tems in the biosphere, within given social and economical con­ strains; (b) the production of ecosystem services for human well-being, without the depletion of the natural diversity of those ecosystems; and (c) an acknowledgement of the natu­ rally dynamic character of these systems within resilience thresholds. Even though this definition still raises the critical question of what is meant by ‘rational management,’ it con­

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Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era

trasts with the preservationist definition of conservation, in which no references are explicitly made to the natural dynam­ ics and resilience of socio-ecological systems, nor to human requirements or socio-economic constraints. The scale and aims of conservation, the roles of NGOs, sustainability, and equity. The scale at which conservation is pursued and its specific aims are critical issues in research pro­ grams and prioritization schemes. At a national level, there is always room for society to influence local legislation, scales, and mechanisms to be used in the implementation of conser­ vation measures, and, above all, in conservation adaptive strat­ egies. Generally speaking, national legislation determines how a particular society defines conservation, selects conservation objectives, and identifies the tools to be used to fulfill them. There are also international agreements establishing certain conservation objectives (e.g., the Ramsar Wetland Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity). From this point of view, the definition of conservation (or the context in which the word is used) is critical. For instance, it would be substantially differ­ ent if a country’s legislation defined conservation exclusively in the terms set out in the Convention on Biological Diversity vs. the rational management of socio-ecological systems centered on ecosystem services for human well-being. At a regional or global scale, private actors also influence conservation schemes in accordance with their own definitions of conservation. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in particular have specific aims and strategies and diverse con­ servation targets. For example, the declared mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS, one of the oldest of such organizations, 1895) is to save wildlife and wild places across the globe using science-based approaches. The WCS is com­ mitted to protect 25 % of the world’s diversity. Education is seen as an important tool in this endeavor, as is the establish­ ment of urban wildlife parks. The goals of the Nature Conserv­ ancy (1951) include conservation of the lands and waters on which all life depends. Its approaches include the acquisition of lands, partnerships with corporations, and community-based management. The World Wildlife Foundation (1961) seeks to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. It specifies three main objectives: saving endangered species, protecting endangered habitats, and addressing global threats such as toxic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. In these three examples, endangered species and habitats, wilderness, and biodiversity protection/conservation and edu­ cation are the main aims of conservation. Typically, such or­ ganizations adopt the conservation and protection of an en­ dangered flagship species (panda, Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants, orangutan, whales, sharks, corals, etc., and habi­ tats they inhabit) as a central, but not exclusive, objective. Moreover, other international, intergovernmental organiza­ tions, such as the World Bank [47] and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), focus, in one way or an­ other, on conservation and development. The IUCN is one of the oldest of these organizations (established in 1948) and it offers a network of international forums for governments, NGOs, scientists, and local communities aimed at finding

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‘pragmatic solutions’ for conservation and development. The conservation of biodiversity is central to the IUCN’s mission; that is, conservation and sustainability at both the local and the global level. The IUCN builds on its own strengths in the sci­ ences, which form the basis of actions intended to influence those of governments. This is a short summary of the many angles from which con­ servation can be seen, interpreted, and prioritized. There are private, governmental, intergovernmental regional, internation­ al, as well as country- and local-level forms of conservation. Certainly, over the past two centuries there has been an evolu­ tion in the meaning, interpretation, and use of the concept of conservation; although the preservation of wildlife has been re­ tained throughout, largely based on its public appeal. Howev­ er, Raup [75] advised caution in the glorification of the ‘wilder is better’ paradigm [46]. Undoubtedly, during the Anthropocene era radical changes have affected Planet Earth: urbanization and mega-cities, the serious problem of global climatic change, an increase in the size of the human population, etc. These problems and their consequences will be with us for centuries to come. The Earth’s population is past 7 billion inhabitants, poverty remains an enormous problem, the gap between ‘rich and poor’ has dramatically increased, and most of the Planet’s ecosystem services have seriously deteriorated [59]. Latin America is case in point. It is one of the faster-growing developing regions of the world, where poverty has been substantially reduced in the past 20 years; nevertheless, in 2010, 32 % of the Latin Ameri­ can population still lived in conditions of poverty and 13 % in extreme poverty with almost 250 million people currently living around or below the poverty line. In today’s world, this is inex­ cusable. Clearly, in Latin America efforts to relieve poverty as­ sume priority as there is little hope for land and water conserva­ tion unless it is linked to human well-being. The challenge in Latin America, as elsewhere, is how to soundly combine devel­ opment with the sustainable conservation of socio-ecological systems. In 1992, the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro focused on conservation, sustainability, and poverty alleviation as the main targets for the next 20 years. Subsequent evaluations have shown that despite large increases in private, governmental, intergovernmental investments, and the implementation of nu­ merous conservation/development strategies and conserva­ tion efforts in the past 20 years, conservation is failing ([84] and references therein). However, in the next Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012, the sustainability of the Earth, conservation targets, and poverty alleviation will be stressed once again, with no reason to believe that there will be any more success in the next than in the preceding 20 years. One of the mistakes is to continue overwhelmingly focusing on poverty alleviation, while failing to deal with the ever increasing wealth gaps in our societies. As Wilkinson and Pickett [95] pointed out: social problems, health, happiness, violence, illiteracy, well-being, a fairer future, and most probably also environmental sustainability, are deter­ mined not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is. Ac­ cordingly, the concept of conservation must be intrinsically linked to sustainable development and human well-being and

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applied within the triad of scientific, societal, and ethical grounds. This is the real challenge for the Anthropocene era; however, world leaders able to meet it are nowhere to be found.

Exploring the options during the later phases of the Anthropocene era A way out: Deep ecology. Arne Naess [64], in 1973, at a conference in Romania, introduced the concept of ‘deep ecol­ ogy.’ His central argument was that the main reaction of envi­ ronmental sciences to the problems following World War II was, at best, remedial, aimed only at controlling the symptoms through the use of technology, especially with respect to the control of pollution and the efficient exploitation of natural re­ sources. He characterized this scientific approach as ‘shallow ecology.’ According to Naess, efforts to address the social and cultural aspects underlying environmental problems had failed, and hence the profound causes of environmental degradation were not being tackled. To overcome this failure, he proposed a deep ecology approach, i.e., one not limited to focusing on the symptoms of environmental problems but which also ex­ amined the underlying socio-cultural causes of the environ­ mental crisis. His solution was not a simple proposition, since its framework criticized the environmental/scientific and philo­ sophical/metaphysical values underlying political systems, as well as the life styles and, above all, the ethical values of post World War II industrial society. Deep ecology was based on seven central principles: rejected anthropocentric thought, called on biospherical egalitarianism and environmental symbi­ osis, presented an anti-class posture, included fighting against pollution and resource depletion, and promoted local autono­ my and decentralization. In Naess’ view, these principles should guide a new life style. While the principles are rather general they have, nevertheless, inspired the deep ecology movements and the actions of some governments [80]. How­ ever, the Anthropocene era norms of life as set out by Naess are much easier to implement and more accessible in socioeconomically developed societies than in developing ones; in­ cluding those with substantial portions of the population living close to or below the poverty line. The poor are undoubtedly more dependent on ecosystems services (and biodiversity), have less freedom with respect to their ability to adopt a deep ecology life style, and are more vulnerable to the consequenc­ es of environmental degradation. Yet, many of Naess’ principles were fully practiced in preAnthropocene traditional cultures, in which, for instance, the satisfaction, pleasure, and joy of being, as humans, an integral part of nature formed part of the vision of the cosmos ex­ pressed by these cultures and was essential in their local eco­ logical knowledge. By contrast, particularly in the Occident, the Anthropocene era has been largely marked by a loss of our primordial vision. But, does this mean that we have to go far back in our histories to sustain, protect, and conserve so­ cio-ecological systems, for ourselves and for future genera­ tions?

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Another way out: The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Project and the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society. In the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) project [59], alternative or complementary ways to approach conservation and sustainability on Earth were suggested. This project [60] is an outgrowth of a program that was implement­ ed following the 2000+5 World Summit on Sustainable Devel­ opment (WSSD, Geneva) in order to fulfill the terms of the Unit­ ed Nations Millennium Development Plan. The project was launched by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June 2001. More than 1200 scientists, from numerous branches of knowledge and 100 different nations, participated in the 4-year project. The WSSD called for “... improve[d] policy and decisionmaking at all levels through, inter alia, improved collaboration between natural and social scientists, and between scientists and policy makers, including through urgent actions at all levels to: (a) increase the use of scientific knowledge and technology, and increase the beneficial use or local and indigenous knowl­ edge in a manner respectful of the holders of that knowledge and consistent with national law; (b) make greater use of (envi­ ronmental) integrated scientific assessment, risk assessments and interdisciplinary and intersected approaches…”. In the fi­ nal analysis, societies need to be enabled to rationally manage their biological resources and their ecosystems, using the re­ sources at hand. In summary, the objectives were to elucidate ways and mechanisms by which sustainability, conservation, and the management of socio-ecological systems could be im­ proved throughout the world. MA 2003 [59] provided a framework for decision-makers that had as its central, driving concept the achievement of human well-being. Interestingly, the goal of the MA was to amalgamate two extreme ethical environmental positions: anthropocentrism (nature for people) and biocentrism (nature for nature’s sake). Although in the philosophical approach of the MA human wellbeing is at the center of the model, the intrinsic value of nature is also recognized as is the awareness in the conservation and sustainability of socio-ecological systems, and efforts that need to be be made to balance the two, since nature and human well-being can be seen to be in a permanent state of interaction. In spite of the lack of robust models and a theoretical basis to link diversity, ecosystem dynamics, ecosystem services, re­ silience, and above all the underlying connections with human well-being, the MA used the concept of ‘ecosystem services and human well-being’ to carry out a multi-disciplinary analysis of environmental and sustainability assessments. An ecosys­ tem is a biophysical dynamic complex of plant, animal, and mi­ crobial communities that interact with the nonliving environ­ ment as a functional unit. Ecosystems provide numerous services to people: provisioning services (fish, water, fuel, re­ sources), regulating services (air quality, erosion control, water purification), cultural services (spiritual enrichment, reflection recreation, aesthetic experiences), and supporting services (soil formation, primary production, oxygen production) [60]. Ecosystem services can be used as proxies to understand and support practical conservation measures as well as sustaina­ bility and economic development [92]. They provide practical

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tools to approach the natural capital assets connected with life-supporting services and human well-being [16,26,34,40]. Most of the ideas discussed above were synthesized and further developed, in a wider sustainability dimension, by the MA project [9,65]. Recently the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) [10] launched an initiative de­ signed to build on the goals of the MA, with the guiding vision of “a world where human actions have been transformed to­ wards stewardship of social-ecological systems for global sus­ tainability.” Once again, the critical concept here is that eco­ system services are not generated by natural (human-less) ecosystems in themselves but instead by socio-ecological sys­ tems functioning at local to global scales [24]. Interestingly, a comprehensive exercise (2009–2011) was carried out by the UK regarding the state of its natural environments and ways to estimate national wealth, in terms of the benefits nature pro­ vides to society and to continuing prosperity, based on an eco­ system services approximation [94] . Therefore, following the leadership of the MA and PECS, the 21st century definition of conservation should be linked with the utilitarian tool of ecosystem services (see objections to this view in Odling-Smee [66]) and used for the identification and evaluation of the dynamics of socio-ecological systems and the interactions, feedback, and trends therein. This will allow conservation and environmental sustainability objectives to be jointly approached via the characterization, determination, and evaluation of ecosystems services, for the long-term sustaina­ bility and improvement of human well-being in a particular area of the environment and considering the resilience of socio-eco­ logical systems [54]. Indeed, the sustainability of these systems must go hand in hand with development, and conservation. Under the umbrella of an Anthropocene era, Earth conser­ vation approaches will need to be based more than ever on the triad of ecological, societal, and ethical variables. In this setting, the private sector must assume a key role, as new visions and approaches are needed. Sanderson [82] proposed new con­ servation approaches based on global alliances, the use of novel political strategies, and economic development. As a case in point, the new, privately owned preserve Karukinka (680,000 acres) in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, provides an example of the comprehensive implementation of this approach, in which the WCS has discretion (in accordance with the Chilean government) to manage Karukinka accordingly [2]. Several papers and reviews have been written since the MA ended [8,10,46,67,70,73]. These have stressed the need to apply some of the tools developed in the MA initiative, such as accounting and market approaches [35,81], but above all high­ lighted the need for progress by focusing on a comprehensive trans- and interdisciplinary understanding of complex socioecological systems and the critical role of resilience [7,83,89].

Conservation priorities and a personal view of the priorities of conservation: What, where and how? In the conservation arena, the questions of what, where, and how are critical, but their possible answers often turn out to be

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highly polarizing and controversial. Once again, this is due to the fact that ‘conservation’ is an operational concept rooted in multiple (environmental ethical, scientific, and societal) ap­ proaches [85]. For instance, at global scales, biodiversity con­ servation priority templates have been identified within the framework of irreplaceability, prioritizing either low or high spe­ cies vulnerability (reactive or pro-active approaches, respec­ tively) [4)]. In addition, biodiversity conservation strategies and priorities based on the idea of biodiversity ‘hotspots’ [62] or on biogeographic spatial units (‘ecoregions’) have been proposed. The two approaches have had only limited successes and have generated many controversies [4,5,36,53,66]. Furthermore, it must be pointed out that global conservation approaches refer mostly to terrestrial systems, while aquatic systems figure very poorly [68,78]. There is also a complementary need to identify conservation targets at site-specific scales [77] and to include, both at the land and seascape scale, elements of conservation connectivity targeting the spatial structure of ecosystems. In the following, I explore two extreme views for conserva­ tion priorities and what, where, and how to conserve. At one extreme is the popular view that the main answer to these questions must focus on highly charismatic and culturally im­ portant species in danger of extinction (and their respective habitats), or on species whose populations have been dramati­ cally reduced due to direct or indirect human interventions (panda, elephants, sharks, corals, birds, tigers, great apes, whales, etc.; in many cases the lists suspiciously contain mam­ mals that are very appealing to humans). In this view, the priori­ ties and objectives of conservation are to recuperate or to stop the deterioration of these populations and to preserve them for present and future generations. It recognizes that the substitu­ tion of these species is not possible and in several countries legislation has acknowledged their intrinsic value. In these cas­ es, a recurrently used conservation tool is the establishment of parks or reserves. Many NGOs have adopted these approach­ es and progress has been made, particularly in cases in which conservation has been scientifically based. Nonetheless, the need for the injection of large amounts of money cannot be ig­ nored [66]. Certainly, this is a necessary aspect of nature con­ servation, but the conservation of flagship species only partially answers the original questions. In fact, it is unlikely that the conservation of charismatic species is the most urgent and critical conservation challenge to be tackled nowadays. At the other extreme, the view is that the aim of conservation is the conservation of complete ecosystems as well as ecologi­ cal services for human well-being. This view is subject to differ­ ent interpretations, most typically ‘nature–human-less’ ecosys­ tems, which simply do not exist, and socio-ecological systems, which have been widely explored in the past 10 years [59,94]. Followers of this approach argue that natural ecosystems pro­ vide a variety of goods and important services to humanity that are of social and economic value to its well-being, but many of these services are being degraded. According to MA 2005 [60], 60 % of ecological services on the Planet are already de­ graded. Therefore, it is a matter of urgency and priority to focus on these services and the whole systems that deliver them. This is a very challenging conservation road map for the future.

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16   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

Conservation and social-ecological systems. Governance, sustainability, and the management of socio-ecological systems Environmental sustainability and/or the conservation of socioecological systems needs to be framed, locally or globally with­ in societal schemes of governance [49]; that is, at the local or international scale, where the established arrangements take on a prominent role in the governability scheme. This applies not only to state, government, regional, international, and glo­ bal organizations but also to markets, education, civil society, institutions, and media [41,50]. There are a handful of success­ ful examples in connection with the protection of resources and environments, based on agreed global/international gov­ ernance schemes; for instance, in the regulation of the use of chlorine and the protection of the ozone layer as stated in the Montreal Protocol. But not all global/international governance is effective. As an example, global governance schemes for the sustainability, conservation, and rational exploitation of the oceans’ renewable resources have been impossible to imple­ ment at a global scale [3,63,69,71,72,96]. In effect, the world fishery crisis has shown that in most places of the world governance schemes for local and global fishery have either failed or are highly inadequate [27,28]. Never­theless, in coastal fishery there are a handful of success examples in which the sound governance of socio-ecological systems has led to the sustainability and conservation of coast­ al marine resources in indigenous/local communities in which there is still a ‘sea-going-culture,’ including a deeply rooted sea tenure and self-governing ethical values in the respective soci­ eties [17,21,22,27,31,42–44]. Can governance schemes, conservation, and the rational use of resources and ecosystem services be approached not only at local scale, for example in small-traditional sea-going societies, but also at a larger scale, for instance at country scale? Are there examples of the right combination of science, local knowledge, and political will that together result in more rational governance ecosystem schemes and lead to adequate socio-ecological fishery management, resource sustainability, and conservation outcomes?

A case study. Socio-ecological conservation and the sustainability of coastal marine resources in Chile: the tragedy of the commons and positive externalities In 1968, Hardin [38] published a seminal paper titled “The tragedy of the commons,” highlighting two major human fac­ tors driving environmental changes and altering ecosystem resilience. The first was the constantly increasing demand for natural resources and environmental services, linked with the exponential growth of the human population. The second was the risk of overexploitation of natural resources under com­ mon pool property. Hardin’s article described the situation that arises when common pool resources must be shared for which property rights do not exist or are very limited; for ex­

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 16

Castilla

ample, sea resources, air, biodiversity, and, in some coun­ tries, fresh water. Hardin [38] suggested that human societies were doomed to eventually overexploit common pool re­ sources unless two coercive alternatives for management and sustainability were imposed: (a) the institutionalization of pri­ vate property on common pool resources, (b) control on these resources via top-down centralization by the government. Hardin’s article has been widely criticized due to the oversim­ plification represented by his claims that only two state-estab­ lished institutional arrangements can solve the commons di­ lemma: centralized government tools and private property ([29] and see also the series of articles on common pool re­ sources in Science 2003, 302:1906-1929), while obviously, others are likely to be available. Chile, at the end of 1980, faced serious socio-ecological problems regarding its fisheries derived from the tragedy of the commons. Common pool coastal marine resources (the first 5 miles offshore) had been exploited for more than four decades under an open access fishery regime. This, in conjunction with the adoption of neoliberal policies, trade liberalization, privati­ zation, and incentives for exporting renewable resources, un­ der a dictatorial regime [11,34], resulted in the severe overex­ ploitation of coastal marine resources [12–15,18). Furthermore, conflicts had arisen regarding spatial coastal interferences oc­ curring among and between small-scale artisan and industrial fleets. The sustainability and conservation of coastal marine re­ sources in Chile was tackled using new legislation, and scien­ tific and local knowledge. The Fishery and Aquaculture Law (FAL Nº. 18.892, 1991) included the implementation of previ­ ously unthinkable fishery management and conservation tools, many of which were designed to solve the tragedy of the com­ mons. Of major importance to coastal marine resources was the implementation of sea zoning and the allocation to fishery fleets and/or to local communities exclusive-access fishing rights. For instance, the FAL decreed three major sea-zoning schemes along Chilean maritime territories: (a) artisan exclusive zones (AEZ), comprising zones of 5 nautical miles and extend­ ing along ~2500 km of the coast line and around oceanic is­ lands, covering approximately 30,000 km2, for the exclusive use of the artisan small-scale fleet. Exclusive rights to fish were allocated for all species (pelagic, benthic [18]); (b) inside the AEZ, in inshore shallow waters, the FAL decreed exclusive ter­ ritorial use rights for fisheries (TURFs) for benthic resources, accessible exclusively by organized small-scale fisher commu­ nities. These management and exploitation areas for benthic resources (MEABRs) function under a co-management scheme [12,17–20,23,27,34]; (c) finally, the FAL also mandat­ ed the creation of restricted fishery zones to protect reproduc­ tive stocks (genetic reserves), areas for re-stocking, and ma­ rine parks to preserve ecological units of scientific interest. Recently, two papers [18,34] analyzed the results of this fishery governance, administration, and conservation polices implemented in Chile over the past 20 years. Both found that the 1991 Chilean fishery governance reforms stabilized many fishery landings (mainly those of benthic resources), with a ma­ jor reduction of the industrial fleet, a possible slow-down in the

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Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era

‘olympic race for fish,’ and above all improved bottom-up gov­ ernance structures, such as those related to resource tenure systems and exclusive fishery rights. While Chile had abused critical social-ecological fishery thresholds during the open ac­ cess fishery regime, a partial recovery was achieved after the implementation of the 1991 fishery legislation, particularly in coastal socio-ecological systems. Nevertheless, especially in the industrial Chilean fishery sector, governance and manage­ ment problems remain to be solved [51]. However, when the present socio-ecological status of coastal fisheries in Chile is contrasted with that previous to the 1991 legislation, the results are encouraging. Further, in the case of coastal small-scale fisheries at least three positive ex­ ternal benefits have derived from the implementation of the new governance and the co-management policies: (a) positive influences on environmental/conservation perceptions by local fishers [33]; (b) add-on conservation (biodiversity) benefits linked to fishery areas managed by artisan communities as TURFs [33]; (c) consolidation of bottom-up governance and co-management, such that fishers’ organizations have been fostered as well as the development of diverse and complex co-management social networks. The engagement of fishers in the MEABR system has been associated with horizontal and vertical linkages that enable the exchange of assets and infor­ mation, both of which are critical for the functioning of co-man­ agement [56]. Recent research found positive and strong cor­ relations between the collaborative and trustworthy relations between fisher organizations and the various stake-holders, on the one hand, and co-management of social and ecological performance, on the other. The MEABR policy stopped the tragedy of ungovernable resource users and developed a plat­ form allowing social capital and other organizational skills to become important aspects of resource exploitation and con­ servation [37,57]. More and better connected organizations now improved the chances of obtaining sustainable outcomes. This is a practical example of how sustainability and conserva­ tion of a social-ecological system can be approached. Fishery is typically a provisioning ecosystem service and the case study of Chilean coastal fisheries has shown how, via the im­ plementation of novel top-down and bottom-up governance structures, progress can be made regarding resource sustain­ ability and conservation: basically by engaging and empower­ ing stake-holders directly in the management and governance systems. This is another example of how Hardin’s tragedy of the commons can be resolved using novel governance struc­ tures and non-coercive scenarios. Conservation/sustainability is the playing field where natural systems (humans included) and human well-being are in con­ stant action, with humans determining rational or non-rational approaches to the game to ensure its continuation. In fact, there is a multiplicity of human-constrained socio-ecological systems, and not just ecological (human-less) systems, in need of adequate governance. Last but not least, in this Anthropocene era one of the most appropriate ways to approach and solve socio-ecological con­ servation, environmental, and sustainability problems is, as dis­ cussed to above, to incorporate resilience theory [83] and en­

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   17

gage people (users, stake-holders) in the design, operation, and implementation of solutions. It is difficult to imagine how top-down conservation procedures (at local, national or inter­ national levels) can succeed under scenarios in which a very large number of the Earth’s inhabitants live in domesticated ur­ ban environments [46]: at present about 50 % of the world population, and in 2050 as high as 60 %. Rather, the alleviation of poverty will continue to be an ethical challenge, particularly for developing nations. In the future, environmental education would play a larger role in conservation, since in the Antro­ pocene era we are becoming increasingly dependent on younger generations ‘assuming the Anthropocene’ and on the use of technological advances to solve socio-ecological prob­ lems. Previous, romantic notions of conservation are no longer valid, as conservation is now more appropriately viewed as a challenge of the Anthropocene era [45,90] (this essay). Most fortunately, the impressive and astonishing ways in which com­ munication technology in the Anthropocene era has developed over the past two decades may lead to a shift that favors hu­ manity. Finally, already in 1993 Professor Ramon Margalef, in the second edition of his book Teoría de los Sistemas Ecológicos [55], page 152, visualized and described the complex interplay among humans and nature. Almost 20 years years later, some of the central elements of this essay are very much in line with Margalef’s views. “Population builds up in the cities and people, goods, assets and information flow in between populations and over rural ar­ eas. Exploited rural areas have a tendency to be large and dis­ connected between them. The same as rich phytoplankton patches that provide food to vast oceanic regions. At cultivated areas, as exploitation pressure increases, the original matrix of nature is eroded and reduced to tinny fragments and shrubs hedges, and its disappearance is a crucial blow to nature and species conservation. Cities and communication infrastructure between them are transportation systems comparable both to lumber, roots and fungus of forests and also to the rich matri­ ces of pelagic zooplankton. The energy and information trans­ port capacity of these matrices are substantially different, due to the greater dynamism shown by mature natural matrices. The coordination between both kinds of matrices can be as dif­ ficult as matching terrestrial and river fractals. Civilization devel­ opment is linked to the deterioration of mature natural matri­ ces, of a rather static characteristic, and to the development of human communication matrices. Nevertheless, the aspiration of conservation may plausibly combine both trends; making use, for instance, of abandoned fragments of landscape and communication routes so to maintain a minimum reserve of no excessively exploited natural systems” (free translation by the author of the essay). Acknowledgements. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Professor Ramon Margalef, whose work and life inspired young scientists in Latin America. I most sincerely thank the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalo­ nia) for awarding me the Premi Ramon Margalef d’Ecologia 2011. This paper has served several purposes, but one of

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18   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

them has been to reinforce friendships with my colleagues Pe­ ter Kareiva, Andres Marín, Stefan Gelcich, and Omar Defeo. Once again, I have learned much from them. Financial support received from the Arauco Chair in Ecology and Environmental Ethics and the Marine Conservation Millennium Nucleus–Pon­ tifical Catholic University of Chile are gratefully acknowledged. Professor Juan Carlos Castilla, recipient of the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology 2011, pronounced the lecture entitled “Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era,” on 26 October 2011 in Barcelona.

Castilla

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

The Autonomous Government of Catalonia created the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology to honor the memory of the Catalan scientist Ramon Margalef (1919−2004), one of the main thinkers and scholars of ecology as a holistic sci­ ence, and whose contribution was decisive to the creation of modern ecology. This international award recognizes those people around the world who have also made outstanding contributions to the development of ecology sci­ ence. More information can be obtained at: www.gencat. cat/premiramonmargalef.

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Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era

93. Thoreau HD (1854) Walden or Life in the Woods. Ticknor and Fields, Boston, MA 94. UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2011) The UK na­ tional ecosystem assessment synthesis of the key find­ ings. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge 95. Wilkinson R, Pickett K (2010) Why equality is better for everyone. Penguin Books, England

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96. Worm B, Barbier EB, Beaumont N, Duffy JE, et al. (2006) Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystems servic­ es. Science 314:787-790 97. Zalasiewicz J, Williams M, Steffen W, Crutzen P (2010) The new world of the Anthropocene. Environmental Sci­ ence and Technology 44:2228-2231

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 23–32 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.130   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

focus

Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

Rachel Carson, sensitive and perceptive interpreter of nature Joandomènec Ros1,2 1. Department of Ecology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, ​​Barcelona 2. Biological Sciences Section, Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona

Resum. En complir-se els cinquanta anys de la publicació de Silent Spring (1962) sembla totalment oportú retre un meres­ cut homenatge a la seva autora, una magnífica escriptora i di­ vulgadora de les meravelles de la natura, i recordar el que va significar per a la consciència ambiental, primer americana i després mundial, la denúncia dels disbarats que la fumigació indiscriminada de diclorodifeniltricloroetà (DDT) i altres bioci­ des va provocar en les espècies, els hàbitats i la salut huma­ na. Mentre que s’ha atribuït, justament, a Rachel Carson el paper de precursora del moviment ecologista, no és tan cone­ gut que la denúncia la feia sobre bases científiques sòlides i amb uns excel·lents coneixements de l’ecologia de les espèci­ es i els ecosistemes, tant els terrestres com els aquàtics.

Summary. On the occasion of the 50th aniversary of the publi­ cation of Silent Spring (1962), this well-deserved homage to its author is a particularly timely one. Rachel Carson was a talent­ ed writer, able to excellently convey the marvels of nature. But it was her disclosure, first to the American public and after­ wards to the whole world, of the havoc wreaked on organisms, habitats, and human health by the indiscriminate spraying of DDT and other biocides, by which she will always be remem­ bered. Rachel Carson is credited, and justly so, as being one of the founder’s of the environmentalist movement. What is less well known is that her claims were based on solid science and that she was highly knowledgeable about the ecology of spe­ cies and ecosystems, both terrestrial and aquatic.

Paraules clau: contaminació ∙ plaguicides ∙ biocides ∙ DDT ∙ ecologia ∙ divulgació científica ∙ indústria química

Keywords: pollution ∙ pesticides ∙ biocides ∙ DDT ∙ ecology ∙ scientific popularization ∙ chemical industry

The year 1962 was a momentous one, marked perhaps most famously by the Cuban missile crisis; the launch and operation of Telstar, the first communication satellite; the death of Marilyn Monroe; and the first use of silicone breast implants. Despite the significance of these events, the biggest impact on the life of modern societies may well have been the publication of Silent Spring, a book that raised an enormous stir at the time. Half a century is perhaps too long for a book to remain useful unless it is a classic. Silent Spring is indeed a classic, combin­ ing popular science, environmental reportage, and a brilliant and moving literary style. The author of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson (Fig. 1), epito­ mizes two of the main and antagonistic ingredients that turn historical characters into imperishable myths: to begin with, the respect, admiration, and veneration from one segment of soci­ ety for the contribution made by that person, whether to sci­ ence, culture, or the arts, but also, from another segment of society, reactions of scorn, rejection, mockery, and even per­ sonal attack in attempts to depreciate or diminish the value of the contribution. Correspondence: J.D. Ros, Department d’Ecologia, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, E-08028 Barcelona, Catalo­ nia, EU. Tel. +34-934021511. Fax +34-934111438. E-mail: jros@ub.edu

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Fig. 1. Rachel Carson, 1940. Fish & Wild­ life Service employee photo.

Carson’s name can be included in a list of the great Ameri­ can naturalists such as John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Edward O. Wilson and their likes, who studied, described, and defended nature with the weapons of science, the heart, and the pen. If Audubon is considered the first ornithologist and first modern naturalist of the United States; Thoreau as the father of environmental ethics, pacifism, and non-violence; Leopold as the originator of the natural wil­ derness protection movement; Wilson as the champion of bio­ diversity in a world from which it is rapidly disappearing, then the person with the foresight to warn the public about the dis­ asterous effects of chemical pollution on the health of both the environment and our species was Carson [21].

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Yet, she was also able to convey the beauty of the natural world and to promote the value of the ecological relationships between very disparate organisms, including humans. It is in this triple role—as an exceptional writer, a nature-loving biolo­ gist, and an avant la lettre ecologist and accuser of the de­ struction caused by chemical pollution—that she should be remembered, especially given the fact that she wrote in the 1950s and 1960s, a time when the United States was a leader in industry, economics, and politics while also confronting the challenges of a potential nuclear threat and the perceived com­ munist challenge. It is no exaggeration to say that Silent Spring’s denunciation of the indiscriminate use of powerful biocides, and of their per­ nicious effects, first to the American public, and then, following the book’s translation into dozens of languages, to the rest of the world, was the first, and, to this day, perhaps the most powerful argument against the widespread elimination of or­ ganisms that play a key role in the economy of nature. Rachel Carson presented this argument based on sound scientific knowledge but with the sensitivity of a naturalist and a woman. As such, she directly confronted the powerful postwar Ameri­ can chemical industry and an erratic (if not senseless) environ­ mental policy of the Department of Agriculture of the United States.

Rachel Carson, naturalist and writer Rachel Louise Carson was born in 1907 in Springdale, Penn­ sylvania, and died in 1964, before reaching the age of 57, in Silver Spring, Maryland. A gifted writer, a naturalist enthusiast, and a trained marine biologist and zoologist, she combined all these facets in her professional activities: as a columnist for lo­ cal and state newspapers, editor for the Fisheries Agency and editor-in-chief for the United States Fish and Wildlife service, assistant professor at the University of Maryland, a respected teacher at the summer courses held by Johns Hopkins Univer­ sity, and, later, as a full-time, freelance writer. She gained a well-deserved reputation for popularizing the natural beauty of the sea, doing so in three books whose un­

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precedented success allowed her to leave her job and devote herself entirely to writing, beginning with Under the Sea Wind (1941 revised in 1952 [5]), followed by The Sea Around Us (in 1951 [6]), and The Edge of the Sea (in 1954 [7]) (Fig. 2). Espe­ cially in the last two, she provided the reader with an accurate and reliable description of the sea and its inhabitants, written in elegant prose that placed her among the best naturalist story­ tellers of all times. Carson not only discovered the sea and its wonders (with the help of magnificent illustrations by respected artists) for her readers, but did so with a style that would quick­ ly make her books bestsellers and serve as a model for other popular science writers. Like Silent Spring, these earlier books have also been translated into multiple languages and com­ memorative editions have been revised by renowned scien­ tists. Following the success of Silent Spring, all three were pub­ lished in a single volume, The Sea, in 1964 [10]. By the early 1960s, Carson was known to American readers (and to much of the world), for her books, articles in the press, and her affable, lively and engaging style. Whether narrating the adventures of the life cycle of ‘Scomber the Mackerel,’ in a language suitable for children and adults, describing the living beings that inhabit the coast and the sea, or sharing her inter­ est and knowledge about the ocean’s origin, structure, and function, Carson’s prose was smooth, precise, and poetic, conveying tranquility and a love of nature. In her own words, by combining a scientific career with that of a writer, she experi­ enced “... the magic combination of factual knowledge and deeply felt emotional response.” Imagine for a second, then, the blow that American society received with the publication of Silent Spring in 1962 [8,12]. The great storyteller was still there, but the natural beauty of the forests, fields, rivers, and coasts was described as battered, poisoned, destroyed by the chemical substances that were used to combat agricultural and forest pests, to clear road­ sides, and to eliminate pesky mosquitoes in wetlands and lakes. However, while the American public was stunned at this denunciation of the horrors that the indiscriminate spraying of Fig. 2. Covers of Under the Sea Wind, The Sea Around Us, and The Edge of the Sea.

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biocides caused in the natural environment and to our health, the powerful American chemical industry was prepared to de­ fend its interests at all costs. The term ‘biocides’ was suggested by Carson, as pesti­ cides not only affect pest species but also, directly or indirectly, any nearby living species, “Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a bar­ rage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? They should not be called ‘insecticides’ but ‘biocides’.” (Chapter 2) The publication of Silent Spring meant a radical change in how American society and the media, but especially the chem­ ical industry, treated Carson. A successful writer, with books that had been on the bestseller lists for months, Rachel Carson was known for the natural wonders she described and the way in which she described them. Silent Spring, which exposed the environmental disasters caused by pesticides, changed all that: she was fiercely targeted by the leaders of the country’s large chemical corporations, who first attempted to prevent Silent Spring from ever seeing the light of day (they were alerted by the prior publication of a chapter in the daily press) and later attempted to discredit her in public. No less aggressive was the US Department of Agriculture, whose forestry and agricul­ tural policies Carson censured for allowing the disasters de­ tailed in the book. Even the press, perhaps under pressure from government and industry, was not only hostile but scath­ ing in its attacks on an author whose literary successes it had celebrated not long before [1,13,22,27,31]. Silent Spring was not Carson’s first denunciation of environ­ mental injustices. In an article in the Washington Post¸ for ex­ ample, she attacked the environmental insensitivity of the new Republican administration (of President Eisenhower), which had replaced a competent Secretary of the Interior for a politi­ cian with no environmental knowledge, “For many years public-spirited citizens throughout the country have been working for the conservation of natural resources, realizing their vital importance to the Nation. Ap­ parently their hard-won progress is to be wiped out, as a politically-minded Administration returns us to the dark ages of unrestrained exploitation and destruction. It is one of the ironies of our time that, while concentrating on the defense of our country against enemies from without, we should be so heedless of those who would destroy it from within.” [27] The media acted as a sounding box for the debate on pesti­ cides, which raged for a whole year before it slowly quieted– when it was finally acknowledged that Carson had been right to denounce the chemical industry and the administration. Vi­ cious criticism and bitter mockery then gave way to more bal­ anced evaluations, and eventually to open praise, honors, and awards. The attacks against Carson and Silent Spring have been compared to those suffered by Charles Darwin, a century before, when the Church and the Victorian establishment simi­ larly reacted to the publication of On the Origin of Species.

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“A sort of war” Carson was accused of being an alarmist, of not being scien­ tifically informed, of falsifying, in tearful prose, the beneficial re­ ality of the fight against insect pests; of fostering with her ‘envi­ ronmental hysteria’ the destruction that pests caused in the agricultural and forestry sectors of the United States and there­ by promoting hunger and disease in the world; of thus sinking the American economy and favoring competitor countries in the global agricultural trade; and, of course, of playing along with the communists (“She is probably a communist,” former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra T. Benson said in a letter to Presi­ dent Eisenhower). Even the fact that she was unmarried was used against her. The press, always eager for sensationalism, called her a ‘bird lover,’ ‘fish lover,’ ‘nun of nature,’ ‘priestess of nature,’ ‘a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature,’ among other derogatory names. Carson had been very aware “... that by taking up her pen to write honestly about this problem, she had plunged into a sort of war.” [20] Her response to the attacks was firm and balanced: she in­ sisted that she did not proclaim the abolition of chemical pesti­ cides but of a rationalization in their application, e.g., by mod­ erating the disparate doses that were used; that specific pesticides, targeting specific pest organisms should replace the broad-spectrum, general pesticides that simultaneously eliminated harmful and beneficial animals; to differentiate be­ tween weeds and non-harmful wild plants; that efforts at bio­ logical control, which had already seen some notable success­ es, be intensified; and that no spraying program be undertaken without previous field studies and a complete knowledge of the ecology of the organisms that might be affected. She explained that our species is simply one among many in the natural world, and that just like the others it is subject to the damage that we indiscriminately inflict upon it. Newspaper arti­ cles, radio interviews, an appearance before Congress (in 1963), and the support of naturalists and scientists gradually quieted the media circus that the chemical industry (Monsanto, DuPont, Velsicol, among other major companies) and different sectors of the administration had used against her, including a leaflet that, mimicking the book’s opening chapter, conversely described the misfortunes of a world without pesticides and at the mercy of insects. The resulting national debate prompted President John F. Kennedy to order the preparation of a comprehensive report on pesticides to an advisory committee. After a long study, it was concluded, in 1963, that while evidence supported the contin­ ued use of pesticides against pests that threatened crops and health, these chemicals should no longer be sprayed indiscrim­ inately. The report also recommended more research, espe­ cially aimed at the development of specific pesticides, and a study of the chronic effects of pesticides as well as their syner­ gistic effect with other commonly used substances. In addition, the committee advocated limiting the domestic use of insecti­ cides and herbicides and insisted upon extreme care in estima­ tions of the doses applied and in accurate user information.

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In other words, Rachel Carson had been right all along, and the chemical industry (and the governmental departments re­ sponsible for the spraying programs) had been careless, arro­ gant, sloppy and, therefore, liable for damages to the environ­ ment and for the deaths of people, domestic animals, and wildlife (although this was not mentioned in the report). The po­ litical reaction that followed corrected the defective system of granting nearly automatic authorization for new biocides (1964) that Carson had denounced as ineffective. Indeed, the re­ sponse provided the basis for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, 1970). One of its first acts was to ban DDT as a pesticide in almost all crops, but allowing its use to combat the insect vectors of malaria and other diseases (1972) [29,31]. (Already in 1962, a year before the publication of Silent Spring in England, the voluntary ban of aldrin and dieldrin had been promoted there [25,26,28].) Carson had practically no chance to enjoy her vindication, as she had long suffered from breast cancer and died from the disease in 1964.

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made or synthetic chemicals with insecticidal properties. This industry is a child of the Second World War. In the course of developing agents of chemical warfare, some of the chemicals created in the laboratory were found to be le­ thal to insects. The discovery did not come by chance: in­ sects were widely used to test chemicals as agents of death for man.” (Chapter 3) “With the development of the new organic insecticides and the abundance of surplus planes after the Second World War, all this [the prudent use of pesticides] was forgotten.” (Chapter 10) And of course, if the disasters that Carson predicted were to occur, it was because someone allowed them to. Just as Silent Spring warned of the damage caused by pesticides to nature and its inhabitants, it also condemned the arrogance, igno­ rance, and opportunism of the human beings responsible for their use.

A partisan book? Another similarity between Carson and Darwin was the careful preparation of the books that would make them world famous. The preliminary research for Silent Spring necessitated more than 4 years of study of published papers (in physiology, ecol­ ogy, medicine, toxicology, etc.) and internal reports of govern­ ment agencies and departments and the United States Con­ gress, as well as interviews and consultations with scientists and experts around the world for further information. The ex­ tensive list at the end of the book attests to the fact that each of Carson’s ‘exaggerated’ or ‘distorted’ claims (according to her critics) was based on reliable scientific sources and official re­ ports. Also, as with her earlier books, Silent Spring was thor­ oughly reviewed before the final version was published. Along with the sound scientific basis of Silent Spring and the perfectionism of its prose, two other merits should be added: a scrupulous respect for the truth and a significant personal in­ volvement in the book’s underlying subject matter [19]. Silent Spring is not just a declaration in defense of nature made by a naturalist, it is a general warning of the dangers to human health that are an inherent side effect of poisoning the environ­ ment. This warning came from a woman who underwent a radical mastectomy while writing the book, who was treated with radiotherapy, and who eventually died from the complica­ tions of the breast cancer treatment. And while the pathogen­ esis of breast cancer is multifactorial and not completely under­ stood, the cancer-causing effects of many of the biocides described in her book surely contributed to the urgency Car­ son felt in presenting her case. In the book, she clearly identified the underlying reasons for the proliferation of pesticides and their indiscriminate use, sprayed in hedges and gardens or distributed from the air over enormous tracts of forests and wetlands: “All this has come about because of the sudden rise and prodigious growth of an industry for the production of man-

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“The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the conven­ ience of man. The concepts and practices of applied ento­ mology for the most part date from that Stone Age of sci­ ence. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.” (Chapter 17) The chemists, applied entomologists, and other profession­ als involved in the production of pesticides and in their wide­ spread application, far from showing contrition and making amends, reacted in a derogatory, defensive manner, and— judging from some of their comments—without even having read the book. Much of the criticism of Silent Spring targeted the preceived bias of the author’s message: pesticides are bad, nature (in­ cluding the species we are fighting) is good. Carson’s literary style was branded maudlin and alarmist for assigning such great importance to the death of ‘some birds and bees.’ Of course, her detractors made sure to point out, whether sub­ liminally or directly, the fact that the author was a woman— “with little scientific training,” which was not true, or “who does not even have a doctorate,” although Carson had a master’s thesis on the embryonic development of the catfish kidney [4]—who dared to question the scientific and technical work of experts in the industry and the US government, most of whom were men. Silent Spring’s message is partial, of course; but Carson did nothing more than counter the much greater bias put forward, out of ignorance or greed, by the manufacturers of chemicals and by US state and federal agricultural and forestry agencies in defense of their pesticides and spraying programs. Perhaps the best reply to her critics’ charges was in the review of the

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Rachel Carson, sensitive and perceptive interpreter of nature

book by LaMont Cole, Professor of Ecology at Cornell Univer­ sity, “Errors of fact are so infrequent, trivial, and irrelevant to the main theme that it would be ungallant to dwell on them.” [11] The accusation of the book’s ‘maudlin’ sentiments was un­ deserved [21]. One of Carson’s great gifts as a naturalist was her feminine sensitivity, not sentimentality, which freed her to movingly describe (as she did in her previous books) both the wonders of the living world and the damage being inflicted on it. Nor is she alarmist when pointing out this aggression and its effects; rather, her concern stems from an awareness of the interrelationships between living beings and their ecosystem. It cannot be denied, however, that Silent Spring was written when Carson herself was in very poor health, which surely influ­ enced the literary style, clouding the joy and euphoria for nature and life expressed in her previous books and replacing it with a dismal view of the future. While one might argue that the charges of bias, sentimental­ ity, and alarmism were not entirely unfounded, the counterat­ tack mounted by the chemical industry was not only very pow­ erful, but cruel and ruthless… and equally biased [18,27]. To the consternation of the deniers of Carson’s thesis, both radio and TV presented to the public a shy yet confident woman who stood her ground and, through her candor and with well-ar­ gued reasons, was able to present and defend her case. One of the harshest critics was the biochemist Robert White-Ste­ vens, who in a televised interview dared to say that, “The major claims of Miss Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, are gross distortions of the actual facts, completely unsupported by scientific, experimental evidence, and gen­ eral practical experience in the field. Her suggestion that pesticides are in fact biocides destroying all life is obviously absurd in the light of the fact that without selective biologi­ cals these compounds would be completely useless ... If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the Earth… Miss Carson is a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature. The real threat to the survival of man is not chemical but biological, in the shape of hordes of insects that can denude our forests, sweep over our crop lands, ravage our food supply and leave in their wake a train of destitution and hun­ ger, conveying to an undernourished population the major diseases scourges of mankind.” This excerpt is typical of the argument’s put forward by pro­ ponents of continued, indiscriminate chemical warfare against pests. It should be kept in mind that this debate took place dur­ ing an unprecedented boom in the creation of synthetic sub­ stances, especially in the United States, and the false belief that our species, unchallenged, could dominate nature. WhiteStevens himself made the following statement, which today, given our planet’s deplorable state, can be easily interpreted as the height of arrogance and male chauvinism:

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“The crux of the matter, the fulcrum on which the argument primarily rests, is that Miss Carson maintains that the bal­ ance of nature is a fundamental force in human survival, whereas the modern chemist, biologist and scientific believe that man firmly controls nature.” [33] It remains unresolved whether White-Stevens and other sci­ entists advocating the safety of pesticides were convinced of their position or simply felt obliged to respond to a generalized accusation made by Carson in her book and that, mutatis mutandis, can be applied today to many other fields of applied research in every developed country of the world: “The major chemical companies are pouring money into the universities to support research on insecticides. This creates attractive fellowships for graduate students and attractive staff positions. Biological-control studies, on the other hand, are never so endowed—for the simple reason that they do not promise anyone the fortunes that are to be made in the chemical industry. These are left to state and federal agen­ cies, where the salaries paid are far less. This situation also explains the otherwise mystifying fact that certain outstanding entomologists are among the lead­ ing advocates of chemical control. Enquiry into the back­ ground of some of these men reveals that their entire re­ search programme is supported by the chemical industry. Their professional prestige, sometimes their very jobs, de­ pends on the perpetuation of chemical methods. Can we expect them to bite the hand that literally feeds them? But knowing their bias, how much credence can we give to the protests that insecticides are harmless?” (Chapter 15) In any case, a bitter aftertaste of Silent Spring’s denuncia­ tions remained among the professionals of the chemical indus­ try, and it is difficult to find a statement from them, even recent­ ly, that does not convey, either succinctly or protractedly, the message that Carson grossly exaggerated the disasters that pesticides could create in the living world [15,16,23,24,26,34].

Silent Spring The book that made Rachel Carson world famous begins with a short chapter, “A Fable for Tomorrow” which describes an imaginary city that had simultaneously suffered all the disasters that had thus far actually been detected in various towns and cities throughout the United States, and which the author in subsequent chapters would explain in detail. After this devas­ tating image, in the next two chapters (“The Obligation to En­ dure” and “Elixirs of Death”) Carson raises the issue of the chemical fight against pests and describes the main pesticides used at the time (today, even a brief description of the vast spectrum of biocide substances currently in use would require several extensive chapters) (Fig. 3). She goes on to describe the effects of these toxic substanc­ es in various environments (“Surface Waters and Underground Seas,” “Realms of the Soil,” “Earth’s Green Mantle”). It should

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Fig. 3. Cover of Silent Spring (1962). Credit: Library of Congress, USA.

be noted that Carson was most likely the first person to draw the general public’s attention to the interaction of the various compartments of the biosphere, all linked and immensely im­ portant and thus particularly vulnerable to the consequences of our ignorance (her explanation on the role of the soil is bril­ liant). In the following two chapters (“Needless Havoc,” and “And No Birds Sing”), the reader is confronted with the lethal results on the fauna, especially birds, of fumigation and various pest eradication programs. Fish inhabiting forest rivers do not fare any better (“Rivers of Death”), nor do domestic and farm ani­ mals, as a result of a genuine spraying frenzy (“Indiscriminately from the Skies”). The subsequent chapters describe the im­ pact of pesticides on our species (“Beyond the Dreams of the Borgias” and “The Human Price”). Carson acknowledges that,

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cies that normally control the targeted pests, i.e., predators and parasitoids, making it clear that the cascading effects of their disappearance usually cause worse (and more persisting) damage than the pests themselves. Finally, “The Other Road,” is a complete (for its time) catalogue of alternative methods of pest elimination, based on biological control or the selective application of chemical pesticides. Carson encourages the rel­ evant agencies to use these methods (which the book helped to promote) and to abandon indiscriminate chemical warfare, with its resultant accumulation of toxic substances in the envi­ ronment and in our bodies in addition to irreparable damage to nature. The book concludes with an extensive list of the main sources of information the author used in preparing her docu­ mented report. As usual, science has confirmed some of Carson’s warnings (for example, the effect of the bioaccumulation of several bio­ cides in living organisms, and the biomagnification of these ef­ fects along food chains); has clarified others (such as the carci­ nogenic activity of pesticides); and has questioned some (release of toxins into the bloodstream when the body fat in which they are stored is metabolized). Last but not least, in ad­ dition to drawing attention to the dangers of the indiscriminate use of pesticides in our environment, one of the merits of Silent Spring was that it provided an important incentive to the scien­ tific study of the effects of DDT (and other pesticides) on living organisms. Whether it was to deny or to support Carson’s the­ sis, all kinds of research (toxicological, epidemiological, eco­ logical, etc.) would, in the following years, fill in the bibliographic gap that existed at the time the book was written [21]. For the most part, the results of these studies confirmed all of the au­ thor’s fears, and they would eventually lead to the prohibition of the use of DDT and to other safety measures controlling the use of pesticides.

The ecology of Silent Spring “Probably no person is immune to contact with this spread­ ing contamination unless he lives in the most isolated situa­ tion imaginable.” (Chapter 11) She then speculates on the physiological cause of poisoning (“Through the Narrow Window”), in a commendable effort to explain scientifically yet simply the biochemical and cellular mechanisms leading to the death of the affected organisms. The following chapter (with the ominous title of “One in Every Four,” an allusion to the prevalence of cancer among us) is dedicated to unraveling what in her time was known about the causes of various diseases, highlighting those that could be environmentally related, thus making it clear that it was our health, and not just that of the environment, that would be se­ verely impacted by environmental pollution. The three final chapters show Carson’s gifts as a naturalist. “Nature Fights Back” and “The Rumblings of an Avalanche” explain one of the evolutionary consequences of the applica­ tion of biocides, one that remains relevant today, i.e., the fact that pests eventually become resistant. The author also high­ lights the impact on an ecosystem of the mortality of the spe­

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Carson’s biological and ecological knowledge make Silent Spring one of the major popular science books in the field of ecology. While the number of such books would increase steadily throughout the second half of the 20th century, they were extremely rare at that time. For Nicholson, the book is “... probably the biggest single contribution, and the most effective up to that moment, aimed at informing the public opinion of the true nature and importance of ecology.” [28] As an ecologist myself, what I like most about Carson’s book is the aforementioned fact that she considers what envi­ ronmental disruptions occur, or may occur, linked to the mor­ tality of some organisms due to poisoning by toxic pesticides [21]. It is not just about making a census of the number of sprayed hectares or dead birds as a consequence of spraying; rather, it explains the ecological consequences of these deaths (or the reduction of fertility, etc.) on the whole ecosystem, i.e., the ‘cascading effects’ of which ecologists have only been aware in the last couple of decades. Thus, not only is the target

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Rachel Carson, sensitive and perceptive interpreter of nature

species affected, but also many that naturally control it, such that the cumulative result is often not the desired one. For rea­ sons that have to do with the relative position of species in food chains or webs, the controlling species (usually predators) suf­ fer more damage than the pest species (which are usually her­ bivores), as do other species, including those that are benefi­ cial to us. Carson cited these cases in her book several times and demonstrated irrefutably and objectively the consequen­ tial, multiple damage to organisms in an ecosystem, and thus, to our crops, our forests, and our health (Fig. 4). These and other aspects of the workings of nature, which today we take for granted, were first described in a widely cir­ culated book aimed at non-experts and thus able to deliver its message to society. Carson was up-to-date in what was known at that time, in the mid-twentieth century, about the ecology of organisms (for example, on several occasions she cites Elton’s essential book [14]). In the 1950s and early 1960s, this was a poorly developed field but ecology would develop dramatically, precisely in the United States, albeit not until the second half of the century. The most popular message of Silent Spring, stated in its very title, is complemented by another, more substantial one that has gone relatively unmentioned. Thus, while Carson pre­ dicted a silent spring, without the singing of insectivorous birds and in which the bees would not be buzzing among the flow­ ers, she also foresaw autumns in which there would be no pol­ lination or fruit. There were two reasons for her prediction of an infertile American countryside, and she set poetry aside to in­ troduce the observations of a naturalist: “... a bee may carry poisonous nectar back to its hive and presently produce poisonous honey.” (Chapter 3) This has proven to be the case, and it has led to many ef­ forts to reduce the poisoning of honeybees by pesticides and herbicides. But the same efforts to protect wild pollinators, both in agricultural and in natural environments [3], were lack­ ing, and that was Carson’s second warning, “Without insect pollination, most of the soil-holding and soilenriching plants of uncultivated areas would die out, with far-reaching consequences to the ecology of the whole re­ gion. Many herbs, shrubs, and trees of forests and range

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   29

depend on native insects for their reproduction; without these plants many wild animals and range stock would find little food. Now clean cultivation and the chemical destruc­ tion of hedgerows and weeds are eliminating the last sanc­ tuaries of these pollinating insects and breaking the threads that bind life to life.” (Chapter 6) Carson also cited two consequences related to the incorpo­ ration of toxic substances by organisms. While nowadays both are well-established, they were recent discoveries at the time Silent Spring was published, and the book greatly helped to highlight them. (1) In plants, through the uptake of soil nutrients and in animals, through either the ingestion of food or direct passage through the integument of the body (or blood of the mother in eggs and fetuses), the bioaccumulation of toxins is such that they reach higher concentrations than in the sur­ rounding external environment. (2) Moreover, since some or­ ganisms are prey for others, along food webs biomagnification further increases the levels of these poisons and causes super­ predators (birds of prey, carnivores, etc.) to accumulate them in their tissues in concentrations that are several orders of magnitude higher than the original one, with deleterious effects that would not happen at lower concentrations. As a biologist, Carson unequivocally accepted evolution (an­ other target of criticism in a country in which, then and now, arguments are made in the courts about the right to teach evo­ lution in the classroom). The ability of organisms to resist poi­ sons devised by humans provided her with a great example of evolution in action: “If Darwin were alive today the insect world would delight and astound him with its impressive verification of his theo­ ries of the survival of the fittest. Under the stress of intensive chemical spraying, the weaker members of the insect popu­ lations are being weeded out [...] Only the strong and fit re­ main to defy our efforts to control them [...] Darwin himself could scarcely have found a better example of the operation of natural selection than is provided by the way the mecha­ nism of resistance operates. Out of an original population, the members of which vary greatly in qualities of structure, behaviour, or physiology, it is the ‘tough’ insects that survive chemical attack. Spraying kills off the weaklings. The only survivors are insects that have some inherent quality that al­ Fig. 4. Example of illustrations from Silent Spring’s first printing.

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Ros

lows them to escape harm. These are the parents of the new generation, which, by simple inheritance, possesses all the qualities of ‘toughness’ inherent in its forebears. (Chap­ ter 16)

the article into print. By then, more than a decade later, the list of pesticides had significantly grown, as had their destructive power, with the use of agents several times more potent than DDT. Carson recalled,

Another aspect of Carson’s overall environmental vision is that, in an era of American economic expansion, she clearly advocated sustainable agricultural production,

“The more I learned about the use of pesticides, the more appalled I became, and I realized that there was the material for a book. What I discovered was that everything which meant most to me as a naturalist was being threatened, and that nothing I could do would be more important.” [9]

“Yet is our real problem not one of overproduction? Our farms, despite measures to remove acreages from produc­ tion and to pay farmers not to produce, have yielded such a staggering excess of crops that the American taxpayer in 1962 is paying out more than one billion dollars a year as the total carrying cost of the surplus-food storage programme.” (Chapter 2) Thus, Carson was asking the public to consider all the costs of production, including costs to the environment and similar costs that even today are rarely considered, the so-called ex­ ternalities: “It is cheaper [to spray the weeds with pesticides] than mowing, is the cry. So, perhaps, it appears in the neat rows of figures in the official books; but were the true costs en­ tered, the costs not only in dollars but in the many equally valid debits we shall presently consider, the wholesale broadcasting of chemicals would be seen to be more costly in dollars as well as infinitely damaging to the long-range health of the landscape and to all the varied interests that depend on it.” (Chapter 6) “We are told that inoculation with milky spore disease [to fight the Japanese beetle] is ‘too expensive’—although no one found it in the fourteen eastern states in the 1940s. And by what sort of accounting was the ‘too expensive’ judg­ ment reached? Certainly not by any that assessed the true costs of the total destruction wrought by such programmes as the Sheldon spraying.” (Chapter 7) Consequently, when explaining the damage caused by pes­ ticides, she evaluates it in ecological but also in financial terms, often appealing to those sectors of society that will be forced to accept the greatest share of the consequences: farmers, fish­ ermen, hunters, hikers, tourists, naturalists and bird-watchers. All in all, Silent Spring is, among other things, a very good ecol­ ogy textbook [21] .

Carson, conservationist Carson’s concern about the abuse of new chemical pesticides, such as DDT, with the apparent blessing of the American gov­ ernment, was awakened early on. Already in 1945 she tried to publish an article on the subject in Reader’s Digest, but the magazine rejected it. Carson then turned to her marine trilogy and it was not until its completions that she again tried to get

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 30

Although Carson was not a typical activist, Silent Spring served as her proxy and had the distinction of being the cata­ lyst for the organization of the first American and, later, global environmental associations. It can even be argued that without Carson’s book, organizations such as Greenpeace probably would not exist today. The acknowledgement of the potential for environmental disasters associated with the indiscriminate use of biocides confirmed some of the public’s worst fears. But what was probably most important for the public was that the book also offered a solution that went beyond simply banning certain pesticides. Carson explained that we had treated nature as a set of dis­ connected pieces, when the truth is that all the elements of nature (ourselves included) are connected in a ‘web of life’ and that any attack on one of these elements reverberates across the whole, with unexpected, almost always negative conse­ quences. Therefore, the best strategy was not the use of ‘brute force’ methods (such as indiscriminate spraying of biocides), worsened by the creation of new chemicals at an increasing rate, but to live by the laws of nature (which implies the need to study them) and adapt to them. Our attempts to dominate na­ ture are not only sure to be futile, they will almost certainly backfire. Some have seen the origin of the environmental movement in Carson’s challenge to ‘progress at any cost’ and the ‘con­ quest of nature,’ and in her demands for new paths, new ideas, and new policies (Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” cited by the author in the last chapter of the book) [2,13,25,30]. Before Silent Spring, conservation had not aroused much in­ terest among American society; few people genuinely cared about the disappearance of nature, especially in such a large country with its pioneer spirit and its success in “conquering the West.” But Rachel Carson forced Americans to consider an envi­ ronmental drama too terrible to disregard, in which the annihi­ lation of beautiful (and useful) species was compounded by the contamination of food chains, genetic damage, and cancer. (The contemporary and widespread awareness of the horrors of thalidomide, which caused severe defects in newborns, contributed to the book’s impact.) For the first time, North American society deemed it necessary to regulate industry in order to protect the environment, and thus environmentalism was born. Carson’s Silent Spring has been compared with the aboli­ tionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), a novel that also denounced an injustice, in that case one perpe­

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Rachel Carson, sensitive and perceptive interpreter of nature

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   31

trated by the actions of American society in its support of slav­ ery, and actively promoted a solution, i.e., abolition. But Car­ son did not intend to establish herself as standard bearer of the green crusade. She was an environmentalist malgré soi. As noted above, Carson did not just reveal the evils of pesti­ cides, she also proposed knowledge-based alternatives, for example, “A truly extraordinary variety of alternatives to the chemical control of insects is available. Some are already in use and have achieved brilliant success. Others are in the stage of laboratory testing. Still others are little more than ideas in the minds of imaginative scientists, waiting for the opportunity to put them to the test. All have this in common: they are biological solutions, based on understanding of the living or­ ganisms they seek to control, and of the whole fabric of life to which these organisms belong.” (Chapter 17) These words seem very modern and not just relevant to the time in which they were written. Dr. Wilhelm Hueper, of the Na­ tional Cancer Institute, one of the researchers who was most concerned about the environmental causes of cancer and one of Carson’s main informants, summarized in the following brief description of Silent Spring’s author, what is probably the best definition of an environmentalist: “... she is a sincere, unusually well-informed scientist pos­ sessing not only an unusual degree of social responsibility but also having the courage and ability to express and fight for her convictions and principles.”

“Sensitive and perceptive interpreter of the ways of nature” Edward O. Wilson wrote an afterword to a commemorative edition of Silent Spring that also featured a preface by Al Gore [19]. He wondered what Rachel Carson would have thought, had she been alive, about the current environmental situation. According to Wilson, “... she’d give America a mixed grade. The increased public awareness of the environment would please the educator in her; the ranking of her book as a literary classic would as­ tonish the writer; and the existence of new regulatory [envi­ ronmental] laws would gratify the frustrated government bu­ reaucrat.” [35] Even so, she would have been quite aware that “the war between environmentalists and exploiters, local and national, is far from over,” and that many other environmental problems have since been added to the list of our planet’s woes: prob­ lems affecting the fields and forests of industrialized countries, the jungles of developing countries, and the seas that Carson so well described. But there have also been events, unthinka­ ble in her day (the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which pro­ duced the Convention on Biodiversity, the various international

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 31

Fig. 5. 17 cent Rachel Carson U.S. postage stamps (1981) and Gill Craft First Day Cover.

meetings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the at­ tempts to strengthen policies to mitigate climate change), that despite their partial results would have encouraged her. However, the unbridled growth of the world’s population and the number of developing countries whose booming econ­ omies have further strained energy resources while assaulting nature would have been issues of deep concern to the ‘lady from Maryland.’ According to Wilson, the battle led by Rachel Carson to the benefit of nature has not yet been won, rather, we continue “... poisoning the air and water and eroding the biosphere, albeit less so than if Rachel Carson had not written.” [35] Rachel Carson received many awards and honors, both throughout her literary career as well as posthumously (Fig. 5). Among them are the National Book Award, for The Sea Around Us; gold medals from the Zoological Society of New York and the National Geographic Society, for her merits both as a natu­ ralist and a writer; and the Auduborn Society medal, for which she was the first woman recipient (1963) but unfortunately when she was already very ill. Its inscription could serve as an epitaph to a naturalist who, probably unwittingly, forever changed the way we perceive the nature that surrounds us and which we are a part of, “Distinguished scientist, gifted writer, Sensitive and perceptive interpreter of the ways of nature, Who authored a book called Silent Spring; Through it she alerted and aroused the public about Needless and dangerous chemical pollution of our environ­ ment And sounded a timely warning that technology, Run away from science, can be a threat to man.” [32]

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References 1.

2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16.

18. 19.

Beyl CA (2005) Rachel Carson’s Fight against Pesticides. In: Dudley W (ed) The Environment. Thomson Gale, De­ troit, pp. 94- 103 Brooks P (1993) Rachel Carson: precursora del movi­ miento ecologista. Gedisa, Barcelona Buchmann SL, Nabhan GP (1996) The Forgotten Pollina­ tors. Island Press, Washington & Covelo Carson R (1932) The Development of the Pronephros During the Embryonic and Early Larval Life of the Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Master’s Thesis Carson R (1941) Under the Sea-Wind. Oxford University Press, New York Carson R (1951) The Sea Around Us. Oxford University Press, New York Carson R (1955) The Edge of the Sea. Houghton Mifflin, New York Carson R (1962) Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin, New York Carson R (1963) Rachel Carson Answers. Audubon Magazine 65:262-265 Carson R (1964) The Sea. MacGibbon & Kee, London Cole LC (1962) Book review of Silent Spring. Sci Amer December:173-180 Dunlap TR (1981) DDT. Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy. Princeton University Press, Princeton Dunlap TR (1988) Saving America’s Wildlife. Ecology and the American Mind, 1850-1990. Princeton University Press, Princeton Elton CS (1958) The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants. Wiley, New York Emden HF van (1977) Control de plagas y su ecología. Omega, Barcelona Emden HF van, Peakall DB (1996) Beyond Silent Spring. Integrated Pest Management and Chemical Safety. Chapman & Hall, London Evans D (1992) A History of Nature Conservation in Brit­ ain. Routledge, London Gore A (1994) Introduction. In: Carson R. Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, pp. 11-26

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20. Graham Jr. F (1970) Since Silent Spring. Houghton Miff­ lin, Boston 21. Guitart R (2008) Tòxics, verins, drogues i contaminants, I. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 22. Lear L (1997) Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. Henry Holt, New York 23. Lomborg B (2001) The Skeptical Environmentalist. Cam­ bridge University Press, Cambridge 24. Lovelock J (2006) The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s climate in crisis and the fate of humanity. Basic Books, New York 25. Lowenthal D (1990) Awareness of Human Impacts: Changing Attitudes and Emphases. In: Turner BL II, Clark WC, Kates RW, Richard JF, Matthews JT, Meyer WB (eds) The Earth As Transformed by Human Action. Global and Regional Changes in the Biosphere over the Past 300 Years. Cambridge University Press & Clark Universi­ ty, Cambridge, pp.121-135 26. Mellanby K (1970) Pesticides and Pollution. Collins, Lon­ don 27. Matthiessen P (2000) Introduction. In: Carson R. Silent Spring. Folio, London, pp. 9-21 28. Nicholson M (1970) The Environmental Revolution. Hod­ der & Stoughton, London 29. Perkins JH (1982) Insects, Experts, and the Insecticide Crisis. The Quest for New Pest Management Strategies. Plenum Press, New York & London 30. Primack RB, Ros JD (2002) Introducción a la biología de la conservación. Ariel, Barcelona 31. Ros JD (2010) Prólogo. In: Carson R. Primavera silencio­ sa. Crítica, Barcelona. 32. Vosburgh J (1964) Carson receives Audubon medal, with acceptance address. Audubon Magazine 66:98-99 33. White-Stevens R (1972) A perspective on pesticides. Mimeo 34. Wildavsky A (1995) But Is It True? A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Health and Safety Issues. Harvard Univer­ sity Press, Cambridge & London 35. Wilson EO (1994) Afterword. In: Silent Spring. Carson R. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, pp. 357-364

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 33–40 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.131   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

focus

Celebration of Earth Day 2011

The theme of Earth Day and the social perception of what is really happening to our planet* Tomàs Molina Meteorology Section, Televisió de Catalunya (TV3), Barcelona Department of Astronomy and Meteorology, Faculty of Physics, University of Barcelona, Barcelona

Resum. La percepció social de la informació és cada vegada més diversa i es basa en fonts gairebé sempre allunyades de les conegudes tradicionalment. Els nous mitjans de comunica­ ció socials i de masses obren també la porta a una nova «ru­ morologia» universal que, en el cas de notícies lligades a la cièn­cia o al coneixement objectiu, dóna pas a la desinformació i a les teories conspiradores. L’escalfament planetari o el canvi climàtic són un exemple clar de com les fonts científiques es tergiversen i de com, amb un rerefons científic, s’acaba negant el que la font originària afirmava. En el món de les xarxes soci­ als, la comunicació d’idees i coneixements i les notícies objec­ tives es confonen irremissiblement. En el conjunt de la societat, la ciència i les notícies lligades al coneixement científic arriben sovint sense cap filtre o revisió d’experts, sense cap mena de coneixement vague sobre la font real que els ha emès. La per­ cepció social i global sobre el canvi climàtic i el futur del Planeta es modela mitjançant les xarxes socials, i per això, el lema del Dia de la Terra d’enguany és encara més significatiu: «Mil mil­ ions d’actes en verd» o la socialització universal d’una neces­ sitat planetària. Paraules clau: Grup Intergovernamental d’Experts sobre el Canvi Climàtic ∙ canvi climàtic ∙ escalfament global ∙ percepció social i global ∙ xarxes socials

In 1798, Thomas Malthus wrote in An Essay on the Principle of Population that, “The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction,

* Based on the lecture given by the author at the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona, on 5 May 2011 for the celebration of Earth Day at the IEC. Correspondence: T. Molina, Departament d’Astronomia i Meteorolo­ gia, Facultat de Física, planta 7a, Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028 Bar­ celona, Catalonia, EU. Tel.+34-934021125. Fax +34-934021133. E-mail: tomasmolinabosch@ub.edu; tmolina.z@tv3.cat

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 33

Summary. The social perception of information is increasingly diverse and based on sources that in many cases are far re­ moved from the traditional ones. New social mass media have opened the door to a universal ‘rumorology,’ which in the case of news related to science or objective knowledge often results in the transmission of misinformation and conspiracy theories. Global warming and climate change are a clear example of how scientific sources can be distorted and how, despite a sci­ entific basis, the original source declared can be obscured. In the world of social networks, the communication of ideas and knowledge and of objective news are hopelessly confused. In society as a whole, science and news involving scientific knowledge are often reported unfiltered or without prior peer review, with only vague background knowledge. The social and global perception of climate change and the future of the planet have been shaped by social networks. Consequently, the theme of Earth Day 2011 is even more significant: ‘A Billion Acts of Green,’ or the universal socialization of a global neces­ sity. Keywords: Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) ∙ climate change ∙ global warming ∙ social and global perception ∙ social networks

and often finish the dreadful work themselves […] Should success still be incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.” He believed that population growth was generally restrict­ ed by the available resources. At the time he wrote his essay, and for the following 200 years, most societies were at or be­ yond their agricultural limits. And yet what we have seen is that population levels have determined agricultural methods rather than the other way around. Likewise, often when we talk about climate change there is an almost global cata­ strophic view. We are at the beginning of the 21st century and world population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. If in the past we referred to a lack of food, today we talk about the lack of energy or the great climatic or meteorological phe­

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Molina

nomena that might regulate the world’s human population in some way. On every occasion a new intern comes to work with us, I challenge him or her with three quotes. The first is “Our Father in heaven…,” and approximately half of them stare blankly at me, while the rest manage to complete the sentence with “hal­ lowed be your name.” The second is “La Internacional” (in ref­ erence to the French anthem, L’Internationale, one of the most recognizable songs of the socialist movement since the late 19th century), leaving more than 90 % of the interns perplexed, “A store? A bar?” It means nothing to them. The third and last is “Cara al Sol” (or “Facing the Sun,” the national anthem of Franco’s Falangist Party in Spain). In this case, approximately 80 % will reply with something that resembles the rest of the phrase (“con la camisa nueva”, or “in my new shirt”), so you could say they do have some slight perception of what it refers to. The reason for this not-so-arbitrary short quiz is to confirm that the three events that have caused the greatest number of deaths—throughout the history of humanity, namely, religion; over the last 100 years, namely, the wars against communism; and in the past 60 years, in Spain, namely Franquismo or Fran­ cisco Franco’s dictatorship— have been virtually erased from the worldview of the current generation of young people. But over the last 20 years it is not only their perception of reality but also that of our own generation that has drastically changed.

standing of the various issues. It also aims to obtain a common vision between the different member countries of the European Union, in the hope that society’s opinion-makers will have a better understanding of the complexity of climate change is­ sues but also motivate European citizens to take both individu­ al and collective actions aimed at its mitigation. As former chairman of the International Association of Broadcast Meteor­ ology, which has consultative status with the World Meteoro­ logical Association (WMO), I have been able to forge contacts at the highest levels within the field of meteorology and to par­ ticipate actively in expert teams and task forces reporting to the WMO. Consequently, I am quite active with regard to topics pertaining to climate change and the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). So are we indeed tired of hearing about climate change? The answer is yes. But let us examine this question in greater depth. Between 2007 and 2008, the polling company Gallup conducted the first comprehensive survey of global opinions about climate change, posing two questions to respondents in 128 countries: 1) How much do you know about global warm­ ing or climate change? and 2) How serious of a threat is global warming to you and your family? My personal perception, as someone who works in communication, is that we are very selfish. I do not believe that historical approximations about how climate change will affect our grandchildren, or great grandchildren, for example, are effective, mostly because in to­ day’s society it is very difficult for us to consider things beyond our personal reality or at the most that of our direct family mem­ bers. In any case, Gallup found that the majority of the world’s adult population is aware of climate change issues (Table 1), and that those who are aware are more likely to say that cli­ mate change poses a serious threat to themselves and to their families (Table 2). Overall, 61 % of people in the world are aware of global warming and climate change, claiming to know a great deal about it or at least something about it. More than 8 in 10 adults in Europe and North and South America are familiar with these two issues, whereas the percentage is lower, about 50 %, in Asia, Middle East / North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. If we look at individual countries, in many of them, both developed and developing, approximately 80 % of the population will

Are we tired of climate change? Whenever I give a lecture about climate change and I ask this question, most people, 70–80% of the attendants—and we are talking about people who actually came to hear a lecture on the topic, in other words, people with some awareness of the issue—will answer yes. What is the reason for this? I am best known as the weatherman for TV3, the primary television channel of the Catalan public broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya, but I have also been president of the Climate Broadcasters Network - Europe, of the European Commission. The main objective of this network is to communicate to citi­ zens the science of climate change; its impacts, and the need for adaptation and mitigation in order to facilitate broad under­

Table 1. How much do you know about global warming or climate change? Source: Gallup Poll Have not heard of it

Know something about it

Know a great deal about it

Don’t know/ Refused

Aware

World

24 %

50 %

11 %

15 %

61 %

Americas

14 %

64 %

17 %

 4%

82 %

Asia

24 %

45 %

 8%

23 %

53 %

Europe

 8%

70 %

18 %

 4%

88 %

Middle East / North Africa

41 %

42 %

10 %

 7%

52 %

Sub-Saharan Africa

48 %

37 %

 7%

 9%

44 %

Based on Gallup surveys in 128 countries between 2007 and 2008. Data weighted to 2008 World Bank adult population estimates. For more infor­ mation, http://www.gallup.com/poll/124652/awareness-climate-change-threat-vary-region.aspx.

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The theme of Earth Day and the social perception of what is really happening to our planet

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   35

Table 2. How serious of a threat is global warming to you and your family? Source: Gallup Poll Very/Somewhat serious

Not very/Not at all serious

Don’t know/Refused

Not aware

World

41 %

18 %

2%

39 %

Americas

67 %

15 %

1%

17 %

Asia

32 %

20 %

2%

46 %

Europe

59 %

25 %

4%

12 %

Middle East / North Africa

42 %

 9%

1%

48 %

Sub-Saharan Africa

36 %

 7%

1%

56 %

Based on Gallup surveys in 128 countries between 2007 and 2008. Data weighted to 2008 World Bank adult population estimates. For more infor­ mation, http://www.gallup.com/poll/124652/awareness-climate-change-threat-vary-region.aspx.

claim to know either something or a great deal about climate change (Table 3). The countries whose populations claim to know less, with an average of 20 %, in most cases, coincide with the ‘Least Devel­ oped Countries,’ according to the United Nations, and are also the countries with the lowest literacy rates, in accordance with a lower general knowledge and less transfer of learning in their populations. Furthermore, with regard to the question of how serious of a threat global warming is to themselves and their family, the results also show that global warming and climate change are perceived as a relatively low threat in the most vul­ nerable regions. This can be attributed to the previously men­ tioned lower awareness in Asia, Middle East / North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa, and therefore a lower likelihood of con­ cluding that global warming will have serious consequences. Again, adults in Europe, North and South America are the most likely to perceive global warming as a very or at least a some­ what serious threat. But if we look again at individual countries things are far from uniform within continents or regions. A good example of this can be found in Latin America, where in Brazil 76 % of the population views global warming as a serious per­ sonal threat, as opposed to Haiti, where only 35 % has the same view. If we take Haiti’s survey results for 2010, it is almost half of that, at 18 %. Clearly, in a country devastated by earth­ quakes and hurricanes, there are bigger, immediate concerns than whether there is global warming or not, nor is it certain that this information has reached most of the population. But there are also large differences among developed countries. In Eu­ rope, for example, global warming is considered as a serious personal threat by 82 % of the population in Greece but only by 39 % of the population in the Czech Republic. Most importantly, the result varies among the top five green­ house-gas-emitting countries: China, India, Japan, Russia and United States. This underscores the challenges leaders face in reaching a global climate agreement. In China, which is the world’s top emitter of CO2 into the atmosphere, with the amounts expected to increase even further, 62 % of the popu­ lation is aware of climate change but only 21 % consider it a serious personal threat. During the World Climate Confer­ ence-3 (WCC3), held in Geneva, I had the chance to talk with representatives from around the world to ask them about their

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 35

planned negotiation position for the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen, a few months later. One of the top-level negotiators from China put it this way: China has 1.6 billion people and in the last 20 years more than 300 million have emerged from poverty. The current challenge is to in­ crease that number to 500 million and this is the top priority of the government. There is no other country in the world that has undertaken a more difficult and decisive effort for population control as that of the one-child policy. For any European, or any other citizen of the world, for the government to impose such a policy on private life would be inadmissible, and yet in China it was introduced as an attempt to alleviate the country’s social, economic, and environmental problems. So, according to the Chinese negotiator, no other country is in a position to tell the Chinese what to do, for they will do what they believe is necessary to take people out of poverty, just as they defended their right to impose their own approach to control the coun­ try’s population growth. If we compare survey results for how serious of a threat glo­ bal warming was considered to be between 2007–2008 and 2010, in the regions where awareness was the highest it has dropped significantly: by 10 % in Western Europe, 7 % in East­ ern Europe, and 10 % in the United States. Conversely, aware­ ness has increased in other regions, such as Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, but mostly where it was low to begin with (Table 4). Worldwide, there has been a 1 % increase in awareness, but we should not fool ourselves. In all of the regions that are central opinion- and decision-makers as well as the key partici­ pating countries in global climate debates—in other words, de­ veloped Asia, Europe, and the United States—the sense of a threat by global warming is much less today than it was just recently. As one study concluded, declining concern about cli­ mate change may reflect the lack of progress towards achiev­ ing a global climate policy compounded by the increasing skepticism about global warming after the so-called Climate­ gate in 2009, when climate skeptics argued that emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia showed that global warming was a scientific conspiracy in which climate data were manipulated and there had been at­ tempts to suppress critics. The reduced concern about climate

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Table 3. Global awareness of climate change and perceived personal threat by individual countries. Source: Gallup Poll Country

Know something/great deal about climate change

Global warming serious personal threat

Afghanistan

25 %

18 %

Algeria

56 %

Angola

Know something/great deal about climate change

Global warming serious personal threat

El Salvador

55 %

51 %

46 %

Estonia

88 %

32 %

43 %

38 %

Ethiopia

80 %

73 %

Argentina

76 %

71 %

Finland

97 %

39 %

Armenia

78 %

65 %

France

93 %

75 %

Australia

97 %

75 %

Georgia

62 %

47 %

Austria

95 %

54 %

Germany

96 %

60 %

Azerbaijan

58 %

43 %

Ghana

26 %

19 %

Bangladesh

33 %

32 %

Greece

87 %

82 %

Belarus

80 %

30 %

Guatemala

57 %

51 %

Belgium

89 %

68 %

Guinea

55 %

43 %

Belize

53 %

45 %

Guyana

67 %

56 %

Benin

21 %

15 %

Haiti

46 %

35 %

Bolivia

55 %

51 %

Honduras

62 %

57 %

Botswana

38 %

30 %

Hong Kong

92 %

54 %

Brazil

79 %

76 %

Hungary

93 %

75 %

Burkina Faso

36 %

34 %

Iceland

95 %

33 %

Burundi

22 %

20 %

India

35 %

29 %

Cambodia

58 %

51 %

Indonesia

39 %

33 %

Cameroon

49 %

32 %

Iran

55 %

43 %

Canada

95 %

74 %

Iraq

55 %

28 %

Central African Republic

56 %

37 %

Ireland

94 %

60 %

Chad

45 %

38 %

Israel

86 %

62 %

Chile

73 %

69 %

Italy

84 %

76 %

China

62 %

21 %

Japan

99 %

80 %

Colombia

68 %

65 %

Jordan

62 %

51 %

Costa Rica

75 %

72 %

Kazakhstan

60 %

35 %

Czech Republic

87 %

39 %

Kenya

56 %

49 %

Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa)

53 %

41 %

Kyrgyzstan

52 %

39 %

Laos

80 %

49 %

Denmark

90 %

40 %

Latvia

91 %

37 %

Dijbouti

43 %

35 %

Lebanon

64 %

54 %

Dominican Republic

50 %

46 %

Liberia

15 %

13 %

Ecuador

70 %

69 %

Lithuania

91 %

47 %

Egypt

25 %

21 %

Luxembourg

95 %

75 %

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 36

Country

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The theme of Earth Day and the social perception of what is really happening to our planet

Country

Know something/great deal about climate change

Global warming serious personal threat

Madagascar

49 %

46 %

Malaysia

71 %

Mali

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   37

Know something/great deal about climate change

Global warming serious personal threat

South Africa

31 %

21 %

50 %

South Korea

93 %

80 %

53 %

48 %

Spain

85 %

69 %

Malta

75 %

64 %

Sri Lanka

73 %

65 %

Mauritania

44 %

35 %

Sudan

47 %

42 %

Mexico

67 %

63 %

Sweden

96 %

56 %

Moldova

82 %

73 %

Syria

56 %

41 %

Mongolia

75 %

30 %

Taiwan

91 %

70 %

Morocco

30 %

29 %

Tajikistan

43 %

19 %

Mozambique

54 %

48 %

Tanzania

52 %

48 %

Namibia

46 %

35 %

Thailand

88 %

61 %

Nepal

37 %

32 %

Togo

29 %

23 %

Netherlands

96 %

57 %

Trinidad and Tobago

72 %

71 %

Nicaragua

53 %

49 %

Tunisia

60 %

46 %

Niger

24 %

21 %

Turkey

74 %

66 %

Nigeria

28 %

18 %

Uganda

35 %

30 %

Norway

97 %

43 %

Ukraine

79 %

52 %

Pakistan

34 %

24 %

United Kingdom

97 %

69 %

Palestinian Territories

67 %

55 %

United States

97 %

63 %

Panama

65 %

61 %

Uruguay

73 %

68 %

Paraguay

58 %

54 %

Uzbekistan

53 %

38 %

Peru

61 %

58 %

Venezuela

63 %

62 %

Philippines

47 %

42 %

Vietnam

73 %

53 %

Poland

84 %

54 %

Zambia

26 %

18 %

Portugal

90 %

85 %

Zimbabwe

52 %

36 %

Qatar

64 %

43 %

Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)

41 %

31 %

Romania

81 %

66 %

Russia

85 %

39 %

Rwanda

30 %

22 %

Saudi Arabia

48 %

40 %

Senegal

36 %

33 %

Sierra Leone

36 %

24 %

Singapore

84 %

59 %

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 37

Country

Based on Gallup surveys in 128 countries between 2007 and 2008. For more information, http://www.gallup.com/poll/124595/Top-Emit­ ting-Countries-Differ-Climate-Change-Threat.aspx#2.

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Table 4. How serious of a threat is global warming to you and your family? Percentage saying ‘Very/Somewhat serious’ threat. Source: Gallup Poll 2007– 2008

2010

Change (Percentage points)

World

41 %

42 %

 +1

Canada

74 %

71 %

 –3

Commonwealth of Independent States

42 %

44 %

 +2

Developed Asia

79 %

74 %

 –5

Developing Asia

31 %

31 %

Eastern/Southern Europe

67 %

60 %

 –7

Latin America

67 %

73 %

 +6

Middle East and North Africa

42 %

37 %

 –5

Sub-Saharan Africa

29 %

34 %

 +5

United States

63 %

53 %

– 10

Western Europe

66 %

56 %

– 10

Based on Gallup surveys in 111 countries in 2010. Figures projected to the entire adult population. For more information, http://www.gallup. com/poll/147203/Fewer-Americans-Europeans-View-Global-Warm­ ing-Threat.aspx.

change may also reflect the difficult economic times, as envi­ ronmental issues have become less important. According to a Rasmussen report on opinions about global warming as expressed by likely voters in the United States, in a poll conducted in 2010, 41 % thought that global warming is caused primarily by human activity while 47 % said it was due to planetary trends [http://www.rasmussenreports.com/pub­ lic_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/ener­ gy_update]. This is a marked difference from results of the 2008 survey, when voters were more inclined to think that the primary cause was human activity (47 %) rather than planetary trends (34 %).

What is our perception? What is our knowledge? Figure 1 shows the covers of the IPPC Assessment Reports on Climate Change. The first report appeared in 1990, with supple­ mentary reports published in 1992; the second report appeared

in 1995, the third in 2001, and the fourth in 2007 (Fig. 1). The fifth Assessment Report will be released in 2013 and 2014. Why does it take so long for these reports to be released? Basically, because they are compiled with great care. Figure 2 shows the workflow of the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval, and publication of the IPCC reports. In sum­ mary, a first draft of reports is prepared based on available scien­ tific, technical, and socioeconomic information. The IPCC as­ sessment is extensively supported with references from the peer reviewed and internationally available literature. In preparing an IPCC report, the lead authors must clearly identify disparate views for which there is significant scientific or technical support. Contributing authors may be invited to submit further material. Review is essential to the IPCC process as it ensures an objec­ tive and complete assessment of the current information. A mul­ ti-stage review process is carried out, initially by experts and then by governments and experts. Subsequently, the report is submitted to both expert reviewers and governments, who may then comment on its accuracy and completeness, in terms of scientific/technical/socioeconomic content and overall balance. The circulation process among peer and government experts is very wide. Hundreds of scientists examine the drafts, checking the soundness of the scientific information included in the report. The review editors of the report (normally two per chapter) make sure that all comments are well considered. On completion of a report, review comments are then retained for a minimum of 5 years thereafter in an open archive. In light of this complex re­ view process, the most fundamental knowledge on climate change is, by the time of its publication, ‘scientifically obsolete’ because the reports contain data with a lag or difference of 3 or 4 years compared to the most up-to-date knowledge. A search for ‘Global warming’ on Google Scholar, yields hundreds of thousands of articles. But if we look year by year, we find there are about 45,000 since 2012, 39,400 for 2011, 46,000 for 2010, 41,400 since 2009, etc. Thus, there are around 40,000 articles every year. That means that an average of 110 new articles about the science of global warming are available to the public every day. This may look as a good number, but let us compare it with the number of opinions a regular world citizen is exposed to on a daily basis.

Social and global perception of climate change in the social networks Today, the debate on global warming is alive in the social net­ works. On Twitter, there is approximately one tweet about glo­

Fig. 1. The four IPPC Assessment Reports on Climate Change published to date.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 38

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The theme of Earth Day and the social perception of what is really happening to our planet

Fig. 2. Workflow of the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, ap­ proval, and publication of the IPCC reports. Source: IPCC.

bal warming every minute. That means that around the world, at least every minute there is someone expressing an opinion, positive or negative, about climate change, which results in a very marked and very sustained debate. Through social net­ works, many hundreds of thousands of people share their views and opinions in highly systematic forms of communication. Today, information is widely accessible to almost anyone and it comes from an increasingly diverse number of sources. Thus, we often form our opinions based on summaries of the results provided by search engines to a specific enquiry. But the social perception of information has become increasingly stratified and sources that we rely upon for information may well be remote from traditional ones. The new social mass me­ dia has also opened the door to a universal ‘rumorology,’ which for news related either to science or to objective knowledge often results in the transmission of misinformation and conspir­ acy theories.

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   39

Thus, if they express this opinion, in some way or another, re­ peatedly on TV over their 3-minute segment every day it is pos­ sible for society to come to the same conclusion. And by soci­ ety I mean not only the general public, but also politicians, decision-makers, and even scientists of different specialties. Furthermore, one out of four weather broadcasters—strong generators of opinion—considers global warming as a scam, an assertion that is far beyond simply saying they do not be­ lieve in it. In a speech pronounced on 2003, US Senator James Inhofe said that the theory that man-made emissions have caused global warming was “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Two years later, in a Senate floor speech he reiterated his ideas once again, saying that “much of the de­ bate over global warming is predicated on fear, rather than sci­ ence. I called the threat of catastrophic global warming the ‘greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,’ a statement that, to put it mildly, was not viewed kindly by envi­ ronmental extremists and their elitist organizations. I also point­ ed out, in a lengthy committee report, that those same environ­ mental extremists exploit the issue for fundraising purposes, raking in millions of dollars, even using federal taxpayer dollars to finance their campaigns.” He goes on to cite the work of several scientists and refers mostly to the melting of the ice­ caps and future projections to support his views. But if we ex­ amine the fourth chapter of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Re­ port, “Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground” [http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4wg1-chapter4.pdf], we see that 22 of the authors (coordinat­ ing, lead and contributing) and review editors, more than half, are from the United States. With regard to projections of future changes in climate, there are 31 scientists from the United States—again, more than half—contributing to the report. Therefore, these so-called ‘environmental extremists,’ as re­ ferred to by Senator Inhofe—a high-ranking member of the American political system and thus potentially highly influential as an opinion- and decision-maker—are mostly scientists car­ rying out research in the United States.

What is the opinion of weather forecasters? This is an example of social perception related to the growing opinion that global warming is primarily caused by planetary trends. For many people, the weatherman/woman is the only scientist they know. In most cases, weather forecasters are scientists, with training in physics, geography, etc. In others, they are TV or radio presenters that are communicating infor­ mation from meteorologists. Nonetheless, in the United States, the meteorologist is generally considered to be the ‘station sci­ entist’ and thus the authoritative voice to discuss science-relat­ ed topics. According to a wide study of weathermen/women in the United States, carried out by George Mason University, only 33 % believe that global warming is due to natural causes [http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/ TV_Meteorologists_Survey_Findings_%28March_2010%29. pdf]. Two out of three weather broadcasters in American televi­ sion believe that global warming is caused by planetary trends.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 39

Where does society get its information from? Generally, we consume information from the easiest and most accessible source. And nowadays this is mostly through Google searches, Twitter feeds, and other social networks. Ac­ cess to information is so fast that social perception advances at an alarming speed. Global warming and climate change are a clear example of how scientific sources can be distorted and of how, despite a scientific basis, the original source can be obscured. In the world of social networks, the communication of ideas and knowledge and objective news are hopelessly confused. There are millions of opinions, stories, points of view, sources of information, all of which, for the majority of people, are of the same weight. In society as a whole, science and news related to scientific knowledge often come without the benefit of a filter or peer review, such that knowledge about the real source of the information is vague at best.

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40   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

We cannot change society, but we can try to steer it in a di­ rection that we honestly believe is appropriate. As scientists, we must conduct sound research but it is just as important that we pay closer attention to the communication of climate sci­ ence, so that our findings provide information of the highest quality possible while expressed in such a way that it can be

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 40

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readily understood by most of society. The social and global perception of both climate change and the future of the planet is modeled through social networks. Recognition of this new reality was reflected in the theme of Earth Day 2011: ‘A Billion Acts of Green,’ or the universal socialization of a global neces­ sity.

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 41–46 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.132   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

focus

Celebration of Earth Day 2011

Recent large earthquakes from a geophysical perspective* Emma Suriñach1,2 1. Eduard Fontserè Laboratory of Geophysical Studies, Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona 2. RISKNAT Group, Department of Geodynamics and Geophysics, Faculty of Geology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona

Resum. En els darrers temps la nostra societat ha estat trasbalsada per l’efecte de diversos terratrèmols (Haití, Xile, Nova Zelanda i Japó). No es tracta de fenòmens nous, la Terra ha estat i estarà sotmesa a la seva acció, però els grans terratrèmols no són freqüents ni es produeixen arreu. Hi ha regions de la Terra més propenses que d’altres a ser sotmeses al seu efecte. D’altra banda, una societat adequadament preparada en pot mitigar el risc. Conèixer la perillositat de cada zona és imprescindible per a poder disminuir l’efecte dels terratrèmols, fet que implica l’estudi profund de les seves característiques i de les zones en què succeeixen. Aquest article repassa els últims grans terratrèmols des d’una òptica geofísica i n’analitzarem les característiques i el context geològic específic en què es produeixen. Per a dur a terme aquesta anàlisi s’ha fet servir els registres dels terratrèmols obtinguts a les estacions del LEGEF, que es poden trobar al nostre web, http://sismic2.iec.cat.

Abstract. In recent times our society has been disturbed by the effect of various earthquakes (Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, and Japan). These are not new phenomena, the Earth has been and will be subjected to their action, but large earthquakes are not frequent or occur elsewhere. There are regions of the Earth more likely than others to be affected by them. In addition, an adequately society can be prepared to mitigate the risk. Knowing the hazard of each area is essential in order to reduce the effect of earthquakes, which implies the thorough study of their features and of areas in which they occur. This article reviews the recent major earthquakes from a geophysical perspective and analyzes the characteristics and the specific geological context in which they occur. For this analysis, the records of earthquakes obtained at LEGEF stations, which can be found on our website (http://sismic2.iec.cat) have been used.

Paraules clau: terratrèmols ∙ plaques tectòniques ∙ sismologia ∙ geofísica ∙ registres sísmics

Keywords: earthquakes ∙ tectonic plates ∙ seismology ∙ geophysics ∙ seismic records

Introduction

Seismologists study earthquakes from different perspectives: from the near field, taking into account the damage to both ground and buildings caused by the earthquake, to the far field, analyzing the information contained in the seismograms. The energy released by an earthquake travels through the Earth’s interior in the form of seismic waves, which are recorded at seismic stations. Seismograms are the records of the seismic waves generated by an earthquake. They are a temporal series reflecting the ground motion (velocity/acceleration) during the passage of seismic waves. Seismologists, in collaboration with other scientists in related specialties, seek to better understand earthquake phenomena so that we may be better able to coexist with them. Figure 1 shows the aforementioned earthquakes on a map of the world seismicity (M > 5.9) since 1990 [12]. Earthquakes occur in specific areas, mainly along the boundaries of the tectonic plates into which the surface of the Earth is divided, and their occurrence can be explained in accordance with the the­ ory of plate tectonics, which was accepted in the 1960s [11]. These plates involve the entire lithosphere, which is more than 300 km thick. The thickness of the crust, i.e., the rigid part of

On the year 2011 the world community took note of the recent large earthquakes in Haiti (7.1 Mw), Chile (8.8 Mw), and Japan (9.0 Mw) (Fig 1) (Mw is the momentum magnitude that is related to the energy released by the earthquake at the focus; see [10]). While the attention of the mass media is usually on the damage caused by earthquakes, the public is provided with very little information about the underlying science. This paper addresses several aspects of these studies. In addition to the aforementioned earthquakes, two others (Mw 7.1 and Mw 6.3), in the vicinity of Canterbury, New Zealand (Fig. 1), are considered here as well.

* Based on the lecture given by the author at the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona, on 5 May 2011 for the celebration of Earth Day at the IEC. Correspondence: E. Suriñach, Departament de Geodinàmica i Geofísica, Facultat de Geologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès S/N, E-08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, EU. Tel. +34-934021386. Fax +34-934021340. E-mail: emma.surinach@ub.edu

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 41

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42   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

Fig. 1. Earthquakes considered on a world seismicity map since 1990 (M ≥ 5.9). 1: Haiti (Mw 7.1), 12 January 2010; 2: Chile (Mw 8.8), 27 February 2010; 3: Japan (Mw 9.0), 11 March 2011; 4: New Zealand (Mw 7.1), 3 September 2010 and (Mw 6.3), 21 February 2011. Source: U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).

the plates, depends on whether the plate is continental or oceanic (up to ~80 km depth) [2,9]. Earthquakes occur in the crust and result from the friction between moving plates.

Mechanical model At the end of 19th century—after the earthquakes of Naples (1857), Japan (1891), and Assam (1897)—an attempt was made to relate tectonic processes with earthquakes. However, the first convincing attempt was in 1906, following the San Francisco earthquake, when Reid (1910) presented his mechanical model based on the gradual accumulation and subsequent release of stress and strain known as the ‘elastic rebound theory’ [6,13,14]. Figure 2 is a photo of the 2.5-m lateral displacement of a fence along the trace of the fault caused by San Francisco earthquake. This image inspired the model. The theory can be explained by imagining a piece of stretched string that is cut, causing the sudden release of the

Fig. 2. A 2.5-m displacement of a fence, near Point Reyes, California, produced along the fault during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Photo: by G.K. Gilbert.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 42

Suriñach

energy accumulated within the strain. Likewise, the Earth’s crust can gradually store elastic stress that is released suddenly during an earthquake. A piece of jelly candy provides us with another example. Imagine that we laterally pull its two ends. The jelly will accumulate strain until it snaps into two parts, each of which will then vibrate. This vibration represents the propagation of seismic waves in the Earth while the break in the jelly is the fault. In our example, the release of the accumulated energy was total. However, in general, this is not what happens to the Earth. The relative motion between the plates produces an accumulation of stresses in the crust that are not released totally. The recurrence of earthquakes is common and depends on the tectonic conditions of the area. The following example allows us to visualize the situation. Imagine a piece of wood being pushed across a rough surface of a table. The piece of wood will move when the force applied exceeds the resistance due to the roughness of the table. A drop in stress will occur as the wood slips off the table. The same situation will occur again if the force continues to push the piece of wood, and the time between the slips will depend on the force applied and the roughness of the table. In our example, the piece of wood and the table are the plates, the force applied is the friction between the plates, and the slip and stress drop are the earthquake. The force is the tectonic force associated with the plates’ motion. The time between slips is the recurrence period.

Seismograms: Tool of the seismologist Seismograms of the earthquakes in Chile and Japan recorded at the seismic station installed by the Laboratori d’Estudis Geo­ físics Eduard Fontseré (Eduard Fontserè Laboratory of Geophysical Studies, LEGEF- IEC) [15] at the Fabra Observatory, in a collaboration with the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona (Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona, RACAB) [16], are presented in Fig 3. The seismograms correspond to the velocity of the ground (vertical axis) as depicted in three axes (E, N, Z). The horizontal axis is time and it tells us the duration of the seismic wave packets of the earthquake. At present, more than 8000 seismic stations have been installed to monitor earthquakes worldwide. In addition, there are also permanent and temporary local seismic networks that are owned and operated by research groups. Yearly, 20,000 earthquakes of different magnitudes are localized and studied with this seismic infrastructure [17]. The source of information about earthquakes is the seismograms obtained at the seismic stations. The seismograms record the different wave packets generated by the earthquake itself plus the different wave packets created by refraction and reflection at the discontinuities of the Earth. Several types of analyses can be performed, depending on the characteristics of the available equipment. The seismological community is made up of diverse groups of specialists who are able to analyze and interpret the information contained in the seismograms. Integration of this information yields insights into the earthquake. Basic information about each earthquake is pre-

27/09/2012 12:13:13


Recent large earthquakes from a geophysical perspective

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   43

Figure 4 shows the equivalent energy released (in kg of TNT) by an earthquake of a certain magnitude. This equivalence is based on empirical relationships in the absence of physicmathematical relationships [8,10]. These relationships indicate that the ratio of energy between two consecutive magnitudes is approximately 32. Regarding the seismicity of the Earth, the annual average number of earthquakes of magnitude 8.0–9.9 in the last decade (2000–2011) was one, with the exception of the four earthquakes in 2007 [1,22]. This rate increases for earthquakes of lower magnitudes, so that, for example, the annual average number of earthquakes of magnitude 7.0–7.9 is 17. We should mention the two in Sumatra in 2004 and 2007 (Mw 9.1 and 8.5, respectively), the 2001 earthquake in southern Peru (Mw 8.4), the one in 2009 in Samoa (Mw 8.1), the earthquake in Chile in 2010 (Mw 8.8), and the major one in Honshu in 2011 (Mw 9.0). In 2012, an earthquake of Mw 8.6 occurred on the west coast of northern Sumatra. Since 1900, the highest-magnitude earthquakes have been in Valdivia, Chile (M 9.5) in 1960, in Alaska (M 9.2) in 1964, in Sumatra (Mw 9.1) in 2004, in Kamchatka (M  9.0) in 1952, in Honshu (Mw 9.0) in 2011, in Colombia (M 8.8 [23]) in 1906, and in Chile (Mw 8.8) in 2010 [24].

The Haiti earthquake

Fig. 3. Seismogram of the [top] Chile (27 February 2010) and [bottom] Honshu (11 March 2011) earthquakes, recorded at the FBR (LEGEFRACAB) seismic station [15].

sented on the Web pages of seismological institutions [12,18– 20] and is included herein. Specific studies in seismological journals have also been considered.

Understanding earthquakes An earthquake is basically described by its focal parameters: location of the focus (latitude, longitude, and depth), time of origin, its size, the fault parameters, and the source mechanism [8,10]. This information is furnished by seismograms after a complex process of analysis that depends on the use of seismological algorithms, based on physical concepts, developed by the seismological community. With regard of size, seismograms provide the magnitudes of the earthquakes. The magnitude is related to the seismic energy released by the earthquake’s focus [10]. The mechanism is independent of the size, dimensions, and orientation of the fault plane and the movement of the material involved in the slip. Information that provides the rupture model and indicates stress transmissions/release is obtained by numerical seismic waveform modeling [21].

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On 12 January 2010, an earthquake of Mw 7.1 [25,26] struck Haiti. The epicenter was 25 km WSW of Port au Prince, at 13 km depth. Although the magnitude was not extraordinarily large, scientists regarded this earthquake as a major one because of the considerable destruction it caused. Even today, the humanitarian situation remains desperate. As stated above, earthquakes occur along plate boundaries. In this case, the Caribbean and the North American plates were involved. These plates move laterally in relation to each other through a transform fault. The relative movement of the plates is absorbed by the Septentrional Fault to the north and the Enriquillo Fault to the south. The latter fault, with an estimated slip rate of 7 mm/ year, was implicated in the earthquake. The first 50–80 s of the seismograms recorded at 16 stations located 1000–2000 km from the epicenter were used to obtain the source mechanism by modeling. The fault length was 70 km, with a slip of 2 m and a speed of rupture of 2900 m/s. The duration of the slip was 12 s. The geometrical parameters of the fault obtained are coincident with the regional tectonics [27–29]. The affected area had been struck by earthquakes in the past [30], three of them occurring in the Enriquillo Fault area: two of M 8.0 in November and October of 1751 and one of M 7.5 in 1770. A number of earthquakes involved the Septentrional Fault (1887, 1842, 1953, and 2003) but the one with the greatest magnitude was that of 1946 (M 8.0). Although the 2010 earthquake did not produce a tsunami, other earthquakes in the area were tsunamigenic. Despite the intense seismicity of the area, witnesses of the 2010 earthquake did not realize the source of the shaking, mistaking the earthquake for a tornado or other such phenomenon. This suggests a loss of ‘seismic memory,’ which is a very

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Suriñach

Fig. 4. Worldwide number of earthquakes per year, and energy equivalences. © The Iris Consortium. Education and outreach series, nº. 3.

important factor in adopting measures to mitigate the damage caused by earthquakes and in educating citizens in earthquake preparedness. Indeed, some of the damaged areas have since been re-occupied by the locals, who thus run a serious risk of injury from falling masonry.

The Chile earthquake Approximately one month after the Haiti earthquake, on 27 February 2010, an earthquake of magnitude Mw 8.8 [31,32] and a depth of 35 km occurred near the site of the 1960 Valdivia (Mw 9.5) earthquake [33,34]. Kinematic inversion of the data revealed that the rupture was 550–650 km long and the slip was 4 m. The rupture speed was 3800 m/s, with a duration of 139.5 s [35]. Like the earlier earthquake, a tsunami was induced, with comparable amounts of damage and water invasion [36]. The area in which the later earthquake occurred is the subduction front of the Nazca Plate, under the South American Plate, with a rate of convergence of 7 cm/year. Due to the existing gap (in time and space) of earthquakes in the region, the area was under study using GPS equipment, temporary seismic stations, and geophysical measurements [37]. Consequently, this earthquake was expected [4].

The Japan earthquake On 11 March 2011, an earthquake of magnitude Mw 9.0 and a depth of 20–30 km occurred on the eastern coast of Honshu Island, Japan [38,39]. This earthquake was the largest to strike Japan and among the five biggest in the world thus far. The rupture length was 400 km and the displacement was 30 m. These data were obtained from inversion modeling [40]. Several studies were undertaken immediately after the earthquake, such that this earthquake has been the most well-studied within the shortest time in history—due in large measure to the numerous broadband seismic stations worldwide that monitored the Earth in real time. Consequently, the findings were disseminated immediately. The results were posted on the Web pages of seismological services and research groups [40–45].

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The Eurasian, Philippine, and Pacific plates were involved as were local microplates that subduct in a complicated geometry of convergence. The convergence rate of 79 mm/year pro­ duces earthquakes at different depths and magnitudes [41,42]. The seismic activity of the area is high, with two previous earthquakes, in 1896 and 1933, of magnitude ~8 that produced a tsunami with maximum wave heights of 25–28 m [43]. Historical documents in Japan mention an earthquake in 869 AD (called the Jogan earthquake), which created a tsunami that killed thousands of people. Studies of the deposits of this tsunami and of older ones yield a recurrence interval of 450–800 years for an event of such magnitude [5]. Two days before the well-known Mw 9.0 earthquake, there was an earthquake of Mw 7.2 (similar to that of the Haiti earthquake) followed by two more earthquakes, with magnitudes between 7 and 8 [38,39]. After the 9.0 earthquake, a series of aftershocks of relatively high magnitude, including one of Mw 7.1 (April 08), affected an area of 510 × 210 km2 [45]. The aftershocks continued for months (1073 earthquakes Mw > 4.5 in ~1 month). These data give rise to two considerations. The first is a reflection on the different concepts of foreshock, main shock, and aftershock even though the definition seems to be clear. Only after the sequence of the earthquakes can these differences be determined. Thus, the earthquake of Mw 7.2 on 9 March was a foreshock. The second consideration is the large amount of energy accumulated in the area that was released by the different earthquakes. The rupture of the main shock lasted 25 min but calculations of the energy released in the whole process show that if the energy had been released at once the magnitude of the earthquake would have been 9.4 [40,45]. Detailed information about the superficial ground deformation in this earthquake was provided by measurements obtained from the very dense GPS network installed in the Japanese islands [43]. Networks of high-precision and high-resolution GPS stations have been set up in earthquake-prone areas. Interseismic, co-seismic, and post-seismic deformations associated with an earthquake can be determined from GPS measurements, after a complex processes of analysis. In the Japanese earthquake (Mw 9.0), horizontal displacements were as much as 4 m while the vertical displacements were mainly negative, up to –0.8 m [43]. The vertical acceleration of the ground due to

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Recent large earthquakes from a geophysical perspective

the earthquake was also measured by the network of accelerometers installed in Honshu. The maximum value of acceleration was 2.7 g (ca. three times the acceleration due to gravity), as recorded by the Miyagi accelerometer [47]. Ground acceleration is an important factor in damage to buildings and must be considered in their seismic design. Geographic areas are classified according to the likelihood of undergoing a specific acceleration due to an earthquake. In Japan, liquefaction of the terrain was also present because of the ground acceleration [48]. This effect is associated with the vibration, the ground type, and the content of water in the ground. Japan is one of the most highly monitored areas given that it is extremely sensitive to earthquake phenomena. Japan’s Early Warning System, developed in 2007 by the Japan Meteorological Agency, detected the earthquake [49]. The city of Tokyo was alerted 80 s before the arrival of the earthquake waves. Citizens were warned via mobile telephones, TV, etc. Authorities in charge of the trains and other forms of infrastructure were alerted and all such means of transportation stopped, either automatically or manually. The Early Warning System is based on an efficient detection of the first ~8 s of the earthquake waves. The time between the warning and the arrival of the destructive waves depends on the speed of these waves on the ground and on the distance traveled. The farther the epicentral distance, the longer the time. Accurate knowledge of earthquake behavior in the area is essential for the smooth functioning of this system. It is worth noting that, from the standpoint of seismicity, the damage caused by vibrations was low, considering the very large magnitude of the earthquake. This is a direct consequence of the resistance of Japanese buildings and infrastructure to vibrations. Thus, instead, most of the damage was produced by the tsunami generated by the earthquake.

The New Zealand earthquakes On 3 September 2010 and again on 21 February 2011, two earthquakes took place in the region of Canterbury in South Island, New Zealand [50,51]. While the earthquake of Japan monopolized the interest of seismologists because of its magnitude and circumstances, these two earthquakes attracted attention because of their unexpected behavior [3,7]. Both were located on the boundary of the Australia–Pacific plates, which move 35 mm/year (GPS measurements [52]). The first earthquake (Mw 7.0 [50,51]) occurred near Darfield. The second one (Mw 6.1/6.3, depending on the source of information [52,53]) occurred 43 km east of the first and 5 km from Christchurch, as part of the aftershock sequence of that previous earthquake. The second earthquake was located at the easternmost limit of earlier aftershocks and revealed a new fault. Both earthquakes occurred at 5 km depth. For a long time afterwards, aftershocks continued to propagate to the east, delimiting new faults [55]. Because of the proximity of Christchurch to the epicenter, ground shaking in the city was much more severe in the case of the second earthquake than during the September 2011 event, which had had a larger

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   45

magnitude (Mw 7.0). The accelerations recorded were six times higher and liquefaction occurred [53,54]. These extreme ground accelerations were greater than those expected from the predicted model, which assumed an earthquake of up to Mw 7.2 for the area. The reason for this behavior is that these events radiated anomalously high levels of energy relative to their magnitudes [7]. In summary, this article has examined earthquakes of different magnitudes, some of which have produced tsunamis. Throughout history, earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred repeatedly in the same areas. The earthquakes reviewed here testify to the fact that the resulting damage is not solely dependent on the magnitude of the earthquake but also involves the response of the Earth’s crust. Today, seismologists are equipped with tools to help us to coexist with earthquakes. Their analyses provide further insights into the Earth’s behavior, yielding information that can be applied in attempts to mitigate the damage caused by future earthquakes. Acknowledgements. The author is indebted to Nicole Skinner Pendleton for the first version of the transcription of the lecture. The assistance and comments provided by Mar Tàpia (LEGEF) are also appreciated.

References 1.

Ammon CHJ, Lay T, Sympson DW (2010) Seismological Research Letters 81:965-971 2. Fowler CMR (2005) The solid Earth: An introduction to Global Geophysics. Cambridge University Press, 605 pp. 3. Gledhill K, et al. (2011) The Darfield (Canterbury, New Zealand) Mw 7.1 Earthquake of September 2010: A Preliminary Seismological Report. Seismological Research Letters 82:378-386 4. Madariaga R (1998) Sismicidad de Chile, Física de la Tierra. Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad Complutense (Madrid) 10, 221-258 5. Minoura K, et al. (2001) The 869 Jogan tsunami deposit and recurrence interval of large scale tsunami on the Pacific coast of northeast Japan. Journal of Natural Disaster Science 23:83-88 6. Reid HF (1910) The Mechanics of the Earthquake. The California Earthquake of April 18, 1906. Report of the State Investigation Commission, vol. 2. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. (see especially pages 16-28) 7. Reyners M (2011) Lessons from the destructive Mw 6.3 Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquake. Seismological Research Letters 82:371-372 8. Stein S, Wysession M (2003) An introduction to seismology. Earthquakes, and earth structure. Blackwell Publishing, 498 pp. 9. Turcotte LD, Shubert G (2002) Geodynamics. Cambridge University Press, 465 pp. 10. Udias A (1999) Principles of seismology. Cambridge University Press, 475 pp.

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11. Wilson T (1963) Hypothesis of earth’s behaviour. Nature 4884:925-929

Online References (updated on June 2012) General 12. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ 13. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/1906/18april/ reid.php 14. http://www.iris.edu/seismo/quakes/1906sf/ 15. http://sismic2.iec.cat/ 16. http://www.fabra.cat 17. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/increase_in_ earthquakes.php 18. http://www.iris.edu 19. http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/News/ 20. http://www.ipgp.fr 21. http://tectonics.caltech.edu/slip_history/ 22. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/ year/eqstats.php 23. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/ 1906_01_31.php 24. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/ year/mag8/magnitude8_1900_date.php Haiti 25. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/ Quakes/us2010rja6.php/#details 26. http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/147/Mw-7-1Haiti-12-01-2010 27. http://www-dase.cea.fr/actu/dossiers_scientifiques/ 2010-01-13/index.html 28. http://www.ipgp.fr/pages/040114.php 29. http://supersites.earthobservations.org/haiti.php 30. http://cires.colorado.edu/~bilham/Haiti/index.html Chile 31. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/ 2010/us2010tfan/ 32. http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/167/Mw-8-8Off-Shore-Chile-27-02-2010 33. http://www.ipgp.fr/pages/040115.php

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34. http://www.insu.cnrs.fr/terre-solide/catastrophes-etrisques/seismes/le-seisme-de-concepcion-chili-du-27fevrier-2010 35. http://www-dase.cea.fr/actu/dossiers_scientifiques/ 2010-03-01/index.html 36. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/ 1960_05_22_tsunami.php 37. http://supersites.earthobservations.org/chile.php Japan 38. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/ 2011/usc0001xgp/ 39. http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/196/Mw-9-0off-the-Pacific-coast-of-Tohoku-JapanA-Earthquake-Aon-March-11th-2011-at-05-46-UTC 40. http://seismology.harvard.edu/research_japan.html 41. http://www.ipgp.fr/pages/040117.php 42. http://www-dase.cea.fr/actu/dossiers_scientifiques/ 2011-03-11/index.html 43. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/ 1896_06_15.php 44. http://supersites.earthobservations.org/sendai.php 45. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/seqs/events/ usc0001xgp/ 46. http://eqseis.geosc.psu.edu/~cammon/Japan2011EQ/ 47. http://nsmp.wr.usgs.gov/ekalkan/Tohoku/index.html 48. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn3oAvmZY8k 49. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXXZouxPT7U New Zealand 50. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/ Quakes/us2010atbj.php 51. http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake. php?id=186951 52. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/ 2011/usb0001igm/ 53. http://www.iris.edu/hq/files/programs/education_and_ outreach/retm/tm_110221_newzealand/110221 nzealand.pdf 54. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/NewZealand 2011_slides.pdf 55. http://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/News-and-Events/MediaReleases/Most-damaging-quake-since-1931/Canterbury-quake

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 47–52 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.133   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

focus

Celebration of Earth Day 2011

Sea and sky. The marine biosphere as an agent of change* Rafel Simó Department of Marine Biology and Oceanography, Institute of Marine Sciences-Spanish National Research Council (ICM-CSIC), Barcelona

Resum. La vida oceànica, i particularment el plàncton micros­ còpic, influeix en el clima a llarg, mig i curt termini: a llarg termi­ ni, mitjançant la configuració dels cicles d’elements essencials per al funcionament de la Terra com a sistema; a mig termini, amb l’intercanvi amb l’atmosfera de gasos d’efecte hivernacle, i a curt termini, amb l’emissió de gasos traça i partícules que afecten les propietats químiques i òptiques de l’atmosfera. Aquest article se centrarà en els efectes a curt termini. L’oceà representa una font principal de sofre, iode i hidrocarburs a la troposfera i, essent immens com és, rivalitza amb els conti­ nents com a emissor d’aerosols primaris en forma de cristalls de sal, polímers orgànics i microorganismes. Aquest alè del mar, de fort component biogènic, regula la capacitat oxidativa de l’atmosfera i influeix en el balanç d’energia del Planeta per mitjà del protagonisme que té en la formació i l’opacitat dels núvols. Els esforços internacionals d’integració de dades glo­ bals, i molt especialment de la informació registrada des de satèl·lits orbitals, han fet evident —tot i que sembli sorpre­ nent— que la vida marina no solament influeix en el comporta­ ment dels oceans, sinó que deixa una petja diària també al cel; una prova més de la fascinant arquitectura del complex siste­ ma que és el nostre Planeta viu.

Summary. Ocean life, and particularly microscopic plankton, influences climate in the long, medium, and short term: in the long term by shaping the element cycles that are essential to the functioning of Earth as a system; in the medium term, through the exchange with the atmosphere of greenhouse gases; and in the short term, through the emission of trace gases and particles that affect the chemical and optical proper­ ties of the atmosphere. This article will focus on the short-term effects. The ocean represents a major source of sulfur, iodine and hydrocarbons to the troposphere and, being as immense as it is, it rivals the continents as an emitter of primary aerosols in the form of salt crystals, organic polymers and microorgan­ isms. This breath of the sea, of a strong biogenic component, regulates the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere and influ­ ences the planet’s balance of energy through its role in the for­ mation and opacity of the clouds. The international efforts for the integration of global data, and particularly of the data regis­ tered by orbiting satellites, has made it clear that, as surprising as it may seem, marine life not only influences the ocean’s be­ havior but also leaves a daily trace in the sky; another piece of evidence about the fascinating architecture of the complex system that is our living planet.

Paraules clau: regulació marina ∙ aerosols ∙ formació de núvols ∙ albedo ∙ plàncton∙ Gaia

Keywords: marine regulation ∙ aerosols ∙ cloud formation ∙ albedo ∙ plankton ∙ Gaia

Let us imagine for a moment that we are with the crew of Apollo 17, the last expedition to set foot on the Moon, and we have the great privilege those men had of seeing Earth from space. In Fig. 1, we observe what the crew saw, an image that has been sent around the world. We see the textures of the Earth, which is covered with clouds, a fact that has tremendous impli­ cations for our climate.

Why is it so important whether or not there are clouds and what textures and colors Earth has? Because the Earth’s en­ ergy balance, which ultimately determines climate, especially average temperature, depends heavily on colors and textures. We know that, of the radiation coming from the Sun, a part is reflected immediately and another part is absorbed and then dissipated as heat. There are many routes for dissipation, but in the end, almost 100 % of the Sun’s energy reaching Earth returns to space again.

* Based on the lecture given by the author at the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona, on 5 May 2011 for the celebration of Earth Day at the IEC. Correspondence: R. Simó, Departament de Biologia Marina i Ocea­ nografia, Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC, Pg. Marítim de la Barce­ loneta 37-49, E-08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, EU. Tel. +34-932309500 (ext. 1244). Fax +-34-932309555. E-mail: rsimo@icm.csic.es

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The clouds and albedo Albedo, the reflecting power of a surface or the ratio of reflect­ ed radiation from the surface to incident radiation upon it, in

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Fig. 1. Apollo 17 hand-held Hasselblad picture of the full Earth taken on 7 December 1972, as the spacecraft travelled to the Moon in the last of the Apollo missions.

this case, the short-wave energy returned to space, depends on a surface’s color and textures. We all know that if we wear a white t-shirt in the summer we will be cooler than if we wear dark colors. The albedo of the oceans, which occupy most of the earth’s surface, is very low because they are very dark. Approximately

Simó

10 % of the radiation is reflected and 90 % is absorbed. The albedo of vegetation zones is slightly higher and in desert areas even more so, with snow and ice having the highest albedo, i.e., they absorb much less energy. The average albedo of the Earth’s surface, with no atmosphere and no clouds, would be about 0.15, in other words only 15 % of the Sun’s radiation would be absorbed and the rest would return to space. But in reality, Earth is covered with white clouds of varying albedos, between 0.3 and 0.8, and in many cases they reflect most of the incoming radiation. Consequently, the Earth’s real average albedo, including the atmosphere, is 0.30, double the value of an Earth with no clouds (Fig. 2). This is key to understanding weather patterns and therefore to our interest in understanding why there are clouds, where they are, why there are less or more of them, and what determines their albedo. And since clouds over the ocean have a much greater cooling effect than clouds over ice or snow, which would reflect much of the radia­ tion anyway, the former are particularly important to understand. But clouds also retain a part of the heat that is dissipated from the surface. Roughly, we could say that clouds have a dual function, acting as a ‘parasol’ by reflecting energy, and as a ‘blanket,’ by retaining energy. There are several factors that determine which is the dominating function. For example, dur­ ing the day clouds serve more as parasols and during the night more as blankets. High clouds, i.e., the cirrus clouds formed by ice crystals, are better blankets than parasols. They are more efficient at retaining the long-wave energy that is dissipated from the surface than at reflecting solar radiation. Low clouds, however, i.e., the stratus clouds that dominate over the oceans, are better parasols than blankets and are thus of great interest

Fig. 2. Images from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor launched into Earth orbit by NASA in 1999 on board the Terra satel­ lite. Top: Modified image to eliminate clouds and what would be the albedos of oceans, ice, desert and nondesert areas. Average albedo of the Earth’s surface = 0.15. Bottom: Earth’s albedo with cloud cover. Aver­ age albedo of the Earth = 0.30.

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   49

when we consider issues related to climate change, as they play an important role in global warming. On average, which of the two functions wins, the parasol or the blanket effect? Over land, clouds have a significant warming effect and over the oceans a cooling one. Overall, clouds are the planet’s great coolers. Relative to an Earth completely lacking in cloud cover, clouds represent –20W/m2 in the planet’s energy balance.

How do clouds form? This question can be traced back to the end on the 19th cen­ tury. In 1875, Coulier, a French scientist, asked why it was that there were foggier and less foggy days, cloudier and less cloudy days. To determine whether it was only due to water vapor supersaturating the atmosphere, he carried out the fol­ lowing experiment (Fig. 3). Coulier placed hot water in a flask to super-saturate the air with water vapor. He then created a vacuum, one of the ways in which the condensation of water could be reproduced. Ac­ cording to the knowledge of the time, clouds should have formed inside the flask, but this was not the case. Thus, in a second experiment he filtered the air coming into the flask, but the result was even more negative. He then took the opposite approach, polluting the incoming air. To repeat the experiment today, one could light a match close to the air’s entry point, thus generating microparticles. In this third experiment, creat­ ing a vacuum resulted in the formation of a cloud inside the flask. In his article, “Note sur un nouvelle propiete de l’air,” pub­ lished in the Journal de Pharmacie et  Chimie, he concluded that small particles suspended in the air are needed for the for­ mation of fog or clouds [3]. In 1880, Aitken, a Scottish scientist, carried out exactly the same experiment, unaware of Coulier’s finding. He concluded that water condenses in the atmosphere on some solid nuclei, formed by dust particles in the air; if there were no dust, there would be no fog, no clouds, no mist, and probably no rain [1]. For example, when our breath becomes visible on a cold morning the dusty conditions in our atmos­ phere are revealed. Aitken’s article, “On Dust, Fogs, and Clouds,” published in Nature, received enormous attention, while Coulier’s went unnoticed. Years later, Aitken became aware of the 1875 article and was the first to recognize that Coulier’s conclusions predated his own, but the scientist fa­ mous for this discovery remains Aitken. In fact, Aitken is con­ sidered the father of cloud condensation nuclei and the very small particles (< 100 nm) in the atmosphere are known as Aitken nuclei. As often happens in science, one researcher went down in history while the one who actually deserved the recognition did not. Cloud formation is dependent not only on water vapor but also on particles in the atmosphere on which it can condense. Furthermore, the optical properties of the cloud, in other words the albedo, also depend on the number of particles. If a cloud is formed on a few particles, the water vapor will condense to form larger droplets on fewer particles. A cloud in these condi­ tions will have a lower albedo, will be a less effective parasol and will allow more of the sun’s rays to reach the Earth’s surface. By

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Fig. 3. Original drawing by P. J. Coulier (1875) of the apparatus used in his studies on water vapor condensation. A, water flask; B, entrance of atmospheric air; C, tube connected to D, hand pump to create vacu­ um; E, liquid water dispenser.

contrast, in the presence of many particles, the same quantity of water vapor will form very small droplets. This cloud will be more opaque to radiation, will have a greater mirror effect, in other words a higher albedo, and is thus a better parasol. Clouds in polluted areas are always much brighter or whiter. A classic example of one of the many verifications of this ef­ fect are ship tracks, which in satellite images are seen as long white strings over the ocean. The ships’ exhaust pipes release water vapor, but also a large quantity of sulfates, which give rise to particles favoring the formation of clouds. These clouds, formed on very small particles, are very bright and last for a very long time.

Do particles exist everywhere? Over the continents there are many obvious sources of parti­ cles but in the ocean it is less clear where they come from. In fact, the amount of particles over the ocean can be limiting for cloud formation despite favorable conditions of water satura­ tion. The main sources of aerosols in the atmosphere are pri­ mary particles—sea spray, soil dust, smoke from wildfires, and biological particles, including pollen, microbes, and plant de­ bris—that are emitted directly into the atmosphere. Secondary particles are formed in the atmosphere from gaseous precur­ sors; for example, sulfates form from biogenic dimethyl sulfide and volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) and secondary organic aero­ sol from biogenic volatile organic compounds. Obviously hu­ mans are particle emitters of the highest order. When we burn fossil fuels, in addition to CO2 and water vapor, many particles, from incomplete combustions, are released into the atmos­ phere as well. With regard to global change, the formation of clouds and the availability of particles are extremely important considera­ tions. In fact, one of the major uncertainties recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the role

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that aerosols play in global warming or in future trends thereof. Models predict that natural sources of aerosols will not in­ crease during this century, as there are no reasons for them to do so. With regard to anthropogenic sources, a decrease is expected. However, this may depend on the choices made by developed countries, whether the trend will be to burn fossil fuels using cleaner technologies. The combustion of organic matter produces CO2 but the non-combusted material, with remnants of sulfur, carbon, oil, etc., forms particles in the at­ mosphere that cause many health problems, especially respi­ ratory illnesses, as well as problems with the decay of heritage sites, among others. For this reason, efforts are being made to reduce the anthropogenic sources of aerosols and therefore, over time, there will be a reduction in the aerosol load in the at­ mosphere.

Aerosols and global change: a paradox Today, aerosols play a very important climatic role in the at­ mosphere, but one that is both very difficult to quantify and very uncertain. On the one hand, there is a direct effect: some aerosols have the intrinsic property of dispersing (cooling) solar radiation and others of absorbing (heating) it. For example, a sulfate aerosol, which is basically condensed sulfuric acid, is quite a ‘white’ aerosol, with its own microalbedo and the ability to reflect solar radiation; accordingly, sulfate aerosols cool. By contrast, an aerosol from black soot, resulting from unburned fuel, absorbs solar radiation and heats the atmosphere. Ac­ cording to current estimations, there is a fairly important net cooling of –5.4 W/m2 and a forcing (i.e., how this cooling has changed since the Industrial Revolution) of –0.5 W/m2. On the other hand, there are indirect effects, described as the Twomey effect and the Albrecht effect. The first involves the brightness of clouds: clouds formed over more particles are brighter, with a higher albedo, and longer lasting. Accord­ ing to the second, when a cloud forms water condenses in a

Simó

process that continues until a sufficient mass accumulates such that precipitation occurs, in which case it rains. As previ­ ously noted, the greater the number of particles, the smaller the droplets and the longer it will take before it rains. In both cases, more particles mean greater cloud-related cooling. Since the Industrial Revolution, these indirect effects have had an esti­ mated forcing of –0.7 W/m2. According to the IPCC (Fig. 4), if we look at radiative forcing, expressed in W/m2, we observe the effect of different compo­ nents that have emerged since the Industrial Revolution [4]. We talk about global warming because positive forcing has oc­ curred thus far, but if there had not been a parallel negative forcing, warming would be even greater. What type of cooling has the Industrial Revolution induced? The cooling factors are the changes in albedo due to changes in land use, in vegeta­ tion and—with great uncertainty but with a great potential for cooling—the direct and indirect effects of aerosols, alone or in clouds. And herein lies the paradox: if in the future we burn fu­ els more cleanly, such that fewer aerosols are produced, the Earth will heat up even faster. If we more efficiently burn fossil fuels, we continue to produce CO2, which has a warming ef­ fect, but at the same time we eliminate one of the cooling sources. Consequently, we could say that burning more cleanly is not the solution to global warming, it is not to burn fossil fuels at all and thus to find alternative energy sources.

Marine regulation We have said that clouds over oceans are very important be­ cause the oceans are very dark and account for the majority of the planet’s surface. Furthermore, oceans are dominated by low stratus clouds, which exert parasol effects. If we look clos­ er and more specifically at marine sources of aerosols, we can see that there are many of them. Here I would like to pay homage to James E. Lovelock, who in the 1960s began to observe and to study the differences

Fig. 4. Principal components of radiative forcing of climate change between 1750 and 2005. Source: IPCC.

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Sea and sky. The marine biosphere as an agent of change

between the Earth and other planets. Lovelock arrived at the conclusion that the evolution of the Earth, as a living planet, has proceeded in such a way that the abiotic world and life have evolved together; hence, one cannot be understood independ­ ently of the other. This conclusion forms the basis of the Gaia theory: that is, life is not a mere passive agent that adapts to changes (orbital, tectonic, etc.); rather, it is an active agent that in turn modifies its conditions. The Gaia theory has been widely criticized. The staunchest neo-Darwinists, for example, claim that natural selection acts on a gene and that genes know nothing of altruism or climates. Lovelock’s response has been that the sum of many genes in a complex system produces ‘emergent properties’ that lead the system to homeostasis, and that the system is stable precisely because there is life, without the need for each individual gene acting for the wellbeing of the planet. It can also be argued that we only have the case of planet Earth, that there is no control to confirm that the Earth’s solution is the only possible one for a planet with life. Certainly, one of the interesting aspects of Gaia is that it has left us with a deep well of verifiable hypotheses, new ideas, and a holistic view of the planet. Moreover, the response offered by Gaia to the problem of global climate change precedes our enormous concern with this challenge. One of the many hypotheses embodied in the Gaia theory involves a very specific mechanism. It was observed that on a geological scale the Earth’s crust should have been depleted of sulfur many years ago, due to runoff by rivers and rain. Therefore a mechanism must exist by which sulfur is returned from the oceans to the land. Indeed, plankton produces a sul­ fur gas, dimethyl sulfate (DMS), in small concentrations but steadily and throughout the ocean, resulting in large-scale emissions. Since DMS is a volatile gas, a portion escapes from the oceans to become a major contributor to atmospheric sul­ fur, while another portion returns to the continents. In addition, Lovelock worked with climatologists specializing in clouds. At the time, analyses of the oceans’ aerosols indicated that their main source was basically sulfates; therefore there had to be a source of sulfur that would oxidize to sulfate. With the discov­ ery of the ubiquitous DMS, the problem of cloud-forming aero­ sols over the oceans was resolved. The implications of this mechanism are very interesting because if plankton produces a substance that ends up forming clouds, clouds filter or reflect solar radiation and plankton partly depends on solar radiation, then these activities form a very interesting, closed Gaian cycle: the greater the amount of plankton, the higher the DMS emis­ sions of plankton, thereby stimulating cloud formation, which reduces the incident solar radiation and thus plankton activity, with lower emissions of DMS, etc. [2] When this cycle was pre­ sented, it generated considerable interest, many studies, and thousands of articles, although additional complexities of this cycle have in the meantime been recognized.

Studies on the distribution and dynamics of DMS At the Institut de Ciències del Mar – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Institute of Marine Sciences of the Span­

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   51

ish National Research Council, ICM-CSIC) we have studied this cycle for many years, dividing it into its different components, and carrying out numerous studies on DMS production. It is obvious that plankton does not have a specific gene that tells it to produce DMS so that clouds can be formed; rather, the gas is a metabolic byproduct, just like CO2, that derives from the interactions between organisms in the planktonic food web. The composition and structure of the plankton community, its physiological status, and its predation activities all contribute to regulate the production of DMS. Our question was whether the production of this waste product directly responds to changes in solar radiation—and we have determined that it does. Global maps of DMS meas­ urements in all the oceans of the world were compared with the results of climatology studies. The comparisons showed that there is a certain degree of proportionality between the concentration of DMS at a given time at a defined site in the ocean and the amount of radiation received by the plankton at the same time. Thus, plankton may well be responding to solar radiation with the production of DMS [7,8,10]. The next question was the role played by DMS in cloud for­ mation. In the 1980s, when Lovelock and collaborators pro­ posed this cycle, it was thought that aerosols mainly com­ prised ammonium sulfate; however, analyses of aerosols sam­ pled from the ocean with more sophisticated techniques showed that there are particles of sulfuric acid, soot, pollen, desert dust, organic crystals, and many different mixtures of all these materials. Thus, DMS does not entirely explain cloud for­ mation. In fact, plankton produces not only DMS but also other gases that are precursors of aerosols and, with the right size and chemical composition, will initiate the formation of clouds. In addition, the primary aerosols of marine origin (sea spray) in­ clude small sea salt crystals and primary organic aerosols, which are particles lifted into the air when waves break. Bub­ bles explode and mini-droplets are generated that carry their contents to the surface. Among the secondary aerosols are those that come from biogenic sulfur exhaled by plankton (DMS) and the secondary organic aerosols formed from other volatile organics. Satellites are very useful tools in global studies of the rela­ tionships between the ocean and the atmosphere. From space, satellites can measure the quantity and size of aerosols and of the cloud droplets, and their optical properties. Satel­ lites also give us an idea of the biomass and activity of plankton in the ocean’s surface. With data from satellites, we can look for correlations between monthly, and even weekly, data at a global scale. A good correlation between two variables that vary in phase suggests a mechanistic or causal relationship be­ tween them. For example, there may be a temporal correlation between the quantity of aerosols of suitable size to create con­ densation particles and the size of the droplets. The negative correlation we expected happens in most of the ocean [5]. Yet, in order to study the possible effect of the marine biosphere in cloud formation, the origin of these particles must first be de­ termined, i.e., continental, anthropogenic, or marine. Here again, satellites are an essential tool. From the optical proper­ ties and the size of an aerosol, and their proximity to fires, ur­

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52   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

ban areas, or deserts, an aerosol can be distinguished and classified according to whether it comprises desert dust, parti­ cles of industrial or urban origin, residues from the burning of fossil fuels, from the ocean, etc. We have studied the temporal correlation between the sizes of droplets and irradiance and determined that the higher the amount of solar radiation throughout the year, the smaller the cloud droplet; which means that clouds with higher albedos are better parasols. Thus, higher amounts of sunlight will yield clouds that are better parasols. The areas where this relation­ ship is not observed are precisely those where aerosols are small and of anthropogenic origin. Naturally, the more sunlight that arrives, the brighter the clouds that reflect the sun will be, except in areas with intense human intervention, which inter­ rupts the natural balance. At a more regional level, studies have been conducted in a marine area to the east of Patagonia, where there is a recurring bloom of plankton at a particular time during the summer, forming a very predictable patch of chlorophyll. What is the be­ havior of clouds in this area? Above the chlorophyll patch, the radius of the cloud droplets above it is smaller [6]. This result could be circumstantial, because of the summer rather than the plankton. However, during the same week, the droplets over the area of high chlorophyll were smaller than those out­ side it. Subsequent calculations showed that this meant an in­ crease in the albedo of the clouds in the area with the greatest plankton production.

The million dollar question If both on a seasonal scale and on the scale of a phytoplankton bloom, marine biota contribute to an attenuation of solar radia­ tion through the emission of primary and secondary cloudforming aerosols, could this act as a buffer mechanism for glo­ bal warming over a scale of decades? Is it possible to estimate whether, by the end of the 21st century, there will be more DMS and more organic compounds from the ocean, and con­ sequently more clouds that in some way are able to buffer cli­ mate change? According to current models, ours as well as those of international groups, it seems that emission by marine plankton is responsive to global warming, but the response is not powerful enough to buffer warming [9]. With the results we

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 52

Simó

have as of today, we cannot expect to find a natural solution to global warming.

References 1.

Aitken J (1880) On Dusts, Fogs and Clouds. Nature 23:384-385 2. Charlson RJ, Lovelock JE, Andreae MO, Warren SG (1987) Oceanic phytoplankton, atmospheric sulfur, cloud albedo and climate. Nature 326:655-661 3. Coulier PJ (1875) Note sur une nouvelle proprieté de l’air. Journal de Pharmacie et de Chimie 22:165-173 4. Forster P, et al. (2007) Changes in Atmospheric Constitu­ ents and in Radiative Forcing. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Man­ ning M, et al. (eds) Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Pan­ el on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 5. Lana A, Simó R, Vallina SM, Dachs J (2012) Potential for a biogenic influence on cloud microphysics over the ocean: a correlation study with satellite-derived data. At­ mospheric Chemistry and Physics 12:7977-7993 6. Meskhidze N, Nenes A (2006) Phytoplankton and cloudi­ ness in the Southern Ocean. Science 314:1419–1423 7. Simó R, Dachs J (2002) Global ocean emission of dimethylsulfide predicted from biogeophysical data. Glo­ bal Biogeochemical Cycles 16:1078. doi: 10.1029/ 2001GB001829 8. Vallina SM, Simó R (2007) Strong relationship between DMS and the solar radiation dose over the global surface ocean. Science 315:506–508 9. Vallina SM, Simó R, Manizza M (2007) Weak response of oceanic dimethylsulfide to upper mixing shoaling induced by global warming. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 104:1600416009 10. Vallina SM, Simó R, Gassó S, de Boyer Montégut C, del Rio E, Jurado E, Dachs J (2007) Analysis of a potential “solar radiation dose-dimethylsulfidecloud condensation nuclei” link from globally mapped seasonal correlations. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 21:GB2004. doi: 10.1029/ 2006GB002787

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 53–59 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.134   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

focus

Celebration of Earth Day 2011

What can we learn from past warm periods?* Raymond S. Bradley Climate System Research Center, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Resum. Amb una limitada acció política per a controlar l’ús de combustibles fòssils i les emissions de gasos d’efecte d’hiverna­ cle associats, cada vegada hi ha més interès a preparar el món envers els canvis climàtics inevitables. Però, per a quins canvis s’ha de preparar el món? Les simulacions proporcionen una ori­ entació sobre escenaris de clima futur esperats, però també es pot aprendre de l’experiència passada. Encara que, en el pas­ sat, no hi ha episodis estrictament comparables amb el futur —‌que és un món en què el clima és modulat per les activitats humanes— sí que hi va haver períodes càlids que van ser el re­ sultat d’altres factors de forçament. Hi ha algunes lliçons que podem aprendre dels registres paleoclimàtics sobre els episodis càlids i els canvis ambientals associats. Això és de particular importància ja que considerem els canvis futurs en la quantitat total de neu i gel al planeta i les conseqüències dels canvis glo­ bals en el nivell del mar. Actualment, més de cent milions de persones viuen a no més d’un metre sobre el nivell del mar i moltes ciutats importants són a la costa. Amb el creixement de la població i l’alta migració a les zones urbanes, aquesta imatge serà cada vegada més crítica. A aquesta preocupació s’afegeix l’augment esperat dels fenòmens climàtics extrems, especial­ ment els huracans i les tempestes tropicals a les costes expo­ sades. La major part dels països estan poc preparats per a un futur amb el nivell del mar molt més alt que l’actual, el que re­ querirà una planificació a llarg termini i grans inversions en infra­ estructures de protecció al llarg de moltes regions costaneres. Paraules clau: paleoclimatologia ∙ escalfament global ∙ Grup Intergovernamental d’Experts sobre Canvi Climàtic (IPCC) ∙ interglacial Riss-Würm ∙ huracans ∙ zones costaneres

The winter of 2010 was cold in Europe and in parts of Siberia, but for the year as a whole 2010 was exceptionally warm. In fact, according to the global temperature series produced by NASA,

* Based on the lecture given by the author at the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona, on 5 May 2011 for the celebration of Earth Day at the IEC. Correspondence: R.S. Bradley, Climate System Research Center, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. Tel. +1-4135452120. Fax +1-4135451200. E-mail: rbradley@geo.umass.edu

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 53

Abstract. With limited political action to control fossil fuel use and associated greenhouse gas emissions, there is increasing emphasis on preparing for inevitable climate changes. But what changes should the world plan for? Model simulations provide some guidance about expected future climate scenari­ os, but we can also learn from past experience. Although there are no episodes in the past that are strictly comparable to the future, which is a world in which climate is modulated by hu­ man activities, there were warm periods in the past which re­ sulted from other forcing factors. There are some lessons we can learn from paleoclimate records about those warm epi­ sodes, and the associated environmental changes. This is of particular relevance as we consider future changes in the total amount of snow and ice on the planet, and the consequences for global sea level changes. More than 100 million people cur­ rently live within 1m of sea-level, and many major cities are on the coast. With increased population growth and further migra­ tion to urban areas, this picture will only become more critical. Added to this concern is the expected increase in extreme weather events, particularly hurricanes and tropical storms, with their associated storm surges along exposed coastlines. Most countries are woefully unprepared for a future with sealevel much higher than today, which will require long-term plan­ ning and major investments in protective infrastructures along many coastal regions. Keywords: paleoclimatology ∙ global warming ∙ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ∙ Eemian interglacial ∙ hurricanes ∙ coastal regions

it was the warmest for the entire period based on a network of two to three thousand stations around the world (Fig. 1). But 2010 was also very unusual in the context of the last 100–150 years (the instrumental period for which we have data from ther­ mometers). If we reconstruct the temperature of the Northern Hemisphere for the past 1000 years based on various proxies of temperature such as tree rings, corals, ice cores, and historical records, we can see that average temperatures over the last 50 years were certainly warmer than anything that has occurred for at least 1000 years. It is in this context we will discuss the ques­ tion of ‘What can we learn from warm periods in the past?’

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54   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

Fig. 1. Temperature anomalies January–December 2010 compared to 1971–2000 as the base period. Source: National Climatic Data Center/ NESDIS/NOAA.

Figure 2 shows the geographical pattern of warming over the last decade. We see a characteristic geographical distribu­ tion where warming is greatest at high latitudes and a small portion of Antarctica. This is related to feedbacks in the atmos­ phere and the Earth system where, as temperatures rise, snow cover recedes, in turn producing changes in the albedo—the reflectivity of a given surface; sea ice in the oceans melts back, and warming is amplified. What is the reason for the warming? Wherever we go on the globe, whether it is the North Pole, the South Pole or even the central Pacific, we see a relentless rise in CO2 derived from the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide undergoes an annual cy­ cle related to the growth of the biosphere, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere during the summer months and returns it into the atmosphere during the winter months, but the underly­ ing trend is increasing all around the globe. We know from the physics of CO2 that it traps energy radiated from the surface of the earth. We would not have life on earth if we did not have CO2 in the atmosphere, as well as water vapour and other greenhouse gases. But the increase in CO2 has been very, very rapid since the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago. From mod­

Bradley

el simulations, if we look at the effects on temperature anoma­ lies of only natural factors, such as solar variations and volcanic forcing, we cannot simulate the changes that have taken place in the last 50 years. But if we use the same models and add CO2 as a factor, then the observed temperatures are tracked very well by the models. In other words, the difference between the background forcing and the actual observed temperature is the result of the increase in greenhouse gases, especially over the last 50 years. This led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conclude in 2007 that “most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (> 90 % probability) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” [5] We cur­ rently emit about 8.5 billion metric tons of CO2 per year and have a CO2 level of approximately 390 ppm. If we compare it to the pre-industrial level of CO2 in the atmosphere of 280 ppm, it means that by burning fossil fuels over the last 250 years we have increased the CO2 concentration by 100 ppm or approxi­ mately 40 %. Now the question is, what does this lead to in the future? We do not know what our future energy consumption pat­ tern will look like: how many nuclear power plants will there be—and after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 maybe not so many—or how many green vehicles will people use, or how many people will there be on the planet? These are very uncertain issues. And so the IPCC presented a series of possible scenarios with outcomes for the year 2100, ranging from a strong continued increase in emissions to a more opti­ mistic view in which emissions will increase for the next 40 or 50 years and then begin to decline, based on the United Na­ tions’ estimates that world population will also peak in the midcentury and then begin to decline. Looking at these two sce­ narios, if emissions continue to rise, then by the end of the century we may have CO2 levels more than ~2.5 times what they are today, approximately 940 ppm. If we take the more optimistic scenario, in which emissions rise somewhat but then decline by the end of the century, CO2 levels will be around 550 ppm.

Fig. 2. Global average temperature anomalies from 2000 to 2009. Source: NASA Earth Observatory.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 54

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What can we learn from past warm periods?

Why will not CO2 levels be less by the end of the century if there is a drop in emissions? It is logical to think that if we re­ duce our emissions, the total CO2 in the atmosphere would be lower. The problem is that the processes by which CO2 is re­ moved from the atmosphere (the ‘sinks’) are not as effective and they are much slower than the production rate that we are now engaged in. And so, even if we reduce our emissions to what they might have been 30 or 40 years ago, by the end of the century CO2 levels are still going to be higher. And so stud­ ies suggest that there is a high probability (approximately 50 %) that the post-industrial era has most likely committed the world to a warming of ~2.4°C (1.4–4.3°C) above the pre-industrial surface temperatures [10]. If that is the case, what can we learn from periods in the past that were warmer? What happened to the environment during those periods? Were there warm periods in the geologically re­ cent past (when the world geography was similar, so taking into account just the last few hundred thousand years) that can inform us about potential environmental changes we may face in the near future?

Studies of past warm periods Interestingly, studies of warm periods in the past began in the Netherlands. In 1875, Professor P. Harting was digging in the mud of the river Eem, near Amersfoort. There he found fossils that indicated that summer temperatures in the region had been several degrees warmer than today, with the absence of severe or long-lasting winter frosts. He found fossils of hippo­ potamus, wildebeest, and several amphibians, i.e. animals that cannot survive in freezing temperatures. That is a very different condition from what you might expect to find in the Nether­ lands today. And so he concluded that, in the past, conditions in the Netherlands were very different. Summers must have been warmer and winters much milder. Moreover, because this area of the river had been covered by marine sediments and Harting found marine fossils there, he also concluded that the sea level was thus higher, flooding these low-lying areas [3]. But he did not know how much higher the sea level had been, neither did he know exactly when this had happened, nor did he know why it had happened. Today we have a lot more information about this period, which is referred to as the ‘Eemian,’ after the river Eem. It took place 120–130,000 years ago, and it was one of the many interglacial periods, such as the one we are currently experi­ encing. Carbon dioxide levels were not higher, they were actu­ ally lower than they are today (~280 ppm). The higher tempera­ tures were caused by higher amounts of energy being received from the Sun during the Northern Hemisphere summers, with other feedbacks and processes within the climate system am­ plifying this change. In addition, polar ice sheets were smaller, which meant that water that is now locked up in Greenland and Antarctica entered the oceans, thus raising the sea level so that it was approximately 6 m higher than it is today. Let us just step back for a minute and remember how the world has changed in the past. Thirty thousand years ago

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   55

there were large ice sheets over North America that complete­ ly covered the land, all the way down to New York and Illinois; there were smaller ice sheets over Scandinavia and Great Brit­ ain, and ice caps in the Alps, the Pyrenees, in Tibet, and in parts of Siberia [1]. These ice sheets and ice caps grew be­ cause water was taken from the oceans and stored on the land. At the height of the Last Glacial Maximum, the sea level fell 130 m below the present day level. The evaporation of that water from the oceans and the deposition of water on the con­ tinents as snow altered the isotopic composition of the ocean water. The foraminifera that lived in the ocean captured that chemical signal in their structure, in the calcium carbonate of their shells, or tests, as we call them. And so, if we take a sedi­ ment core from the ocean and look at the isotopic composition of the calcium carbonate in these foraminifera, we can see a back and forth cycling that reflects the changes in the chemi­ cal composition of the ocean throughout glacial and intergla­ cial periods. The Earth has experienced many glacial periods, when ice sheets have formed and then melted, and each time this se­ quence of events is recorded in the chemistry of the world ocean. If we call sea level today ‘zero’ and compare it to the Eemian, there was a slightly different chemical composition of the ocean at that time, which reflects the fact that most of the water that is now on the land was in the ocean during that pe­ riod. Sea level during the Eemain is calculated to have been somewhere between 6.6 and 9.4 m above the present day level [6]. On a time scale of a million years, the sea level today is unusually high. If we look at the averages, sea level was 60 m below what it is today and at the extreme, 130 m lower. Over this period, the geography of the world has changed; interest­ ingly, however, there were a few periods in the past when sea level was higher than it is today, meaning less ice on the conti­ nent. Why did that happen? We know that this is not directly related to greenhouse gas­ es but instead to the so-called Milankovitch cycles, in which the Earth’s position relative to the Sun changes periodically. The Earth’s tilt, or obliquity, changes between 22.1° and 24.5° on a 41,000-year cycle: today it is 23.5° and decreasing; the Earth completes one full cycle of precession (a change in the seasonal timing of the perihelion during the Earth’s orbital path around the sun) every 19–23,000 years; and the Earth’s orbital shape, or eccentricity, with a cycle between 100,000 and 413,000 years, has changed so that is nearly circular today. It is important to note that during the previous interglacial periods the Earth’s orbit was more eccentric, and the timing of when the Earth was closest to the Sun coincided with the Northern Hemisphere summer. If the Earth’s orbit was perfectly circular then the time of the Northern Hemisphere’s summer would not matter, but if the summer position of the Northern Hemisphere is when the Earth is close to the Sun, then this has a large ef­ fect on the energy being received by this hemisphere. Today we are closest to the sun in January, i.e., in the Northern Hemi­ sphere winter. Eleven thousand years ago, we were closest to the Sun in July, and that had a large effect in terms of the en­ ergy being received in the Northern Hemisphere, as it did dur­ ing the previous interglacials.

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Interglacials occurred because there was more energy being received at the surface. But from the ice cores that have been recovered from places in Antarctica it is clear that this process was amplified by greenhouse gases. As snow accumulates in ice cores, it traps small bubbles of gas, which contain small samples of the atmosphere. If we look at the CO2 correspond­ ing to the last 800,000 years, we can see that CO2 levels have gone up and down, being lower during the glacial periods and higher during interglacials. There was a feedback or a reinforc­ ing effect of the greenhouse gases that corresponded to orbital changes. But in all of the glacial periods, CO2 never fell below about 180 ppm and it rarely went above 280 ppm. Today, CO2 levels are 390 ppm, which means that we are certainly far out­ side the range experienced during the recent geological history of the Earth. In the past, warming was the result of orbital changes, reinforced by the oscillations of greenhouse gases; today, warming of the Earth is the result of greenhouse gases. There are now many studies of the temperature conditions during the last interglacial. These studies have shown that it was much warmer during the Eemian period. In fact, a number of authors have tried to look at the relationship between global and Arctic temperatures, during glacial periods, during inter­ glacials, during the early Holocene (8000–10,000 years ago), and during medieval times. The results consistently show that the greatest warming in all these periods was at higher lati­ tudes, where there is a reinforcing effect of melting snow and ice on the land and in the ocean. The estimates suggest that if global temperatures rise, Arctic temperatures rise 3–4 times faster or greater, meaning that if we have a global warming of 2°C, the geological and the palaeoclimatic evidence suggest that the Arctic will warm by 6–7°C [7]. And in fact, this is repro­ duced in computer models, which show a much greater rise in temperature in higher latitudes than in the tropics, and that temperatures variations in the Arctic tend to be 2–3 times greater than at lower latitudes [4]. This polar amplification, or positive feedback of temperature, is due to a retreat of the snow cover and a loss of Arctic sea ice.

What evidence do we have today? Warming is taking place at higher latitudes, and the conse­ quence is that we are seeing a very dramatic loss in Arctic sea ice. Figure 3 shows satellite images taken some 30 years ago and very recently. Clearly, there has been a systematic decline in sea ice, with the lowest level recorded in 2007 [Note added in proof: Sea ice extent at the end of the summer in 2012 was even lower than in 2007, and melting on the Greenland ice cap was extensive, all the way to the summit]. The problem is that not only is the ice cover less but it is also getting thinner. There is now only very little thick ice left in the Arctic Ocean, meaning that the process of removal each year is that much quicker. Similarly, on the continents, such as Greenland, between 1992 and 2007 the total melt area increased, and a pattern of higher melting around the margins was observed [8]. These are very hard measurements to make, and there is a lot of variability in the estimates of melting between years, but there appears to

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 56

Bradley

Fig. 3. Satellite images of the decline in Arctic Sea ice and the extent of Arctic Ocean in August (1978–2008). Source: NSIDC.

be a systematic increase. Satellite estimates of the gravitational mass of the ice going back just to the last decade or so confirm this systematic decline of the Greenland ice sheet [12]. By melting, this water is being removed from the continent and reentering the oceans. Table 1 compares forcing, CO2 levels, and positive and neg­ ative feedbacks during interglacials and as predicted for our

Table 1. Comparison of forcing, CO2 levels, and positive and negative feedbacks of previous interglacials and during the 21st century Interglacials

21st century

Forcing

Solar radiation season forcing: mainly over the Northern Hemisphere and in summer

Greenhouse gas forcing: year-round and global

CO2 levels

~ 280 ppm

> 450 ppm? (very likely in the next 20 years or so)

Positive feedbacks

Less Arctic sea-ice Less snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere Less permafrost → More wetland CH4

Less Arctic sea ice Less snow cover in the northern hemisphere Less permafrost → More wetland CH4? Less forests (reduced CO2 sink)

Negative feedbacks

More forests (CO2 sink)

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What can we learn from past warm periods?

future. While similar things are happening and the pattern of change is very similar, the causes are very different. If we think about the Eemian again, when sea level was 6–9 m higher than it is today, where did that water come from? Because we have drilled through the Greenland ice sheet in several locations, we know that in at least three or four places, at the bottom of the ice sheet there is Eemian ice, meaning that the ice core extends back in time all the way to the Eemian period and that there was still some ice, at least in central and northern Greenland, at the time [8]. The current thinking is that the southern part of Greenland was ice-free, and perhaps the margins were shrinking. During the Eemian, 2–3.5 m of that 6- to 9-m rise in sea level likely came from Greenland. If all the other smaller ice caps, the glaciers in the Alps, and those in other parts of the world melted, this would amount to less than 50 cm. So, to explain changes in sea level it is really Greenland and Antarctica that hold the an­ swers. So what about Antarctica? If we look at the Antarctic ice sheet today, we see a very large volume of ice on the east Ant­ arctica sheet, separated by the Transantarctic mountains from the West Antarctic ice sheet (Fig. 4). The difference between these two ice sheets is that the West Antarctic ice sheet ex­ tends into the ocean as ice shelves, which are floating. And these ice shelves are considered to be vulnerable; they extend out and away from the ice sheet and are pinned by the shallow rocks that support the ice sheet in the interior. Fear has been expressed that if the sea level rises it will basically destabilize and decouple the ice shelves from the pinning point. So, right now the ice sheet is balanced but with a rise in sea level it may simply give way. Estimates of how much water could be re­ leased from the West Antarctic ice sheet if this happened are approximately 3–4 m, enough to explain half of the total Eemi­ an sea level rise.

Fig. 4. Satellite composite image of Antarctica generated from NASA’s Blue Marble data set. Credit: Dave Pape.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 57

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   57

Table 2. Summary of the main characteristics of the last inter­ glacial Polar amplification

Global temperatures of +1–2°C and of +3–6°C in polar regions of the northern hemisphere

Sea-level

+6 m (and possibly up to 9 m) above present levels

Rate of sea-level rise

5–6 mm/year or approximately 5.6 m in 1000 years

Evidence of a twostep sea-level rise

1. Greenland 2. West Antarctica?

It turns out that if we look at the Eemian sea level rise very carefully, two increments can be distinguished. The first was the result of Greenland melting, accounting for maybe 3 m, and the second contributed another 3 m. The suggestion is that warming started in the Northern Hemisphere, led to the melting of Greenland, thus causing a rise in sea level, and in turn affect­ ing the West Antarctica ice sheet so that it collapsed during the last interglacial. Table 2 summarizes the changes that took place during the last interglacial. Where are we today? Sea level has been rising rather slowly, but it is accelerating. The latest projections suggest that by the end of the century, and assuming no major West Antarctic ice shelf collapse, sea level will be 1–1.25 ± 0.05 m higher than it is today [9]. The Dutch Delta Commission recently made their own estimates, one of which extends two centuries ahead, to 2200. They estimate a rise in sea level of 1.5–3.5 m. According to more recent studies, by the end of the century there could be a rise in sea level of as much as 2 m. So it seems that as the science improves, estimates of the sea level increase. Within the next century, we should expect at least 1 m and perhaps as much as 2 m. There is one other threat that accompanies the rising tem­ peratures: more intense tropical storms. Sea surface tempera­ tures are the fuel for hurricanes and tropical storms, and mod­ els suggest that there may not be many more storms, but those that do occur will be more severe, more intense. Most of the damage from tropical storms, apart from the wind, is flood­ ing due to the storm’s surge. Even if the sea level does not change, flooding can occur at many meters above sea level. If we add 1–2 m of static sea level rise on top of that then flood­ ing will be even worse. In the Boston, Massachusetts area there is a very interesting lake that happens to have sea water at its bottom. As the sediments are carried into the lake from the surrounding land, they form layers, providing a record so perfect that you can count back the layers year by year over a thousand years. When a hurricane passes, sediment deposi­ tion increases because of the heavy rain, and so the layers in the lake show thick sediment pulses related to the hurricanes that tell us their frequency in this part of Massachusetts for the past 1000 years. A thousand years ago, often referred to as the Medieval Warm Period, an average of one hurricane struck this

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58   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

area every 12 years, whereas during the Little Ice Age this hap­ pened maybe once every 50 years. So, in this region at least, there were more hurricanes during the warmer episode and fewer hurricanes during the cold period in the last thousand years. This is one line of evidence that suggests that hurricane frequency has indeed changed and might change in the future with warmer conditions. What would be the consequence of this? Many major cities around the world are within 1 m of sea level, including several airports, such as JFK; if we had a storm surge, much larger ar­ eas would be flooded. Most of greater Catalonia is going to be impacted, and there are many parts of Europe that are also vulnerable, especially the coast of Southern France, the Neth­ erlands, and of course, the poster child of this problem, Venice, where we have a perfect microcosm of the problems we will all face in the future. Venice has experienced more than a meter of sea level rise. This is not because of global sea level rise, but because the city itself has been sinking—partly because it is built on peat but also because water is being extracted from the aquifers for industrial plants located all around the edge of the city. Most coastal cities are built on deltas and these are also sinking, as water is being moved from the land and trans­ ferred back into the ocean. In today’s Venice, we can see the problem that every coastal city will soon face. And in that sense we are all Venetians. As a solution, a system called MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Electtromeccanico) has been proposed, in which a set of barri­ ers will lie flat at the bottom of the sea in the Venetian Lagoon. When the acqua alta comes, they are emptied of water by the introduction of compressed air so that they rise, protecting the lagoon from the sea and stopping the tidal flow. MOSE has been the subject of great controversy. The deputy mayor of the city, Gianfranco Bettin, called this project “expensive, hazard­ ous, and probably useless” and the cost is in the tens of billions of euros. The main problem is that it is being designed for a sea level rise of 110 cm above the present-day level and that is no­ where near enough if sea level is going to rise more than a me­ ter this century. The Netherlands has a bigger problem of course. Most of the Netherlands is close to or below sea level and there are major rivers that pass through the country. So it is not just a matter of blocking the coast, water must exit too. In 2009, the Delta Commission, a well-qualified panel, estimated that the cost of the Delta Programme to raise the levees and the barri­ ers on the coast “would be 1.6 billion Euros per year until the year 2050, when the cost is anticipated to drop to a minimum of 900 million Euros per year, not including maintenance and management costs, which could add an additional 1.2 billion Euros per year…” [11] And this calculation is for only 350 km of coast, which amounts to not even half of the coast of Florida. The costs of protecting the coasts in Europe, North America, Japan, India, and so on are obviously enormous. If we think about every major city around the world that is on the coast— currently over 100 million people live within 1 m of the present sea level—the consequences of global sea level rising are shocking and they are not being adequately considered when we think about climate change.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 58

Bradley

Coda Warm periods of the past provide insights into future condi­ tions, even if the underlying causes were very different. A rise in global temperatures of 2°C (this is the EU’s most optimistic tar­ get, which will probably not be achieved) will be amplified at high latitudes, leading to the melting and eventual collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheets. Estimates for the most positive scenarios predict a rise in sea level by at least 1 m this century, more in some places. Once the West Antarctic ice sheet be­ gins to collapse, the process will be unstoppable. Major coastal cities around the world will be affected and more severe tropi­ cal storms will exacerbate the problem. Accordingly, plans must be developed now for the protection of coastal areas against an increased frequency of flooding. When we talk about global warming, we tend to think only about global temperatures rising 1–2°C, but we also have to consider the consequences and start planning now for what will inevitably happen within the next few decades. This is prob­ ably the biggest economic challenge we have to deal with in global warming issues. Even though we are in an interglacial today, we still have ice on the land. Perhaps our future will be a ‘super interglacial’, with no ice and higher sea levels, higher than anything that has occurred for many millions of years.

References 1.

2.

3.

4. 5.

6.

7.

8.

Ehlers J, Gibbard PL (eds) (2004) Quaternary Glaciations – Extent and Chronology. Part 1: Europe. Elsevier, Am­ sterdam Hanna E, Huybrechts P, Steffen K, et al. (2008) Increased Runoff from Melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet: A Re­ sponse to Global Warming. J Climate 21:331-341 Harting P (1875) Le système Éemien.  Archives Néer­ landaises Sciences Exactes et Naturelles de la Societé Hollandaise des Sciences 10:443-454 Holland MM, Bitz CM (2003) Polar amplification of climate change in coupled models. Climate Dynamics 21:221-232 IPCC (2007) Summary for Policymakers. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Pan­ el on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, USA Lisiecki LE, Raymo ME (2004) A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records. Pale­ oceanography 20:PA1003. doi:10.1029/2004PA001071 Miller GH, Alley RB, Brigham-Grette J, Fitzpatrick JF, Polyak L, Serreze MC, White JWC (2009) Arctic amplifi­ cation: can the past constrain the future? Quaternary Sci­ ence Reviews 29:1779-1790 Overpeck JT, Otto-Bliesner BL, Miller GH, Muhs DR, Alley RB, Kiehl JT (2006) Paleoclimatic Evidence for Fu­ ture Ice-Sheet Instability and Rapid Sea-Level Rise. Sci­ ence 311:1747-1750

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9.

Rahmstorf S (2007) A semi-empirical approach to pro­ jecting sea-level change. Science:315: 368-370 10. Ramanathan V, Feng Y (2008) On avoiding dangerous an­ thropogenic interference with the climate system: Formi­ dable challenges ahead. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 105:14245-14250

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 59

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   59

11. Working together with water. A living land builds for its future. Findings of the Deltacommissie 2008 [http://www. deltacommissie.com/doc/deltareport_full.pdf] 12. Wouters B, Chambers D, Schrama EJO (2008) GRACE observes small-scale mass loss in Greenland. Geophysi­ cal Research Letters 35:L20501

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 61–68 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.135   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

focus

The Nobel Prizes of 2011

Dendritic cells (DC) and their Toll-like receptors (TLR): Vital elements at the core of all individual immune responses. On the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 awarded to Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann, and Ralph M. Steinman* Manel Juan i Otero1,2 1. Immunology Service, Hospital Clínic–August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), Barcelona 2. Catalan Society for Immunology, Barcelona Resum. La protecció de la integritat dels individus que exer­ ceix el sistema immunitari enfront dels patògens té mecanis­ mes molt efectius però invariants que s’agrupen sota el terme immunitat innata. A diferència de la immunitat adaptativa (de­ senvolupada per immunoglobulines i limfòcits), la immunitat in­ nata no millora amb contactes successius (no té la memòria immunològica que, per exemple, s’indueix amb les vacunes) sinó que es manté globalment inalterable al llarg de la vida de l’individu. A diferència del reconeixement específic dels recep­ tors per a l’antigen —immunoglobulines i receptors de limfò­ cits T (TCR)— de la immunitat adaptativa, la immunitat innata actua enfront del perill dels patògens, mercès al reconeixe­ ment dels Patrons Moleculars Associats a Patògens (PAMPs), un reconeixement potser menys sofisticat però tant o més efi­ caç que el de la immunitat adaptativa. Els receptors d’aquests patrons moleculars de perill són diversos i en destaquen els TLR (de l’anglès: Toll-like receptors o receptors de tipus Toll —el nom recorda el concepte de «peatge al que és estrany»— descrits inicialment en cèl·lules de la mosca Drosophila melanogaster). La seva descripció es deu principalment als treballs dels doctors Bruce A. Beutler i Jules A. Hoffmann, que amb els seus estudis de l’activació de la immunitat innata mitjançada els TLR, han aconseguit el reconeixement de l’Acadèmia Sue­ ca. Junt amb ells, el tercer guardonat amb el Nobel ha estat el doctor Ralph M. Steinman, pel descobriment de les cèl·lules dendrítiques (DC, de l’anglès, dendritic cells), un subtipus cel· lular de la immunitat innata que determina la resposta (o la tole­ rància) de la immunitat adaptativa. Malauradament, el doctor Steinman va morir víctima d’un càncer just abans que l’adjudi­ cació del premi es fes pública (tot i que el jurat ja ho havia deci­ dit i, per això, va poder i va voler mantenir la concessió). Aquests treballs han revolucionat la comprensió del sistema

* Based on the lecture given by the author at the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona, on 14 December 2011, and at the Octubre Centre of Contemporary Culture, Valencia, on 16 January 2012 for the Nobel Prize Cycle. Correspondence: M. Juan Otero, Centre de Diagnòstic Biomèdic, Servei d’Immunologia, Hospital Clínic, Villarroel 170, E-08036 Barce­ lona, Catalonia, EU. Tel. +34-932275463. Fax +34-934518038. Email: mjuan@clinic.ub.es

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 61

Summary. The protection of the personal integrity, which is ex­ ercised by the immune system against pathogens, has very ef­ fective and invariant mechanisms; these invariant mechanisms are grouped under the concept of ‘innate immunity.’ Unlike ‘adaptive immunity’ (developed by lymphocytes and immu­ noglobulins), innate immunity is not improved with consecutive contacts (it has not got the immunological memory, as vaccines induce) and overall innate immunity remains unchanged throughout the life of each individual. Unlike the specific recog­ nition of receptors for antigen (TCR and immunoglobulins) of adaptatitve immunity, the innate immune response acts in front of danger of pathogens thanks to the recognition of Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs), a recognition perhaps less sophisticated but equally or even more effective than adap­ tative immunity. There are several receptors of these molecular patterns of danger, and among them the Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs)—whose name recalls the concept of “toll that which is strange”—originally described in cells of Drosophila melanogaster. The description of TLRs is mainly due the work of Drs. Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann who were recognized by the Swedish Foundation for their activation studies of innate immunity by TLRs. Next to them, the third Nobel awarded was Dr. Ralph M. Steinman for his description of Dendritic Cells (DCs), a cell subtype of the innate immune response that deter­ mines the response (or the tolerance) of adaptative immunity. Unfortunately, Dr. Steinman died of cancer just before the con­ cession of the prize was made public (the jury had already made its decision being this the reason for keeping the prize). These studies have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system, leading to the description of new diseases (new immu­ nodeficiencies, or intraindividual variations that partly explain some diseases), the emergence of new therapies (there are ap­ proved treatments based on the presentation by DCs) and very promising new fields of research to improve strategies with vac­ cines and treatments for infections, cancer and several inflam­ matory diseases. Keywords: innate immunity ∙ dendritic cells ∙ Toll ∙ TLR ∙ inflammation

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62   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

Otero

immunitari i han motivat la descripció de noves malalties (noves immunodeficiències o variacions intraindividuals que expli­ quen, en part, algunes malalties), l’aparició de noves teràpies (ja hi ha tractaments aprovats basats en la presentació per DC) i nous camps de recerca més que prometedors per a la millora de les estratègies de les vacunes i dels tractaments de les in­ feccions, el càncer i les malalties inflamatòries. Paraules clau: immunitat innata ∙ cèl·lules dendrítiques ∙ Toll ∙ TLR ∙ inflamació

Introduction The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 was divided, one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immuni­ ty” and the other half to Ralph M. Steinman “for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.” (Fig. 1) To achieve effective action targeted at a specific element, this element must be recognized. Furthermore, when the ac­ tion to be performed is destructive to the element recognized, it is also essential that targeted elements are distinguished from ourselves, which implies the ability to distinguish be­ tween the two. This is the quasi-philosophical concept under­ lying the immune system’s mechanism of action. This system is defined by its ability to recognize and discriminate self (indi­ vidual host) from non-self (antigen), ... and to attack and de­ stroy the latter. This is true for what for decades was consid­ ered the most important (and most characteristic) feature of the immune system: specific or adaptive immunity. In this kind of immunity, specific clonal recognition feeds the immunologi­ cal memory. Indeed, the concept provided the basis for the development of vaccines, beginning with Edward Jenner’s (1798) empirical work. Those efforts eventually gave immu­ nology the undeniable honor of being the medical discipline that enabled the first disappearance of a disease, smallpox (disappearance certified by the World Health Organization in 1979) [11]. The adaptive immune elements that recognize self from non-self were extensively studied throughout the 20th century, during which the molecular (antibodies, T-cell receptors or TCR, major histocompatibility complex or MHC, etc.) and cel­

Fig. 1. From left to right Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann © The Nobel Foundation. Photos: Ulla Montan; and Ralph M. Steinman © Rockefeller University.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 62

lular (T and B lymphocytes, antigen-presenting cells, etc.) bas­ es of this specific recognition were clearly established. In fact, during that time much of the attention in the field of immunolo­ gy was focused on what is called adaptive or specific immunity (antibodies, TcR, MHC, lymphocytes, etc.), characterized by a specific, clonal, memory-based recognition that has been ana­ lyzed in depth as a model of cellular complexity. The elements of immunity that do not ‘improve with time’ (have no memory) and have little specificity, known as innate or natural immunity, were also studied by several immunologists, although this re­ search often remained in a second level. Despite the detailed knowledge of immunity’s reliance on specific, clonal recognition and thus on memory, there have always been two ‘squeaky wheels,’ (observations that did not fit into what was known) concerning ‘simple’ and specific anti­ gen recognition: • First, the need to use adjuvants in immunizations, which has been called the ‘dirty and little secret of immunology’ [8]: that is, to obtain an efficient immune response, the antigen alone is not enough. Rather, it has to be ‘soiled’ with substances that do not in themselves induce a spe­ cific response but which promote an effective immune re­ sponse against the antigen when administered in combi­ nation. • Second is what has been called the ‘evolutionary lesson on immunity.’ If we analyze the immune response (the host’s defenses against microorganisms) in different spe­ cies, it becomes clear that there is immune protection in species that have no lymphocytes and therefore do not have the molecular and cellular elements that enable a specific, clonal response from memory [12]. Thus, in evo­ lutionarily less-developed species there is ‘immunity with­ out lymphocytes,’ and even immunity without ‘specific’ receptors. These two controversial facts gave rise to the immunological concept that not only does the immune system recognize and distinguish between self and non-self, but also between self and non-infectious/dangerous and non-self and infectious/ dangerous in a twofold recognition capacity in which the func­ tion of adaptive immunity (self/non-self) complements that of innate immunity (dangerous/non-dangerous). Thus, during the course of evolution, the ability of innate immunity to recognize

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Dendritic cells (DC) and their Toll-like receptors (TLR): Vital elements at the core of all individual immune responses

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   63

what is infectious/dangerous became a critical factor that al­ lowed the adaptive response against non-self to be effective (combining the first signal from the antigen receptor with a sec­ ond signal from a costimulatory molecule). Furthermore, in the absence of this ability (because the antigen is non-dangerous), antigenic recognition leads to the anergy of adaptive immunol­ ogy (Fig. 2), and thus a program not to respond. Therefore, the ‘equations of the immune response’ can be explained by in­ nate immunity: (a) First signal + second signal (induced by innate signaling) = immune response (b) First signal (recognition of the receptor for the T- or B-cell receptor antigen) = anergy

The history of the Nobel Prizes awarded to immunologists and the importance of the 2011 Prize If we trace the history of the Noble Prizes granted to immunolo­ gists it becomes clear that contributions from adaptive immu­ nology—from von Behring, in 1901, with his anti-diphtheria serum, to Doherty and Zinkernagel, the 1996 winners for MHC restriction—have been more frequently recognized than contri­ butions from the field of innate immunology (Table 1). In fact, apart from the recognition of Mechnikov in 1908 (which ac­ knowledged the conceptual clash that existed between the de­ fenders of humoral immunity and the defenders of phagocyto­ sis as the main element of defense) and Bordet in 1919 (in which, complement was largely understood as a complemen­ tary element of antibodies), research into the innate response was largely ignored until the 2011 prizes awarded to Beutler, Hoffmann, and Steinman. The recognition of Steinman’s work was based on his having defined a component of innate immu­ nity (dendritic cells) as the main instigator of adaptive immunity. Nonetheless, the 2011 prizes were the first to highlight the real importance of innate immunity.

Rediscovering the importance of innate immunity Even if it can be argued that immunology has always taken in­ nate immunity into account, it was only in the late 1980s that its importance came to the forefront of scientific contributions in this field. While numerous researchers participated in this de­ velopment (e.g., Steinman), the studies by Charles Alderson Janeway, Jr., carried out between 1988 and 1989 [13,14], truly revived innate immunity and its importance, both theoretically and experimentally, by redefining the concept of recognition of dangerous and non-dangerous as the primary basis of the im­ mune response. According to this concept, pathogen-associ­ ated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which signal danger, were described, as were pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). In fact, it is highly likely that if Janeway had not died in 2003 (with just 60 years of age), he would have been included in the group of researchers awarded the Nobel Prize in 2011. Perhaps part

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 63

Fig. 2. ‘Equations’ of the immune response. (a) The immune response is effective when in addition to recognition (signal 1), there is an associ­ ated second costimulator signal (signal 2), acting as an accessory mol­ ecule and/or cytokine, which tends to be induced by recognition of pathogens/danger by the antigen-presenting cell. This effective simu­ lation of T lymphocytes leads to their proliferation, maturation, and ef­ fector functions. (b) In the presence of antigen recognition only (signal 1), even though it is equally or even more specific, a situation of active tolerance called ‘anergy’ takes place such that T lymphocytes are pro­ grammed not to respond.

of the controversy over the 2011 Prize winners stems from the belief that Janeway’s studies are the ones which really de­ served recognition, as he was the leader of the important work in which his post-doc, Ruslan Medzhitov, demonstrated the role of Toll-like receptors and was the lead author on the publi­ cation. But since Janeway had passed away, probably many thought the 2011 Prize should not have been awarded to these studies. It is difficult to judge whether this is the real reason why the Nobel jury honored the contributions of Beutler’s group, published in 1998 [19], instead of those of Medzhitov (and thus Janeway’s group), published in 1997 [16]. In any event, be­ yond the issue of whether others may have deserved the 2011 Prize, there is no question that the discoveries made by all three winners were worthy of it. Below is a brief summary of the winners and their work.

Jules A. Hoffmann: How Toll receptors define part of innate immunity in insects Jules Alphonse Hoffmann was born in Echternach (Luxem­ bourg) on 2 August 1941, the son of an entomologist (Joss Hoffmann, 1911–2000). In 1961, he attended the University of Strasbourg, where he studied biology and chemistry, earning his doctorate in sciences in 1969 under the supervision of

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64   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

Otero

Table 1. List of Nobel Prize winners in Physiology and Medicine related to immunology (those related to innate immunity are shown in bold) Year of prize

Winner

Concept recognized

1901

Emile von Behring (1854–1917)

Anti-diphtheria serum

1908

Ilya Ilyich Metchnikoff (1845–1916)

Immunity (phagocytes)

1908

Paul Ehrlich (1854–1915)

Immunity (concepts/humoral, …)

1913

Charles R. Richet (1850–1935)

Anaphylaxis

1919

Jules Bordet (1870–1961)

Complement in immunity

1930

Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943)

Blood groups

1951

Max Theiler (1899–1972)

Yellow fever vaccine

1957

Daniel Bovet (1907–1992)

Allergy treatment with anti-H1 drugs

1960

Peter Brian Medawar (1915–1987)

Acquired tolerance in transplants

1960

Frank Macfarlane Burnet (1899–1985)

Tolerance/clonal selection theory

1972

Gerald M. Edelman (1929–)

Immunoglobulin structure

1972

Rodney R. Porter (1917–1985)

Immunoglobulins and affinity chromatography

1977

Rosalyn Yalow (1921–2011)

Immunoassays: RIA

1980

George D. Snell (1903–1996)

MHCs of mice

1980

Jean Dausset (1916–2009)

MHC of humans

1980

Baruj Benacerraf (1920–2011)

MHC, immune response and allorecognition

1984

Niels K. Jerne (1911–1994)

Control and regulation of immunity

1984

George J.F. Köhler (1946–1995)

Monoclonal antibodies

1984

César Milstein (1927–2002)

Monoclonal antibodies

1987

Susumu Tonegawa (1939–)

Diversity of immunoglobulins

1990

Joseph E. Murray (1919–)

Kidney transplant

1990

E. Donnall Thomas (1920–)

Bone marrow transplant

1996

Rolf M Zinkernagel (1944–)

MHC-restriction to antigen recognition by TCR

1996

Peter C. Doherty (1940–)

MHC-restriction to antigen recognition by TCR

2008

Harald zur Hausen (1936–)

Description of the HPV and cervix cancer vaccine

2008

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (1947–)

Description of HIV

2008

Luc Montagnier (1932–)

Description of HIV

2011

Jules A. Hoffmann (1941–)

Toll in Drosophila as innate immunity

2011

Bruce A. Beutler (1957–)

TLRs in mice in innate immunity

2011

Ralph M. Steinman 1953–2011)

Dendritic cells

Pierre Jolie. With this background, Hoffmann embarked upon a post-doctoral stay in Marburg and in 1978 rejoined the Univer­ sity of Strasbourg, where he would spend his entire research career, as a professor of zoology and general biology. Hoffmann’s work has always revolved around the immunity of insects, especially Drosophila melanogaster, the most wellknown animal model in genetics studies. Using this model and based on previous work describing the presence of powerful antimicrobial substances in insects (diptericin, drosocin, de­

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 64

fensin, drosomycin, etc.), Hoffman’s group was able to prove that one of the main inducers of the production of these micro­ bicides is a membrane receptor, known as Toll. The name ‘Toll’ was conferred by Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (a Nobel Prize winner in 1995), who studied the embryonic development and dorsoventral polarization of Drosophila [3,4]. She saw a strange phenotype in mutant fly larvae and exclaimed, “Das war ja toll!” (which in German means, “That was strange!”). By studying these larvae, she was able to define the existence of the Toll

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Dendritic cells (DC) and their Toll-like receptors (TLR): Vital elements at the core of all individual immune responses

membrane receptor, which induces nuclear activation through the Cactus–Dorsal pathway when it recognizes the Spätzle molecule. The mechanism of action of Dorsal is similar to that of the NF-κB transcription factor, a key element in activating the immune response and inflammation. Perhaps the term ‘Toll,’ with its German origin, has gained ground in English be­ cause it is associated with the concept of tolls, the fees paid to drive on certain roads, in an analogy of the basis of the function of these receptors. The contribution of Hoffman’s team came with their demon­ stration that stimulation capable of triggering the production of anti-fungal drosomycin is dependent upon the function of this Toll receptor [15], and thus is a prime element in innate immu­ nity as a defense against fungi. Hoffmann’s studies based on this finding were reported in his numerous original articles and reviews. These scientific contributions included the discovery that Toll is also activated by bacterial stimuli (via the protein that recognizes peptidoglycans, PGRP-SA) [17] and the description of DmMyD88 (Drosophila’s counterpart to mammalian MyD88, the main adaptive molecule among the majority of Toll recep­ tors and intracellular signaling) [28]. Conceptually, we could say that the studies performed by Hoffmann’s team revealed the importance of the Toll/NF-κB innate recognition system, which has been conserved throughout evolution, from the ap­ pearance of the first sponges to the development of today’s mammals (including humans).

Bruce A. Beutler: How mammalian TLRs (Toll-like receptors) recognize microbial substances and are primarily responsible for much of the innate response against the microorganism Bruce Alan Beutler was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on 29 December 1957, the son of the renowned German-born hema­ tologist and biomedical scientist Ernest Beutler. He lived in Cal­ ifornia from 1959 until 1977, when he moved back to Chicago to earn his doctorate in medicine. His interest in the biological underpinnings of illness led him to the laboratory of Abraham Braude (an expert in the biology of lipopolysaccharides, LPS) and defined his professional future. His initial basic studies in­ volved the identification of the molecule responsible for cachexia (an extreme state of malnutrition, muscle atrophy, weakness, and other symptoms associated with major infections and can­ cer), which was named cachectin but turned out to be TNFα [5], which had already been discovered a decade earlier [10]. Yet, the lack of novelty of his discovery did not discourage Beutler, who went on to focus his attention on the mechanism of LPS action and to determine its true cellular ligand (even though CD14 is known to bind LPS, it is clear that it is not re­ sponsible for the latter’s effect since it does not lead to intracel­ lular signal transduction). Beutler’s team adopted a genetic ap­ proach, mapping the gene responsible for LPS resistance in the C3H/HeJ mouse strain. The painstaking work of genomic mapping, carried out over several years, resulted in the identifi­ cation of TLR4 as the receptor responsible for the flawed sign­ aling in these mice and their resistance to LPS [19]. Toll-like re­

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   65

Fig. 3. TLRs and NLRs. (A) A TLR molecule. (B) Distribution of TLRs and NLRs in a cell (adapted from the schema developed by Dr Juan Ignacio Aróstegui, Hospital Clínic).

ceptors (TLR’s) had already been identified, particularly by Janeway’s group in a report published the year before [16], in which TLR itself was defined as a crucial element in activating adaptive immunity innately. However, the scientific contribution of Beutler’s group is undeniably important: it states that TLR4 recognizes LPS and intracellularly induces cellular activation, which lies at the root of the recognition of dangerous patterns in innate immunity. Beutler mainly carried out his studies first at Rockefeller Uni­ versity in New York, then at the University of Texas at Dallas (where he made the discovery that earned him the Nobel Prize). Since 2000 he has worked at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. The overall contribution of TLRs in our understanding of the recognition function in innate immunity is fundamental because it provides the molecular groundwork for the existence of PRRs as well as PAMPs and their signaling routes, all of which are integral to inflammatory and immune responses [6] (Fig. 3A). In fact, the 13 TLRs described comprise one of the main groups of PRRs, but there are also others. Thus, while TLRs are mem­ brane-associated receptors that detect extracellular PAMPs (TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR5, TLR6, TLR10) or PAMPs in vesicles (TLR3, TLR7, TLR8, TLR9), other receptors sense the cyto­ plasm of the cell. These NLRs (NOD-like receptors) include the NOD1 and NOD2 molecules (Fig. 3B). Together, the PRRs rec­ ognize the main elements that trigger inflammation, which is the physiopathogenic root of most (if not all) diseases.

Ralph M. Steinman: How innate immune cells (dendritic cells) trigger the adaptive response Ralph Marvin Steinman was born in Montreal, Canada, on 14 January 1943. He studied biology and chemistry at McGill Uni­ versity and later earned a doctorate in medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston (1968). In 1970, he joined Rockefeller University in New York, where he met other prominent scien­ tists who influenced his career, including Dr Zanvil Cohn, with whom he described the existence of a previously undefined cell type, dendritic cells (DCs) [23–26]. Their name comes from the branching appearance of their extensions (‘dendron’ means

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Fig. 4. A phase-contrast microscopic image (pro­ vided by Dr Miquel Caballero and Dr Ramon Vilel­ la of the Hospital Clínic) and the general schema of a DC with surface expression of TLRs and in­ travesicular TLR. The presence of the MHC pri­ marily on the cell surface or intracellularly is one of the elements that distinguishes mature from im­ mature DCs, respectively.

‘tree’ in Greek). DCs capture and present antigen and, while quantitatively rather unimportant, they are much more efficient at antigen presentation to T lymphocytes (the first step in the adaptive immune response) than other antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as macrophages and monocytes (Fig. 4A). DCs are actually APCs that can induce an initial response in vitro, demonstrating their effectiveness in activating T lymphocytes, especially those that have not been in contact with the antigen (so-called naive T lymphocytes). Since DCs are related to in­ nate immunity (they have no specific receptors for the antigen) but induce adaptive immunity, they ultimately serve as a kind of ‘bridge’ between the two branches of the immune response. Studies on DCs by Steinman and his group were conducted over the course of 30 years. Beginning with a simple yet elegant description of these cells, their properties, and their actions and, in recent work, with studies specifically demonstrating the im­ portance of DCs [27], the persistence and conviction of Stein­ man and his group are worth highlighting; they are a paradigm of what an investigator immersed in his subject can achieve. In fact, for years many people did not attach any real importance to DCs, and while accepting the scientific validity of Steinman’s contributions, other researchers showed little interest in pursu­ ing their implications, with only a handful of out­siders acknowl­ edging the real importance of DCs. Thus, it was Steinman’s steadfastness that finally ensconced these cells in the place they deserve, as the backbone of the immune response. The development in the 1980s of monoclonal antibodies to DCs changed the approach to their study. Steinman and oth­ ers contributed to defining two stages of sequential differentia­ tion in DCs: immature DCs, programmed to act as antigen capturers, and mature DCs, in which, following antigen cap­ ture, the immature cells differentiate to become APCs, provid­ ing the costimulation needed for T lymphocytes to develop an efficient response to the antigen presented [18,25]. It should be noted that physiologically mature DCs are practically the only APCs that can induce effective activation of naive T lym­ phocytes (Fig. 4B). Generally speaking, other APCs do not tend to induce the proliferation of these cells and may even prompt them to enter anergy.

Current and future biomedical relevance of TLRs and DCs While these two core contributions, i.e., TLRs and DCs, signifi­ cantly enhanced our understanding of the innate response,

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 66

they became even more relevant when their application and functions could be explained in the context of the overall im­ mune response (including the adaptive response). In fact, the presence of TLRs on DCs is one of the determining factors in the maturation of these cells: the recognition of PAMPs by TLRs of immature DCs induces DC maturation and thus, TLRs increases the ability of these cells, now as ‘professional’ APCs, to present the antigens captured during their immaturity. For this reason, TLRs are one of the elements that explain both the ‘dirty and little secret’ of immunology (that antigens must be ‘soiled’ with PAMPs in order for them to develop an efficient immune response) [8], and the ‘lesson learned from evolution’ (the immune system is efficient in many species that have no lymphocytes, and the innate response alone is often enough to eliminate pathogens) [12]. Meanwhile, DCs are the ‘bridge’ needed for the innate re­ sponse to allow an effecient response and together with it, a kind of protection with immune memory and specificity. Accordingly, the use of stimulants by TLRs has opened up new opportunities for vaccines, by introducing adjuvants, i.e., PAMP molecules that induce the immune response, to potenti­ ate immunizations; for example, in the new malaria vaccine currently being developed [1]: thus, an antigen already studied but discarded as ineffective has gained renewed interest by being matched with a different adjuvant. Moreover, some TLR polymorphisms have become logical explanations for the dif­ ferences in the behaviors among different individuals to the same microorganism—such as polymorphisms in TLR5 and legionellosis [9]—and for how harmful mutations trigger immu­ nodeficiencies that challenge our concept of what constitutes an immunodeficiency (such as mutations in TLR3 and herpes simplex encephalitis [30]). Similarly, it is now recognized that mutations in elements common to TLR interactions (e.g., MyD88 or IRAK4) also define novel types of immunodeficien­ cies, such as the deficiency of MyD88 [29], or processes as­ sociated with cancer [20]. Overall, TLR’s can be seen as a key to our understanding of aging, atherosclerosis, autoimmunity, and other related phenomena. Through these receptors, we may be able to modify the behavior of many diseases in which inflammation plays a key role. But it is in the field of DCs in which direct applications are already being developed; for example, extension of the sur­ vival of a patient with pancreatic cancer for many years by administering a tumor vaccine with DCs. This may have been the case with Steinman himself, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 but who died sometime later, in 2011, just be­

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Dendritic cells (DC) and their Toll-like receptors (TLR): Vital elements at the core of all individual immune responses

fore the awarding of the Nobel Prize was made public (the jury had already decided, this decision being the reason for the preservation of the prize). In addition, the American Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the introduction of medicines into the US market, has accepted sipuleucel-T (APC 8015, Provenge®, Dendreon Corp., Seattle WA) as a treatment for prostate cancer, even though, rather than being a drug, it is a process that entails extracting DCs and re-infus­ ing them in the same patient [22]. There is also now a great deal of data showing that the applications of DCs are not lim­ ited to inducing anti-infectious (such as therapeutic vaccines for HIV infection [7]) and anti-tumor responses, but include the option to modulate and change certain undesirable respons­ es, such as by inducing tolerogenic DCs against immunity or inflammation. Therefore, with our knowledge of TLRs and DCs and thus our improved understanding of the role of the immune re­ sponse in inflammation as well as pathological processes, new opportunities have arisen to develop effective therapies for a wide range of disorders and diseases. It is not too bold, then, to predict that in the forthcoming years these conceptual con­ tributions will form the basis (as they already have in some cas­ es) of a wide range of medical activities that will help to improve the health of humanity. Acknowledgements. This article was in part made possible by the support received by the author from the Carlos III Health Institute and specifically by funding from PI10/01404.

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To learn more: 15. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/ 2011/ * References 15, 19 and 23-26 are the main publications that suppot the award.

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Agnandji ST, Lell B, Soulanoudjingar SS, Fernandes JF, Abossolo BP, Conzelmann C, Methogo BG, Doucka Y, et al. (2001) First results of phase 3 trial of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine in African children. RTS,S Clinical Trials Partnership. N Engl J Med 365(20):1863-75 Allison JP, Benoist C, Chervonsky AV (2011) Nobels: Toll pioneers deserve recognition. Nature 479:178 Anderson KV, Jürgens G, Nüsslein-Volhard C (1985) Es­ tablishment of dorsal-ventral polarity in the Drosophila embryo: genetic studies on the role of the Toll gene prod­ uct. Cell 42:779-789 Anderson KV, Bokla L, Nüsslein-Volhard C (1985) Estab­ lishment of dorsal-ventral polarity in the Drosophila em­ bryo: the induction of polarity by the Toll gene product. Cell 42:791-798 Beutler BA, Milsark IW, Cerami A (1985) Cachectin/tumor

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necrosis factor: production, distribution, and metabolic fate in vivo. J Immunol 135:3972-3977 Beutler B (2004) Inferences, questions and possibilities in Toll-like receptor signaling. Nature 4030:257-263 García F, Lejeune M, Climent N, Gil C, Alcamí J, Morente V, Alós L, Ruiz A, et al. (2005) Therapeutic immunization with dendritic cells loaded with heat-inactivated autolo­ gous HIV-1 in patients with chronic HIV-1 infection. J In­ fect Dis 191:1680-1685 Gayed PM (2011) Toward a Modern synthesis of immu­ nity: Charles A. Janeway Jr. and the immunologist’s dirty little secret. Yale J Biol and Med 84:131-138 Hawn TR, Verbon A, Lettinga KD, Zhao LP, Li SS, Laws RJ, Skerrett SJ, Beutler B, et al. (2003) A common domi­ nant TLR5 stop codon polymorphism abolishes flagellin signaling and is associated with susceptibility to legion­ naires’ disease. J Exp Med 198:1563-72 Helson L, Green S, Carswell E, Old LJ (1975) Effect of tumour necrosis factor on cultured human melanoma cells. Nature 258:731-732 Henderson DA (2011) The eradication of smallpox - An overview of the past, present, and future. Vaccine 29 Suppl 4:D7-9 Humphreys T, Reinherz EL (1994) Invertebrate immune recognition, natural immunity and the evolution of positive selection. Immunol Today 15:316-20 Janeway CA Jr (1988) Frontiers of the immune system. Nature 333:804-806 Janeway CA Jr (1989) Approaching the asymptote? Evo­ lution and revolution in immunology. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 54 Pt1:1-13 Lemaitre B, Nicolas E, Michaut L, Reichhart JM, Hoff­ mann JA (1996) The dorsoventral regulatory gene cas­ sette spätzle/Toll/cactus controls the potent antifungal response in Drosophila adults. Cell 86(6):973-983 Medzhitov R, Preston-Hurlburt P, Janeway CA Jr (1997) A human homologue of the Drosophila Toll protein signals activation of adaptive immunity. Nature 388:394-397 Michel T, Reichhart JM, Hoffmann JA, Royet J (2001) Drosophila Toll is activated by Gram-positive bacteria through a circulating peptidoglycan recognition protein. Nature 414:756-759 O’Doherty U, Peng M, Gezelter S, Swiggard WJ, Betjes M, Bhardwaj N, Steinman RM (1994) Human blood con­ tains two subsets of dendritic cells, one immunologically mature and the other immature. Immunology 82:487-493 Poltorak A, He X, Smirnova I, Liu MY, Van Huffel C, Du X, Birdwell D, Alejos E, et al. (1998) Defective LPS signaling in C3H/HeJ and C57BL/10ScCr mice: mutations in Tlr4 gene. Science 282:2085-2088 Puente XS, Pinyol M, Quesada V, Conde L, Ordóñez GR, Villamor N, Escaramis G, Jares P, et al. (2011) Wholegenome sequencing identifies recurrent mutations in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Nature 475:101-105 Schuler G, Steinman RM (1985) Murine epidermal Lang­ erhans cells mature into potent immunostimulatory den­ dritic cells in vitro. J Exp Med 161:526-546

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22. Sharma P, Wagner K, Wolchok JD, Allison JP (2011) Novel cancer immunotherapy agents with survival bene­ fit: recent successes and next steps. Nat Rev Cancer 11:805-812 23. Steinman RM, Cohn ZA (1973) Identification of a novel cell type in peripheral lymphoid organs of mice. I. Mor­ phology, quantitation, tissue distribution. J Exp Med 137:1142-1162 24. Steinman RM, Cohn ZA (1974) Identification of a novel cell type in peripheral lymphoid organs of mice. II. Func­ tional properties in vitro. J Exp Med 139:380-397 25. Steinman RM, Lustig DS, Cohn ZA (1974) Identification of a novel cell type in peripheral lymphoid organs of mice. III. Functional properties in vivo. J Exp Med 139:1431-1445 26. Steinman RM, Adams JC, Cohn ZA (1975) Identification of a novel cell type in peripheral lymphoid organs of mice.

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IV. Identification and distribution in mouse spleen. J Exp Med 141:804-820 Steinman RM (2007) Dendritic cells: understanding im­ munogenicity. Eur J Immunol 37S:S53-60 Tauszig-Delamasure S, Bilak H, Capovilla M, Hoffmann JA, Imler JL (2002) Drosophila MyD88 is required for the response to fungal and Gram-positive bacterial infec­ tions. Nat Immunol 3:91-97 von Bernuth H, Picard C, Jin Z, Pankla R, Xiao H, Ku CL, Chrabieh M, Mustapha IB, et al. (2008) Pyogenic bacteri­ al infections in humans with MyD88 deficiency. Science 321:691-696 Zhang SY, Jouanguy E, Ugolini S, Smahi A, Elain G, Romero P, Segal D, Sancho-Shimizu V, et al. (2007) TLR3 deficiency in patients with herpes simplex en­ cephalitis. Science 317:1522-1527

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 69–75 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.136   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

focus

The Nobel Prizes of 2011

The accelerated universe. On the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess* Eduard Massó Theoretical Physics Group, Department of Physics, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona

Resum. Des de final de la dècada del 1920 hem sabut que les galàxies distants s’allunyen de nosaltres. Les observacions que van conduir a aquesta conclusió van ser principalment les d’Edwin Hubble. La història de l’Univers ha estat de contínua expansió i refredament, i marcada per diversos esdeveniments importants. En un univers dominat per la matèria, és bastant intuïtiu pensar que l’expansió es frenarà o, en altres paraules, que l’Univers s’hauria de desaccelerar. I no obstant això, dos equips, el Supernova Cosmology Project i el High-z Supernova Search Team, van utilitzar un subconjunt de supernoves del ti­ pus Ia (SNIA) i van arribar al mateix resultat sorprenent: l’Uni­ vers s’està accelerant. Però llavors, què està produint l’obser­ vada acceleració cosmològica? En aquest article es discuteix el Premi Nobel de Física 2011, atorgat a Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt i Adam G. Riess pel descobriment de l’expansió accelerada de l’Univers mitjançant observacions de superno­ ves distants, i revisa el context cosmològic del descobriment i l’ús de les supernoves com candeles estàndard. Algunes de les conseqüències del descobriment també es presenten.

Abstract. Since the end of the 1920s we have known that dis­ tant galaxies are receding from us. The observations that led to this conclusion were mainly those of Edwin Hubble. The history of the universe has been one of continuous expansion and cooling, marked by several critical events. In a matter-dominat­ ed universe, it is quite intuitive that the expansion will eventually slow down; in other words, the universe should decelerate. And yet two teams, the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-z Supernova Search Team, used a subset of superno­ va—type Ia (SNIa)—and reached the same surprising result: the universe is accelerating. But what, then, is producing the observed cosmological acceleration? This article discusses the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics, awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Bri­ an P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess for the discovery of the ac­ celerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae, and reviews the cosmological context of the discovery and the use of supernovae as standard candles. Some of the consequences of the discovery are presented as well.

Paraules clau: cosmologia ∙ supernova ∙ constant cosmològica ∙ energia fosca

Keywords: cosmology ∙ supernova ∙ cosmological constant ∙ dark energy

Introduction The Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 was divided, one half awarded to Saul Perlmutter, the other half jointly to Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.” (Fig. 1) What today we call cosmology, i.e., the study of the cos­ mos, has a very long history. In ancients times it was mixed Fig. 1. From left to right Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess © The Nobel Foundation. Photos: Ulla Montan. * Based on the lecture given by the author at the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona, on 16 December 2011, and at the Octubre Centre of Contemporary Culture, Valencia, on 11 January 2012 for the Nobel Prize Cycle. Correspondence: E. Massó, Grup de Física Teòrica, Departament de Física, Despatx C7B/034, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, EU. Tel. +34-935811755. Fax +34-935811938. Email: Eduard.Masso@uab.cat

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 69

with religion, philosophy, etc. Today cosmology is its own field but the need of humanity to understand the universe has re­ mained the same. The present article does not include a de­ scription of the evolution of ideas in cosmology and the many people that have contributed to achieving progress in the un­

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Massó

derstanding of the cosmos; rather, it concentrates on one of the more recent discoveries: the fact that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Besides the topics explained in the lectures at the Institute for Catalan Studies and Octubre Centre of Contemporary Culture, this article is aimed at a slightly more advanced level and includes both related references and a bib­ liography for the reader interested in finding out more about the subject. In the Introduction, I discuss the context in which the acceleration of the universe arises, namely, universal expan­ sion. Since the end of the 1920s we have known that distant gal­ axies are receding from us. The observations that led to this conclusion were mainly those of Edwin Hubble [11]. We know that the universe expands because when a distant galaxy long ago sent a light signal the universe was smaller than when that signal is received on the Earth. Thus, in the expansion, the wavelength of light was stretched by the same factor as the scale of the universe. We receive light from astronomical ob­ jects with the spectrum lines red-shifted. Thus, at the cosmo­ logical scale, we have:

(1)

Here λe is the wavelength at the moment of emission, λr is the wavelength at the moment of reception (now), a is the scale at the moment of emission, and a0 is the scale now. Finally, z is defined as the red-shift. It is quite usual to refer to the red-shift of distant galaxies, instead of the physical distance. For exam­ ple, z = 1 corresponds to about 8000 Mly, where Mly stands for 106 light years. At red-shift z = 1, the dimensions of the uni­ verse were half of what they are today. Before we continue, several comments are in order. First, there is nothing special about our position on Earth from where we measure all distant objects to recede from us. The Coperni­ can principle states that we do not occupy a privileged place in the cosmos. Let us consider a triangle that has a galaxy at each of its three vertices. After a cosmological time has elapsed, the triangle formed by the three galaxies is larger but it is similar (same shape, i.e., same angles) to the first triangle. From the point of view of any of the vertices, an observer sees the other two galaxies receding radially. This is in agreement with the Co­ pernican principle, which is an extension of the Copernican idea that the Earth is not the center of the solar system. Second, let us assume that the growing rate of the triangle is constant. As we will see, this is not exact, but it is a very good first approximation. The assumption of constant expansion im­ plies Hubble’s law, which describes the linear relation between distance and red-shift. However, there are several ways to define cosmological distances. Here we use the so-called lumi­ nosity distance dL,

(2)

where F is the flux received and L is the luminosity of the astro­ physical object. According to Hubble’s law:

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 70

(3)

The proportionality constant H0 is the Hubble constant, i.e., the expansion rate, and c is the speed of light. The expansion of the universe is probably the most fundamental cosmological property. If we go backward in time, distances among objects become increasingly smaller while densities and temperature steadily become higher. In the very early universe, all atoms were ionized, and the content of the universe was a primordial plasma. The history of the universe has been one of continuous ex­ pansion and cooling, marked by several critical events. For ex­ ample, within the first few minutes, the fusion of protons and neutron resulted in the formation of light elements. Later, at 450,000 years, the decoupling of photons occurred. We are able to observe these relic particles and from their properties we can extract valuable information about our universe.

The acceleration of the universe In a matter-dominated universe, it is quite intuitive that the ex­ pansion will eventually slow down; in other words, the universe should decelerate. It is analogous to what happens when we throw an object upwards in the gravitational field of the Earth. The object loses velocity because of the attraction of the Earth. In the universe, attraction is exerted by all masses among themselves, implying an eventual deceleration. To express this formulaically, we write the evolution equa­ tions for the scale parameter a:

(4)

(5)

where GN is Newton’s gravitational constant, and ρ and p the energy density and pressure of the fluid content of the universe, respectively. The equations include the first temporal derivative of the scale factor, ȧ = da/dt, as well as the second derivative ä = d2a/dt2 . These equations correspond to the particular case of a flat universe, which is an excellent approximation. Equations (4) and (5) are directly deduced from the Einstein equations of general relativity [5], assuming a homogeneous and isotropic universe. The first steps of applying general rela­ tivity to cosmology were done by Einstein [6] and were followed by important contributions from Friedmann [8] and Lemaître [13]. In a matter-dominated universe p = 0 and, since ρ > 0, the minus sign in (5) shows that ä < 0. Therefore, we conclude that a matter dominated universe is decelerating. In physics, as in all branches of science, experiments must be performed without prejudice. In principle, the universe could decelerate, ä < 0, or accelerate ä > 0, or ä = 0. As stat­ ed above, Hubble’s law (3) has to be regarded as a first ap­ proximation, valid for a small z, i.e., objects not very far away. In order to measure the acceleration or deceleration, we must

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The accelerated universe. On the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess

first measure the dependence between z and dL beyond the linear approximation expressed by Hubble’s law. We should make more precise measurements as well as obtain addition­ al data for more distant objects. To measure the red-shift z is not especially difficult, the hard part is to measure the dis­ tance. We can use an example to understand why distance meas­ urements are difficult. Imagine we are in a dark room except for two candles. We measure the light coming from both and find it is equal. Can we conclude that the candles are at the same distance? Of course not, because one candle might be more luminous than the other but be farther away so that there is a kind of compensation and the light we receive is the same. This simple example shows that if we knew whether the can­ dles were identical then we could draw our conclusions with­ out any problem. In the language of science, these identical candles are known as standard candles. When we are sure that we measure light coming from standard candles we can indeed conclude that, if the light we receive from the two is the same, the candles are at the same distance; if the light from one is one fourth of that from the other, it is at twice the dis­ tance, etc. In astronomy, the crucial point is to find standard candles, i.e., astronomical objects with the same intrinsic luminosity. Supernovae as standard candles were proposed many years ago [2]. However, while they are extremely bright objects, out­ shining their own host galaxy for a period of time, their intrinsic luminosities are very different and they are not standard can­ dles. Physicists have found a solution to this problem by identi­ fying a subset of supernova, called type Ia (SNIa), which are remarkably similar [4]. These supernovae were identified based on several spectral features, specifically, the presence of lines of ionized silicon but no hydrogen lines. Underlying this similar­ ity is a common origin. Indeed, it is believed that the origin might have been the explosion of a white dwarf in a binary sys­ tem, where the companion would have become a red giant [7], and that accretion, i.e., matter attracted and integrated by the white dwarf, would have occurred. White dwarfs are end states of stars that compensate the gravitational attraction by the pressure of degenerate electrons. However, when the mass increases and reaches the so-called Chandrasekhar limit (1.4 solar masses), the electron pressure is not able to stop the gravitational collapse. Consequently, nuclear reactions start, which can lead to a violent explosion. The fact that all white dwarfs becoming SNIa explode when reaching the Chan­ drasekhar mass is the reason behind the similarity in the intrin­ sic luminosities of this class of supernovae. SNIa are the standard candles that have been used to infer the measure of distances to the host galaxies where superno­ vae are detected [15]. Actually, there is a small dispersion in intrinsic luminosities: some of them are brighter at peak and have a longer duration and some are dimmer and have a short­ er duration. This correlation is such that one can rescale all lu­ minosities in a single profile, with the end result that the disper­ sion is even smaller [17] (Fig. 2). The use of supernovae as standard candles allows us to determine the relative distances among them. One introduces into the sample nearby superno­

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   71

Fig. 2. Light curves of low red-shift type Ia supernovae measured by [9] and [10]. The upper figure shows the absolute magnitude (a measure of intrinsic luminosity) as a function of time. In the lower figure, the same light curves after the rescaling explained in the text. (From [14].)

vae whose absolute distances can be deduced by other means, such as parallaxes. It then follows that the absolute dis­ tance to of all such objects can then be determined. We can now try to find deviations from Hubble’s law (3). Working with the cosmological equations one, we achieve the relation:

(6)

Here we identify the first term in z as Hubble’s law, so that the term z2 amounts to a correction that yields information about acceleration. Indeed, the deceleration parameter

(7)

contains the second derivative of the scale parameter ä. In (10), the dots stand for the terms in z3. Of course, at z ∼ 1 a more general formula is needed. This formula is introduced in the next section. Two teams used SNIa to plot the red-shift of these objects versus distance: the Supernova Cosmology Project [16] and the High-z Supernova Search Team (Fig. 3) [18]. Both reached the same surprising result: the universe is accelerating. Their result can be expressed as a determination of q0 in (7). Due to the conventional minus sign in the definition (7), a positive value q0 > 0 indicates a decelerating universe and a negative value

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Massó

Fig. 3. Observed magnitude versus red-shift. The part corresponding to the most distant superno­ vae is enlarged to more clearly depict the fit. The pink part of the figure corresponds to a deceler­ ating universe ,and the blue part to an accelerat­ ing universe. The best fit is for an accelerating universe with about 0.24 ρc in matter density and 0.76 ρc in cosmological constant density. (From [14]).

q0 < 0 means the universe is speeding up. The two teams ob­ tained a negative value in 1998, which led them to infer that the universe is accelerating. The present experimental value that can be deduced from supernova data is q0 = −0.7 ± 0.1. I should point out that these measurements have been pos­ sible because of technical advances in astronomy: telescopes, CCD detectors, etc. Also, an alert program was crucial be­ cause the light curve has to be measured before peak bright­ ness (and of course after peak brightness).

Consequences As equations (4) and (5) make clear, the expansion features are linked to the energy content of the universe. I already noted that matter in the universe produces deceleration. But what, then, is producing the observed cosmological acceleration? Actually, in the beginning of the development of general rela­ tivity, a term that could contribute to the gravitational equations describing cosmological acceleration was considered. That term contained a single free parameter, Λ, and it is known as a cosmological constant. For example, it was considered by Ein­ stein himself in order to obtain a static universe, but he aban­ doned the idea after the discovery of the expansion of the uni­ verse. The possible presence of a cosmological constant should be definitely considered because of the cosmological observations using supernovae. The cosmological constant is equivalent to a universal component entering the right-hand side of (4) and (5). This component has an energy density ρΛ and a negative pressure pΛ = −ρΛ. We easily see in (5) that it is a contribution to positive values for ä, namely, to accelera­ tion. Let us consider a universe with matter density ρM and cos­ mological constant density ρΛ. It is convenient to work with the normalized quantities

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 72

(8)

where ρc is the critical density, which is the density leading to a flat universe, given by

(9)

Let us write a formula relating distances and the parameters of this universe (10)

[A second-order expansion of this formula in z leads to (10)]. The supernova data relate dL to z so they can infer allowed and not-allowed values for ΩM and ΩΛ. Figure 4 shows a plane that is the parameter space of a uni­ verse with matter and a cosmological constant. The supernova data are compatible only with a region in the plane; in Fig. 4 the region is represented by the blue band. It can be seen that the data do not point to a single point in the plane because there are experimental uncertainties. Moreover, the region consist­ ent with supernova data is a band, indicating that there is de­ generacy. In the plot, the band coming from the cosmic micro­ wave background is shown in orange, and the band corresponding to the so-called baryon acoustic oscillations in green. The bands are again due to the fact that each of these observations have degeneracy. By considering all data at the same time we can remove the degeneracy. In fact, all data can be accommodated by adopting the values ΩM ≈ 0.26 and ΩΛ ≈ 0.74. This simple model is sometimes called the consistency model. (For an alternative approach to display results see [3].)

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The accelerated universe. On the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   73

actually with a negative pressure. Let us call ρDE and pDE the energy density and pressure, respectively, and define the ratio

Fig. 4. Parameter space of a simple model with matter and the cosmo­ logical constant. In blue, the region determined by supernovae data. In orange, the region consistent with cosmic microwave background measurements is shown; in green, the part delimited by galaxy cluster inventories. The confidence level contours of 68.3 %, 95.4 %, and 99.7 % are shown as different color densities. The best fit corresponds to an accelerating universe with about 0.24 ρc in matter density and 0.76 ρc in cosmological constant density (w = –1). (From [12]).

The cosmological model with matter and a cosmological constant is consistent with the data. Is this the end of the sto­ ry? We believe it is not, for the following reasons. The value needed for the cosmological constant to fit the data is ex­ tremely small in the following sense. According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum fluctuates constantly. There is a con­ stant creation of matter-antimatter pairs that are immediately annihilated. Such fluctuations are allowed by the Heisenberg principle. The energy density associated with these fluctuations is many orders of magnitude above the observational value. The conclusion is that we do not understand this small value. Also, the contributions of matter density and cosmological density turn out to be not very different from each other; they are similar up to a factor of two or so. This similarity happens only within a very short time interval, in cosmological time scales. This is also not understood. These problems have originated a large amount of theoreti­ cal work searching for alternatives to the cosmological con­ stant. For example, it might be that the origin of the cosmic acceleration is the existence of a fluid with exotic properties,

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 73

(11)

As noted above, w = −1 corresponds to a cosmological constant. In general, models of dark energy have w = −1 and are dependent on time. Models for such fluids have been con­ structed, but we do not have yet a truly convincing model. An­ other possibility is that gravity is modified when considering large scales. Such modifications are constrained by the obser­ vational fact that in shifting to smaller scales—for example, so­ lar system scales—gravity works perfectly well, without any need to introduce modifications. Again, no convincing model is in sight. Improvement in the cosmological measurements should give us clues for further progress. For example, Fig. 5 shows a plot that determines w in (11), assumed to be constant, but not necessarily equal to –1. In the plot, there are the same three observations as in Fig. 4. We see that the data are consistent with a value w = −1, i.e., with a pure cosmological constant. However, it remains to be determined whether more refined data in the future select a value w ≠ −1 or continue to be con­ sistent with w = −1. Apart from supernova data, it is believed that measurements of galaxy cluster abundances, weak gravi­ tational lensing observations, and more precise determination of the properties of baryon acoustic oscillations may lead to progress in understanding the origin of the acceleration of the universe. As a final remark, Fig. 6 is a chart showing the weight of the different components in the universe according to our present measurements. Dominating the energy budget is the presence of dark ener­ gy, which has a relative importance of 74 %. The remainder

Fig. 5. Parameter space of a simple model with matter and a dark en­ ergy component with constant w [see equation (11)]. In blue, the region determined by supernovae data is shown; in orange, the region con­ sistent with cosmic microwave background measurements; in green, the part delimited by the galaxy cluster inventories. Confidence level contours of 68.3 %, 95.4 %, and 99.7 % are shown. The best fit is consistent with a cosmological component w = −1. (From [1]). Repro­ duced by permission of the AAS.

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• http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cocktail-party-phys­ ics/2011/10/04/nobel­d reams-2011-physics-prizehonors-accelerating-universe/ • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the2011-nobel-prize-in-prize-physics 7. Elementary textbook on cosmology • Andrew Liddle (2003) An Introduction to Modern Cosmol­ ogy. Wiley, Chichester, England Fig. 6. Only 4 % of the mass of the universe is made up of ordinary matter.

has a weight of 4 % in normal atoms, and 22 % in dark matter. Dark matter should have properties very different from normal matter, and we know it exists because of its gravitational ac­ tion. The fact that the matter comprising human beings, the Earth, and the sun is a mere 4 % is sometimes called the sec­ ond Copernican revolution. Indeed, we are not at the center of the universe; rather, the bulk of the universe is made up of components that differ from those we are made of.

Additional bibliography 1. The Nobel Prize webpage contains the prize announcement, press release, popular information, and advanced information. The award ceremony video and speeches are also available. In addition, there is a biography for each of the three laureates. • http://www.nobelprize.org/nobelprizes/physics/laure­ ates/2011/ 2. The websites of the two collaborations, Supernova Cosmology Project and High-z Supernova Search Team, offer popular science articles as well as more advanced articles, along with many images and graphs. • http://supernova.lbl.gov/ • http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/supernova//HighZ.html 3. Popular science reviews • Riess AG, Turner MS (2004) From Slowdown to Speed­ up. Scientific American Magazine, February • Translation into Spanish in Revista Investigación y Cien­ cia, April 2004 • http://www.eso.org/public/

8. Elementary reviews on different aspects related to the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics • Perlmutter S (2003) Supernovae, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe. Physics Today 53-59 [http://su­ pernova.lbl.gov/PhysicsTodayArticle.pdf ] • Kirshner RP (2003) Throwing Light on Dark Energy. Sci­ ence 300:1914-1918 • Mazzali PA, Röpke FK, Benetti S, Hillebrandt W (2007) A Common Explosion Mechanism for Type Ia Supernovae. Science 315:825-828 9. Advanced reviews on the acceleration of the universe and dark energy • Caldwell RR, Kamionkowski M (2009) The Physics of Cosmic Ac­celeration. Ann Rev Nucl Part Sci 59:397 [http://arXiv.org/pdf/0903.0866] • Copeland EJ, Sami M, Tsujikawa S (2006) Dynamics of dark en­ergy. Int J Mod Phys D15:1753 [http://arXiv.org/ pdf/hep-th/0603057] • Frieman J, Turner M, Huterer D (2008) Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe. Ann Rev Astron Astrophys 46:385 (2008) [http://arXiv.org/pdf/0803.0982] • Carroll SM (2001) Dark Energy and the Preposterous Uni­ verse [http://arXiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0107571] • Peebles PJE, Ratra B (2003) The cosmological constant and dark energy. Rev Mod Phys 75:559 [http://arXiv.org/ pdf/astro-ph/0207347] 10. Advanced reviews on the cosmological constant • Weinberg S (1989) Rev Mod Phys 61:1-23 • Carroll SM (2001) Living Rev Rel 3:1[http://relativity.livin­ greviews.org/Articles/lrr-2001-1/]

References 1.

4. Interview with one of the Nobel Prize winners • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id= discovering-a-dark-universe

2.

5. Wikipedia article • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark energy

3.

6. Related webpages to the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id= supernovae-back­einsteins

4.

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 74

R Amanullah, et al. (2010) Spectra and Light Curves of Six Type Ia Supernovae at 0.511 < z < 1.12 and the Un­ ion2 Compilation. Ap J 716:712-738 Baade W (1938) The Absolute Photographic Magnitude of Supernovae. Ap J 88:285-304 Bahcall NA, Ostriker JP, Perlmutter S, Steinhardt PJ (1999) The Cosmic triangle: Assessing the state of the universe. Science 284:1481­1488 Branch D, Tammann GA (1992) Type Ia supernovae as standard can­dles. Ann Rev Astron Astrophys 30:359389 [and references therein]

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The accelerated universe. On the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess

5.

Einstein A (1915) Die Feldgleichungen der Gravitation. Sitzungsber Preuss Akad Wiss, Berlin, pp. 844-847 6. Einstein A (1917) Kosmologische Betrachtungen zur allgemeinen Relativit¨atstheorie. Sitzungsber Preuss Akad Wiss, Berlin pp. 844-847 7. Fowler WA, Hoyle F (1960) Nucleosynthesis in superno­ vae. Astrophys J 132:565-590 8. Friedmann A (1924) Uber die Moeglichkeiten einer Welt mit konstanter negativer Krümmung des Raumes. Zeitschrift für Physik 21:326-332 9. Hamuy M, et al. (1993) The 1990 Calan/Tololo supernova search. Astrophys J 106:2392-2407 10. Hamuy M, et al. (1995) A Hubble diagram of distant type IA supernovae. Astrophys J 109:1-13 11. Hubble E (1929) A relation between distance and radial velocity among extra–galactic nebulae. Proc Nat Acad Sci 15:168-173 12. Kowalski M, et al. (2008) [Supernova Cosmology Project Collaboration] Improved Cosmological Constraints from

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17. 18.

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   75

New, Old and Combined Supernova Datasets. Astrophys J 686:749-778 [http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.4142] Lemaître G (1927) Un univers homogène de masse con­ stante et de rayon croissant rendant compte de la vitesse radiale des nébuleuses extra­galactiques. Annales de la Société Scientifique de Bruxelles A47:49­59 Perlmutter S (2003) Supernovae, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Universe. Physics Today, April, pp. 53-59 Perlmutter S, Schmidt BP (2003) Measuring cosmology with super­novae. Lect Notes Phys 598:195-217 [http:// arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0303428] Perlmutter S, et al. (1999) Measurement of Ω and Λ from 42 high-redshift supernovae. Astrophys J 517:565586 Phillips MM (1993) The absolute magnitude of Type Ia su­ pernovae. Astrophys J 413:L105-L108 Riess AG, et al. (1998) Observational evidence from su­ pernovae for an accelerating universe and a cosmologi­ cal constant. Astron J 116:1009­1038

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (2): 77–84 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.137   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

research articles

Ethnobotanical study of the sages used in traditional Valencian medicine and as essential oil: Characterization of an endemic Salvia and its contribution to local development* Vanessa Martínez-Francés,1,2* Emeline Hahn,2 Jorge Juan-Vicedo,1 Roser Vila,2 Segundo Ríos,1 Salvador Cañigueral2 1. Torretes Field Station, Research University Institute CIBIO, University of Alacant, Alacant 2. Unity of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Barcelona

Resum. Set espècies de Salvia i dues de Phlomis, emprades en la medicina tradicional valenciana en preparats d’ús intern i extern per a tractar diferents malalties, han sigut estudiades. S’aporten noves dades etnobotàniques obtingudes mitjançant la realització d’entrevistes semiestructurades a trenta-quatre informants. Es presenta la caracterització estacional de l’oli es­ sencial d’una sàlvia silvestre Salvia blancoana Webb & Heldr. subsp. mariolensis Figuerola, per GC-FID i GC-MS, com una eina per a assegurar un control de qualitat a les espècies endè­ miques d’ús tradicional com aquesta, que eventualment són comercialitzades per indústries locals. La comparació del seu oli essencial amb el de la Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl subsp. lavandulifolia permet la seua comercialització sota el nom de sàlvia espanyola. Paraules clau: Salvia ∙ etnobotànica ∙ identificació cromatogràfica ∙ medicinal ∙ País Valencià

Abbreviations EMA: European Medicines Agency FDA: Food and Drug Administration FFT: Full flowering time GC-FID: Gas chromatography-flame ionization detector GC-MS: Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry HS-GC-MS: Headspace gas chromatography-mass spec­ trometry HPLC: High performance liquid chromatography HPLC/MS/MS: High performance liquid chromatography-tan­ dem mass spectrometry

* This contribution was funded by a grant obtained in 2010 from the Institute for Catalan Studies for the study ‘Chemical characterization of the main sages used as a spice or for medicinal purposes in the Valen­ cia region.’ Correspondence: V. Martínez-Francés, Estació Biològica Torretes, I.U. de la Biodiversiat CIBIO, Universitat d’Alacant, Crtra. Sant Vicent del Raspeig, s/n Sant Vicent del Raspeig E-03690, Alacant, EU. Tel. +34965903400 (ext. 3343). Fax +34-965903815. E-mail: vanessa.martinez @ua.es

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 77

Abstract. Seven wild and cultivated Salvia species and two Phlomis species, used traditionally in Valencian medicine to treat a variety of external and internal ailments, were studied. New ethnobotanical data are provided, obtained from semistructured interviews with 34 people in the Valencian area. A seasonal characterization of the essential oil of a wild sage, Salvia blancoana Webb & Heldr. subsp. mariolensis Figuerola, by GC-FID and GC-MS was carried out as a means to ensure quality control of endemic traditional species such as this one, which has been commercialized by local industries. A compari­ son with the essential oil of Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl subsp. lavandulifolia allowed inclusion of the wild sage within the com­ mercial ‘Spanish sage’ oil. Keywords: Salvia ∙ ethnobotany ∙ chromatographic identification ∙ medicinal ∙ Valencia region

HPTLC: High performance thin layer chromatography MS: Mass spectrometry NBS: National Bureau of Standards library NMR: Nuclear magnetic resonance WHO: World Health Organization

Introduction Sage has been considered an important medicinal plant since earliest times. Its name comes from the Latin salvere, which reflects the relevance of sage to human health. A proverb in the Tabula Salerni, also included in other medicinal treaties, evi­ dences the significance of sage in ancient medicine, which per­ sists even today: Cur moriatur cui salvia crescit in horto? (Why should someone die whilst sage grows in his garden?). Salvia officinalis L. and S. fruticosa Mill. were the reference species in those medicinal treaties [11,22], accounting for the reputation of officinal sages as a panacea, with a wide range of medicinal effects [4,6]. In the Mediterranean and Irano-turanic regions, ~40 of the approximately 900 of known Salvia species are found. Some of

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78   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

them are included in two important world-wide commercial groups [21]. One, comprising S. officinalis and similar species, usually cultivated, covers the oriental distribution of this genus in the Mediterranean region. The other is made up of the occi­ dental sage group S. lavandulifolia and other closely related wild species (sometimes cultivated). The lack of consensus among taxonomists regarding the correct traits and their value in accurate species identification has resulted in a misidentifi­ cation of the raw materials used in the marketing of sagebased products [21]. With the aim of understanding the importance of sages in Valencian folk medicine, an ethnobotanical study was per­ formed. As part of that study, data from seven wild and culti­ vated sages of the Valencia region, often referred to as coarse sages, were compiled: S. blancoana Webb & Heldr. subsp. mariolensis Figuerola, S. lavandulifolia Vahl subsp. lavandulifolia, S. microphylla Kuntz, S. officinalis L., S. sclarea L., S. verbenaca subsp. controversa (Ten.) Arcang, S. x auriculata Mill., and two species of Phlomis: P. crinita Cav.and P. purpurea L. In Valencian folk medicine, several wild-cultivated sages in­ cluded in the occidental group are used with the same popular purposes and with greater importance than S. officinalis or S. fruticosa. One of them, S. blancoana Webb. & Heldr. subsp. mariolensis Figuerola, is endemic in Valencia and Alicante provinces. This plant is commonly collected in the wild and sold by local companies together with a more widely distribut­ ed sage, S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia. The reduced distribution area of the former and the continuous taxonomic discussions regarding S. lavandulifolia and S. blancoana taxa have resulted in the two species being either grouped together or separated depending on the criteria of the botanist. In the present study, the knowledge of the local human population was used to compare agronomic information, such as the best places and season to collect these sages or the permissible storage time, with the data obtained in the laboratory for two of these species. S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia and S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis, which are marketed as ‘Span­ ish sage.’ Many of the plants used in traditional medicine over the cen­ turies have not been officially recognized in most countries due to a shortage in the amount and the quality of the relevant data [6]. The aim of this study was to supplement current knowl­ edge as well as to offer an approach to resolving adulteration problems in sage preparations. As noted above, these prob­ lems arise due to the difficulty of botanical identification during commercialization. For S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis, we propose the phytochemical characterization of this endemic medicinal plant in order to contribute to establishing qualitycontrol parameters for the raw material and its essential oils. This and similar characterizations would clearly define which plants can be referred to as ‘Spanish sage.’ To characterize the Valencian sages included in the ‘Span­ ish sage’ group, quantitative and qualitative investigations of their essential oil in different phenological phases were carried out using gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GCFID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses (Fig. 1).

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Martínez-Francés et al.

Fig. 1. Study area located in the Valencia region in Spain.

Thus, our study sought to demonstrate the importance of characterizing locally distributed or exploited plant resources in order to make available information essential to quality control for local industries. In addition, data supporting the culture of these species, as a complement to wild collections and to en­ sure good management practices for natural resources, are provided herein.

Materials and methods Ethnobotanical study. Semi-structured interviews among older Valencian, randomly selected, men and women, were carried out. A few younger people were also interviewed in or­ der to determine whether herbal-medicine knowledge has been transmitted. Some of these interviewees joined us in col­ lecting the sample material from the field.

Phytochemical study Plant material. Aerial parts of Salvia blancoana subsp. mariolensis were collected during the full blooming period from a home garden in Banyeres de Mariola, in Alacant (Sp. Alicante) Prov­ ince, in June 2009 and 2010. In addition, a sample was collect­ ed before the flowering stage, also in June 2010. Flowering aer­ ial parts of S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia were collected in Cinctorres, in Castelló Province, in June 2010. Both provinces are in the Valencia region, Spain. Plant material was identified and a sample of each one was deposited in the Herbarium BCF of the University of Barcelona. The plant material was dried ac­ cording to traditional usage, i.e., at room temperature in a dark, dry place, in the Biological Station of Torretes (Ibi, Alacant). Essential oil preparation. Air-dried plant material was submitted to hydrodistillation with a Clavenger-type apparatus, following the method described in the European Pharmacopeia [8]. The yield was calculated as the average of three replicates and the essential oil obtained was stored at 4°C until analysis.

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Ethnobotanical study of the sages used in traditional Valencian medicine and as essential oil

Analysis of the essential oils. The essential oils were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS using two fused silica capillary col­ umns (60 m × 0.25 mm i.d.; 0.25-μm film thickness) of different stationary phases: SupelcowaxTM 10 and methylsilicone SE30. GC-FID analyses were performed on a Hewlett-Packard 6890 instrument, equipped with HP ChemStation data proc­ essor software, under the following analytical conditions: carri­ er gas, helium; flow rate, 1 ml/min; oven temperature pro­ grammed, 60°C (2 min); 60–180°C at 2°C/min, 180°C (7 min), 180–230°C at 4°C/min, 230°C (15 min), 230–260°C at 10°C/ min, 260°C (8 min); injector temperature, 250°C; detector tem­ perature, 270°C; split ratio 1:100. The amount of undiluted es­ sential oil injected was 0.1 μl. Mass spectra were obtained with a computerized system consisting of a GC Hewlett-Packard 6890 coupled to a mass selective detector Hewlett-Packard 5973N, using the same analytical conditions as above. Mass spectra were taken over m/z 35–400 at an ionizing voltage of 70 eV. The plant components were identified by means of: (a) com­ parison of their GC linear retention indices in two stationary phases, determined in relation to a homologous series of n-al­ kanes (8–23 carbons) and a homologous series of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME indices), with those of authentic com­ pounds or literature data; (b) comparison of the fragmentation patterns in the mass spectra with those stored in our own li­ brary or in the GC-MS mass spectral library. Each compound was quantified on the basis of its GC peak areas on the two columns, using the normalization procedure without correc­ tions for a response factor.

Results Ethnobotanical study. Prior to the collection of plant material for chemical characterization, local people were asked about the following: 1. If they recognized the different sages of the area 2. The popular names of these plants 3. The best place and time to collect them 4. Who in the family goes to collect the wild sage 5. Their main use (medicinal or as an herb) 6. Mode of preparation and posology 7. Whether the type of use was traditional or recent Semi-structured interviews were held with 34 individuals (19 women and 15 men) between 24 and 83 years of age and from different localities of the Valencia region: Herbers and Llucena del Cid, in Castelló Province; Bocairent, Corbera, and València in València Province; and Alcoi, Alfafara, Banyeres de Mariola, Benifato, Cocentaina, Ibi, Onil and Xixona in Alacant Province. The different sages cited by the informants and the main uses reported are shown in Table 1. Two sages and its hybrids, S. officinalis, S. fruticosa and S. x auriculata, are widely known among Eastern Mediterranean cultures [21,22]. In Valencian home gardens they are mostly cultivated for ornamental purposes. Closer examination of the reported uses revealed that wild (sometimes cultivated) sages

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   79

appear to be more popular in folk-medicine than cultivated sages (Fig. 2). S. officinalis, S. lavandulifolia, S. verbenaca were deter­ mined to be the most commonly used species throughout the Valencia region and surrounding areas whereas use of S. microphylla and S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis is more local. This was especially the case in the mountainous regions be­ tween northern Alacant Province and southern Valencia Prov­ ince. We determined a loss of folk knowledge, as exemplified by S. sclarea. Some of the interviewees grew it in their gardens but did not recognize the plant as a sage and therefore, did not use it either as an herb or medicinally. The two Phlomis species are considered as coarse sages, which is reflected in their popular name ‘Salvió’ (Table 1). Although people still remem­ bered the medicinal properties of both species, they were no longer in use. Two morphologically very similar sages, S. blancoana subsp. mariolenis and S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia, had common uses in all the studied areas. Their distribu­ tion in the Valencian region is complementary but not overlapping (except at their respective boundaries) and they are apparently used for the same purposes in folk medicine. Nonetheless, people who used one were able to distinguish it from the other. Most of the medicinal uses reported involved a single plant type. When the plants were prepared in mixtures, an examination of which was beyond the scope of this study, the uses and the amount of the preparations significantly in­ creased. Except for S. verbenaca and the two Phlomis species, most of the formulations made with sages in the Valencian area are for oral administration, to treat ailments such as indigestion, colds, hypertension, insomnia, and anxiety. As external prepa­ rations, such as plasters, ointments, alcohols and washes, they are used as vulneraries and for their anti-inflammatory properties, or to treat hyperhydrosis (Table 1, Fig. 2). During the ethnobotanical interviews some of the questions were aimed at determining the best places to collect wild sag­ es as well as the optimal time period. These discussions some­ times revealed toponymic names (e.g., ‘El Tossal de la Sàlvia’ and ‘El Salviar’) that identified the places where these plants can be found in abundance, although there are other sites, without toponymic identification, where people go every year to collect wild sages. These collection areas are selected con­ sidering two important factors: (i) the place where the best plant material can be obtained and (ii) accessibility. Some of the collectors were elderly and unable to travel long distances from their homes. To circumvent this problem, some of them grew these plants, routinely used for their medicinal properties, in small home gardens, after having selected the best plants from the wild and adapting them to culture. In fact, nowadays such cultures provide an important agronomic resource and merit further investigation. Essential oil content and constituents. The study of volatile oils and other secondary metabolites found in nature, with the aim of identifying novel natural products for different therapeu­ tic and industrial purposes, is rapidly increasing. Variations in the chemical composition and dynamics of accumulation of

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Table 1. Ethnobotanical results. Prov: province, A: Alacant, Ab: Albacete, Cs: Castelló, V: Valencia, L: leaves, I: Inflorescence, S: seeds, E: essential oil Species

Prov

Popular names

Popular uses (*)

1

Salvia blancoana Webb & Heldr subsp mariolensis Figuerola

A

Sàlvia , sàlvia de la Mariola1, sàlvia de serra1

Spice (L)1, digestive tea (I)1,11, emmenagogue tea (I)1,11, antitussive and anti-cold tea (I)1,11, antipyretic tea (I)1, nervous sedative inhalation and tea (I)1, tonic-digestive liquour (I)1, detoxifying tea (L)1, hypotensive tea (L)1,11, dermal anti-hyperhidrosis washes (L)1, perfumes (E)1, flavoring snuff (L)1, floral carpets and bouquets in religious rituals (I)1,11, ornamental plant1

Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl subsp. lavandulifolia

Ab, V, Cs

Sàlvia1, sàlvia de serra1, sàvia12, sava12, sèrvia12, sèlvia12, sàlvia d’Aragó12, sàlvia de Sant Joan de Penyagolosa12, estepera12

Spice (L)1, digestive tea (I)1, antitussive tea (I)1,12, anticold tea (I)1,10,12, emmenagogue tea (I)1,12, hypotensive tea (I)1,12, antipyretic tea (I)1,12, tonic-digestive liquour (I)1, nervous sedative tea (I)1,12, oftalmic antiinflammatory, antirheumatic and antimigraine fumes (I)12, dermal antiinflammatory washes (I)12, dermal antiinflamatory alcohol (I)12, antidote plaster to scorpion bites (I)12, ornamental plant1

Salvia microphylla Kuntz.

A, V

Sàlvia roja1, sàlvia vera1

Nervous sedative tea (I)1, digestive tea (I)1, emmenagogue tea (I)1, tonic-digestive liquour (I)1, ornamental plant1

Salvia officinalis L.

A

Sàlvia1, sàlvia de jardí1

Spice (L)1 , digestive tea (I)1, emmenagogue tea (I)1, detoxifying tea (L)12, hypotensive tea (L)12, anti-cold tea (L)10, dermal anti-hyperhidrosis washes (L)1

Salvia sclarea L.

A

Unknown

Ornamental plant1

Salvia verbenaca subsp. controversa (Ten.) Arcang

A, Cs

Tàrrec1,10,11,12, tèrrec11, tèrric11, terri11, tàrrega12, tàrrego12, tàrrago12, herba de Santa Llúcia12

Oftalmic antiseptic and hypertensive (S)1,10,11,12, dermal antiinflammatory washes (I)12, wax or oil antiinflammatory ointment (I)12 , vulnerary and antiinflammatory plaster (L)11, snuff substitute (L)1,11,12, forage for rabbits (L)11

Salvia x auriculata Mill.

A

Sàlvia1, sàlvia de jardí1

Spice1, digestive tea (I)1,2, emmenagogue tea (I)1,2, ornamental plant1

Phlomis crinita Cav.

V

Salvió1

Detoxifying tea (I)1, snuff substitute (L)1

Phlomis purpurea L.

V

Salvió1

Detoxifying tea (I)1, snuff substitute (L)1, wicks and scourers (L)1

1

Own data; 2 Rivera et al. (1994); 10 Fresquet et al. (1994); 11 Pellicer (2001); 12 Mulet (1991). (*) Popular uses as determined from our interviews as well as from the literature are reported.

essential oils during plant ontogenesis are characteristic of each taxon [19]. These changes determine the harvest time of each species or even of the many cultivars [10,19,24]. For ex­ ample, in some species of the Lamiaceae family, essential oil accumulation reaches a maximum at the flowering stage. However, this maximum is influenced by ecological, climato­ logical, and agrotechnological factors [19]. In order to investigate the seasonal variability of the essential oil composition of S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis, plants grown in a home garden were analyzed at different time peri­ ods. Two samples were collected at the optimal time (accord­ ing to the person who grew them) in 2009 and 2010. Addition­ ally, in 2010, one sample of the same sage was gathered a few weeks before it had fully bloomed. Precipitation and tempera­ ture data were obtained from a climatological station located in

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 80

the same village, less than 1 km from where the sampled plants were grown [17]. This Ibero-levantine sage has a very small dis­ tribution area, located between three important mountains of northern Alacant Province and southern Valencia Province. This species was selected because the plant, as a dry bulk tea, and its essential oils are locally sold, in both forms often as a mixture with S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia, depending on the collection area. It was therefore deemed important to characterize the raw material and the essential oils, especially if they are to be used by the food and cosmetic industries or for medicinal purposes. The main components identified in the essential oils ana­ lyzed from S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis are shown in Ta­ ble 2. Samples collected in 2009 and 2010 at full flowering time (FFT) were quite similar, except in the significantly higher

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   81

Fig. 2. Valencian folk uses compiled for the different sages studied.

amount of 1,8-cineole and the significantly lower amount of borneol in 2009 than in 2010. Only small differences were measured in the amounts of the other compounds in 2009 vs. 2010, e.g., the concentrations of camphor were slightly higher whereas those of camphene, β-pinene, bornyl acetate and β-caryophyllene were slightly lower. Additionally, the variations between samples in 2010 with respect to the pre-flowering time (PFT) and FFT included in­ creases in 1,8-cineole, β-pinene, and bornyl acetate and a de­ crease in camphor during the optimum FFT. Interestingly, how­ ever, in terms of their biosynthesis, camphor and 1,8-cineole are nearly identical, as both involve the actions of cyclase en­

Table 2. Percentage variation of the main components (>1 % minimum in one studied sample) of S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis during different times and years. Abbr.: FFT: full flower­ ing time (25.06.2009, 20.06.2010), PFT: pre-flowering time (06.06.2010), t (trace) < 0.05 % Component

FFT 2009

FFT 2010

PFT 2010

%

%

%

α-Pinene

5.0

4.2

4.8

Camphene

4.3

7.3

8.3

β-Pinene

5.0

9.6

6.4

β-Myrcene

5.8

5.0

3.7

Limonene

3.5

3.4

3.3

1,8-Cineole

39.0

24.2

18.2

cis-Ocimene

1.2

0.6

1.2

Camphor

21.0

18.0

23.7

Bornyl acetate

1.5

4.3

2.3

t

3.3

4.0

α-Terpenyl acetate

1.0

t

t

Borneol

3.3

10.2

11.2

β-Caryophyllene

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 81

zymes and a menthone skeleton [9]. The observed differences in their amounts may be related to plant defense systems. A number of studies have focused on the activity of 1,8-cineole, confirming its potent antibacterial [1,13,24,26], antifungal [1,13,24,26,27], biocidal [16], and herbicidal [5] activities. In addition, this compound is allelopathic [7], which improves the competitiveness of the plant in its ecosystem. Camphor is less active than 1,8-cineole but nonetheless has important antimi­ crobial [1,2,24] and biocidal [16] properties. It was suggested that alterations in the essential oil compo­ sition reflect structural changes in the accumulation of or­ ganelles or modifications in the biosynthesis and metabolism of synthesized products [19]. According to the informants, sungrown plants differ in their yields of essential oils from those that are shade-grown, with the highest yields in the former. They also reported that, during years with large amounts of rainfall, the yield of essential oils decreases. During the 2-year study period (2009–2010), the plants used for sampling were grown in the sun. The climatological data are shown in Table 4. During the first hydrological year (2008–2009), rainfall was about 170 mm less than in the sec­ ond hydrological year (2009–2010). The average essential oil yield at FFT in 2009 was 6.2 % (Table 5) vs. 3.2 % in FFT 2010. These data support the assertion that increases in annual pre­ cipitation decrease the essential oil yield. Temperatures were slightly higher in the second hydrologi­ cal year, but with a progression very similar to the previous year (Figs. 3 and 4, Table 3). Although extreme temperatures (cold and hot) occurred more often in the second year (Ta­ ble 4), the data are insufficient to determine whether these fluctuations affected the yield. However, empirically, field data from different studies and traditional knowledge support the conclusion that high temperatures a few weeks before FFT ac­ celerates optimal blooming and therefore the collection date as well. The yield of essential oil from S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis is typically very high (Table 5), albeit with large variations from one year to another. If the plant is collected 2 weeks be­ fore the recommended date, the oil yield is 40 % lower.

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82   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

Martínez-Francés et al.

Fig. 3. Data for the hydrological year 2008–2009. PP: total monthly precipitation; T: medium monthly temperature. Total annual precipita­ tion: 485 mm.

Fig. 4. Data for the hydrological year 2009–2010. PP: total monthly precipitation; T: medium monthly temperature. Total annual precipita­ tion: 653 mm.

Table 3. Results of annual precipitation and temperature dur­ ing 2008–2010 years. Abbr.: Total PP: Total precipitation; PPS-D: Precipitation between September to December, PP-J-A: Precipitation between January to August

Table 4. Comparison of precipitation and temperature be­ tween the two hydrological years studied with agronomic pur­ poses

Precipitation

Temperature Months: S-D

Year

Total PP

PP S-D

2008

540

296

2009

496

307

2010

495

PP G-A

Months: J-A

Day Day Day Day < 0°C > 32°C < 0°C > 32°C 13

2

189

7

6

8

52

346

9

3

20

55

Furthermore, the informants related the importance of col­ lecting the plant every year. They also stated that to maintain the quality of the plant material the storage time should not ex­ ceed 2 years. The sage collected in FFT 2009 was hydrodis­ tilled 18 months later, resulting in an essential oil yield of 4.8 % v/w. This is > 20 % lower than the yield obtained by hydrodistill­ ing the plant material within 12 months of its collection. There are currently three standards to assess the quality of the essential oil of ‘Spanish sage’ (Salvia lavandulifolia): stand­ ard ISO 3526 [14], from the International Organization for Standardization; standard UNE84310 [3], from the Spanish Association for Standardization (AENOR); and monograph 1849 of the European Pharmacopeia [8]. Table 6 compares the experimental values obtained for the samples analyzed and the above-mentioned standards. In the two sages studied (S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis and S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia), the percentages of most of the analyzed compounds were within the ranges accepted by national and international standards. Slightly higher or lower percentages for certain compounds, such as borneol, sabinyl acetate, and thujone in S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis, and linalool, linalyl acetate, α-terpenyl acetate, sabinyl acetate, and thujone in S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia, were negligible. The ranges included in the standards are established for industrial products where­ as the laboratory samples were obtained by the hydrodistilla­

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 82

Hydrological year

Hydrological year PP

Day < 0°C

Day > 32°C

2008–2009

485

21

54

2009–2010

653

27

61

tion from a small volume of plant material. Although in Lam­ iaceae, infra-specific variability has been reported [19], Table 6 shows the high degree of agreement between the oils of the two sages studied and the standards. Consequently, both S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis and S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia could be used for the pro­ duction of ‘Spanish sage’ oil. However, additional studies fin­ gerprinting the non-volatile constituents are necessary before these two species can interchangeably be used as a source of herbal dry material marketed for teas and other purposes.

Table 5. Changes in essential oil yield of Salvia blancoana sub­ sp. mariolensis Salvia blancoana Webb & Heldr. subsp. mariolensis Figuerola Collection date

Essential oil yield (%) v/w

25.06.2009

6.2

06.06.2010

1.9

20.06.2010

3.2

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Ethnobotanical study of the sages used in traditional Valencian medicine and as essential oil

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   83

Table 6. Comparison between percentages obtained in our samples of S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis and S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia and % range of each compound included in ISO/DIS 3526 (2005) and UNE84310 (2001) for ‘Spanish sage’ group [3]. Abbr.: nd: non detected Component

S. blancoana subsp. mariolensis

S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia

UNE-84310 ISO 3526

Ph.Eur

% (20.06.10)

%

% range

% range

α-Pinene

4.2

9.4

4.0–11.0

4.0–11.0

Sabinene

0.8

0.5

0.1–3.0

0.1–3.5

Limonene

3.4

6.3

2.0–5.0

2.0–6.5

1,8-Cineole

24.2

20.0

11.0–30.0

10.0–30.5

linalool

0.3

0.2

0.3–4.0

0.3–4.0

camphor

18.0

16.2

15.0–36.0

11.0–36.0

Borneol

10.2

5.0

1.0–5.0

1.0–7.0

Terpinen-4-ol

0.2

0.5

<2.0

<2.0

Linalyl acetate

nd

0.04

0.1–5.0

<5.0

α-Terpenyl acetate

0.7

0.1

0.5–9.0

0.5–9.0

Sabinyl acetate

nd

nd

0.5–9.0

0.5–9.0

Thujone

nd

nd

-

<0.5

Conclusions Ethnobotanical data are a good starting point for further re­ search studies of wild and cultivated material with medicinal, food, or cosmetic interest. In the area of Valencia, sages are still used, either alone or as complex herbal formulae, for daily health care. The current use keeps alive traditional knowledge. Yield data from sage grown in a home garden but originally se­ lected from wild material showed that local people were aware of the value of their resources and of means to maximize their harvest. Plants collected from the wild may vary in their volatile oil composition due to changes in climate or soil conditions, hybridizations, or introgressions, among other aspects, but the essential oil pattern is for the most part maintained. There is no consensus among Spanish botanists regarding the taxonomic status of S. lavandulifolia and S. blancoana sages. Both are collected from the wild or cultured and are sold mixed as dry bulk teas, while their essential oils are used, under the name ‘Spanish sage,’ in the perfume and cosmetic industries. This study highlights the similarity between the essential oil composition pattern of the endemic Levantine sage Salvia blancoana subsp. mariolensis and the Iberian sage S. lavandulifolia subsp. lavandulifolia. Our results make it clear that the two sages can indeed be used interchangeably for the produc­ tion of essential oils while complying with the current standards for ‘Spanish sage oil.’ Furthermore, they attest to the impor­ tance of studying our traditions, which enable us to select the best species for characterization, which allows them to be sus­ tainably exploited for local, national, and international indus­ tries, thereby boosting the economy of the producing regions. To prevent the overexploitation of these species, it is necessary

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 83

to promote their cultivation based on agricultural studies of the cultivars of interest. Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to the Institute for Catalan Studies for financial support through the Borsa d’estudi Països Catalans. Emeline Hahn acknowledges finan­ cial support from an ERASMUS Internship (FsTRASBO48).

References 1.

2.

3.

4.

5. 6.

Akin M, Demirci B, Bagci Y, Baser KHC (2010) Antibacte­ rial activity and composition of the essential oils of two endemic Salvia sp. from Turkey. African Journal of Bio­ technology 9:2322-2327 Anand AK, Mohan M, Haider Z, Sharma A (2011) Essen­ tial oil composition and antimicrobial activity of three Ocimum species from Uttarakhand (India). International Jour­ nal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 3:223-225 Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación (2001) Aceites esenciales. Aceite esencial de salvia de España (Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl). UNE84310 Bakkali F, Averbeck S, Averbeck D, Idaomar M (2008) Biological effects of essential oils – A review. Food and Chemical Toxicology 46:446-475 Barton AFM, Dell B, Knight AR (2010) Herbicidal activity of cineole derivatives. J Agric Food Chem 58:10147-10155 Bouaziz M, Yangui T, Sayadi S, Dhouib A (2009) Desin­ fectant properties of essential oils from Salvia officinalis L. cultivated in Tunisia. Food and Chemical Toxicology 47:2755-2760

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Chain F, Loandos MH, Fortuna AM, Villecco MB (2007) Síntesis y actividad alelopática de derivados del 1,8-cin­ eol sobre semillas de mono y dicotiledóneas. Bol Lati­ noam Caribe Plant Med Aromaticas 6:335-336 Council of Europe (2010) European Pharmacopeia, vol 1, 7th ed. Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Health Care of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg Dewick PM (2002) The mevalonate and deoxyxylulose phosphate pathways: terpenoids and steroids in medici­ nal natural products. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., pp. 167289 Dudai N, Lewinsohn E, Larkov O, Katzir I, Ravid U, Chaimovitsh D, Sa’adi D, Putievsky E (1999) Dynamics of yield components and essential oil production in a com­ mercial hybrid sage (Salvia officinalis x Salvia fruticosa cv. Newe Ya’ar No.4). Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 47:4341-4345 Dweck AC (2000) The folklore and cosmetic use of vari­ ous Salvia species. In: Kintzios SE (ed) Sage. The genus Salvia. Haword Academic Publishers, pp. 1-27 Fresquet JL, Tronchoni JA, Ferrer F, Bordallo A (1994) Salut, malaltia i terapèutica popular. Els municipis riber­ encs de l’Albufera. Col·lecció Josep Servès, de docu­ mentació i recerca. Ajuntament de Catarroja, 223 pp. Hendry ER, Worthington T, Conway BR, Lambert PA (2009) Antimicrobial efficacy of eucalyptus oil and 1,8-ci­ neole alone and in combination with chlorhexidine diglu­ conate against microorganisms grown in planktonic and biofilm cultures. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 64:1219-1225 International Standards Organization (2005) Oil of sage, Spanish (Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl). ISO 3526 Liang Y-Z, Xie P, Chan K (2004) Quality control of herbal medicines. Journal of Chromatography B 812:53-70 Liska A, Rozman V, Kalinovic I, Ivezic M, Balicevic R (2010) Contact and fumigant activity of 1,8-cineole, eug­ enol and camphor against Tribolium castaneum (Herbst). 10th International Working Conference on Stored Prod­ uct Protection, Julius-Kühn-Archiv, 425 pp. MeteoData (http://www.meteobanyeres.com/drupal_ meteobanyeres/node/10)

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18. Mulet L (1991) Estudio etnobotánico de la provincia de Castellón. Diputación de Castellón, 596 pp. 19. Németh É (2005) Changes in essential oil quantity and quality influenced by ontogenic factors. In: Bernáth J, Németh É, Craker LE, Gardner ZE, (eds) Proc WOCMAP III, vol I: Bioprospecting & Ethnopharmacology, Acta Hort 675:159-165 20. Pellicer J (2001) Costumari botànic. Recerques etnobtà­ niques a les comarques centrals valencianes, 2a ed. Edi­ cions Bullent, 253 pp. 21. Reales A, Rivera D, Palazón JA, Obón C (2004) Numeri­ cal taxonomy study of Salvia sect. Salvia (Labiatae). Bo­ tanical Journal of the Linnean Society 145:353-371 22. Rivera D, Obón C, Cano F (1994) The botany, history and traditional uses of three-lobed sage (Salvia fruticosa Mill­ er) (Labiatae). Economic Botany 48:190-195 23. Rzepa J, Wojtal L, Staszek D, Grygierczyk G, Labe K, Hajnos M, Kowalska T, Waksmundzka-Hajnos M (2009) Fingerprint of selected Salvia species by HS-GC-MS analysis of their volatile fraction. Journal of Chromato­ graphic Science 47:575-580 24. Safaei-Ghomi J, Batooli H (2010) Determination of bioac­ tive molecules from flowers, leaves, stems and roots of Perovskia abrotanoides Karel growing in central Iran by nano scale injection. Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures 5:551-556 25. Sajewicz M, Rzepa J, Hajnos M, Wojtal Ł, Staszek D, Kowalska T, Waksmundzka-Hajnos M (2009) GC-MS study of the performance of different techniques for iso­ lating the volatile fraction from sage (Salvia L.) species, and comparison of seasonal differences in the composi­ tion of its fraction. Acta Chromatographica 21:453-471 26. van Vuuren SF, Viljoen AM (2007) Antimicrobial activity of limonene enantiomers and 1,8-cineole alone and in com­ bination. Flavour and Fragance Journal 22:540-544 27. Vilela GR, de Almeida GS, Reginato D’Arce MAB, et al. (2009) Activity of essential oil and its major compound, 1,8-cineole, from Eucalyptus globulus Labill., against the storage fungi Aspergillus flavus Link and Aspergillus parasiticus Speare. Journal of Stored Products Research 45:108-111

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 85–91 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.138   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

forum

The Museu Blau, a natural history museum for the 21st century Mercè Piqueras,1 Ricard Guerrero,2,3 Anna Omedes4 1. Catalan Association of Science Communication, Barcelona 2. Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona 3. Biological Sciences Section, Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona 4. Natural History Museum of Barcelona, Barcelona

Introduction According to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) statutes, a museum is “a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoy­ ment.” [3]. This definition reflects the evolution of the concept of what a museum is and does, and it is far removed from the original function of a natural history museum as a space where collec­ tions of items or works related to nature were preserved and exhibited. Wax anatomical models, herbaria, and animals either taxidermied in a life-like pose or alcohol- or formalin-pre­ served, and mineral and rock samples were exhibited in a man­ ner not much different from the ‘cabinets of curiosities,’ of the Renaissance, which gathered together varied objects related to natural history, archaeology, ethnography and art. Indeed, the Botanical Institute of Barcelona is still home to the cabinet of curiosities made up of a library and the collections gathered during the 17th and 18th centuries by several generations of the Salvador family, whose members included Catalan natural­ ists and apothecaries (Fig. 1). Over the last century and especially the last several dec­ ades, our notion of how to present collections and even what the contents of permanent museum exhibits should be has changed. A natural history museum is no longer a static place where visitors go only to view glass-encased specimens. To­ day, museums are spaces that promote interactivity, an effort that has been enormously aided and enriched by the incorpo­ ration of technology into museography. Nonetheless, a muse­ um is defined by its collections and thereby differs from a sci­ ence center. Another feature of museums is research, which is often invis­ ible to visitors. Beyond the exhibition spaces of natural history museums, there are laboratories where researchers work just as they do in a university laboratory or any research center. Nowadays, the trend is to allow the public to observe a muse­ um’s laboratories. A prime example is the Natural History Mu­

Correspondence: A. Omedes, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barce­ lona, Passeig Picasso s/n, E-08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, EU. Tel. +34-932566002. E-mail: aomedes@bcn.cat

001-118 Contributions 8-1.indd 85

seum of London, which, in September 2009 opened a new building, the Cocoon, in the Museum’s Darwin Centre. Now a visit to that museum includes the opportunity to see research­ ers at work. This public outreach effort reflects the vital role of natural history museums, botanical gardens, and herbarium collections in monitoring climate change, as studies of the evo­ lution of biodiversity have provided important indicators thereof. In 2007, representatives of 93 natural history institutions (in­ cluding museums, research institutes, botanical gardens, and zoos) from 36 countries around the world signed “The Buffon Declaration: Natural History Institutions and the Environmental Crisis.” [4] The Declaration states that science is crucial for the sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems and, therefore, for the survival of human life on the planet. In this context, natural history institutions make four vital contribu­ tions: (i) they are the primary repositories of the scientific sam­ ples on which our understanding of the variety of life is ultimate­ ly based¸ (ii) through cutting-edge research, they expand our knowledge of the structure and dynamics of biodiversity in the present and the past, (iii) through partnerships, training, and capacity-building programs, they improve the world’s ability to address current and future environmental challenges, and (iv) they provide a forum for direct engagement with society, which is essential to help bring about the behavioral changes on which our common future and the future of nature depend. The signatories affirmed the role of natural history institutions in serving the collective good and in linking science, policymak­ ers, and civil society [2].

Fig. 1. Library and cabinet of the Salvador’s, reproduced at the Bo­ tanical Institute of Barcelona.

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86   Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012

The Natural History Museum of Barcelona This 134-year-old institution houses a patrimony of more than three million specimens. It consists of four centers located in three emblematic areas of the city. According to its mission statement: “We generate and share knowledge with the aim of creating a society that is better informed about, more connected to and more responsible towards nature. We do this by main­ taining collections that are the tangible testament of the natural heritage of Catalonia, performing research on bio­ logical and geological diversity, and creating experiences that encourage as many people as possible to explore, learn, admire, enjoy, engage in dialogue with and participate in [this heritage].” A history of changing venues. The Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (Natural History Museum of Barcelona) is currently distributed in different venues located in three areas of the city: Ciutadella, Montjuïc, and the Forum. The first boasts the Museu Martorell and the building known as Castell dels Tres Dragons (Castle of the Three Dragons). The second is home to the Botanical Gardens and Botanical Institute, a re­ search center operated jointly by the Spanish National Re­ search Council (CSIC) and the Barcelona City Council. In March 2011, a new venue was added in the third area, the Museu Blau (Blue Museum), a new facility that will mainly be used for public programs (exhibitions, workshops, conferences, me­ dia resource center, etc.). The Natural History Museum itself has its origins in the Mar­ torell Museum of Archaeology and Natural History, inaugurated in 1882. The legacy that naturalist Francesc Martorell i Peña (1812–1878) bequeathed to the city laid the foundations for what was to become Barcelona’s first public museum. That legacy consisted of Martorell’s natural sciences and archaeol­ ogy collections, his library, and funds to build a museum. In the following decades, the Museum’s collections steadily grew, mostly benefiting from donations made by citizens. These do­ nations were frequently acknowledged in the newspaper La Vanguardia while others were made anonymously. Wealthy businessmen, artists, and intellectuals made significant contri­ butions as well. For example, on 18 April 1883, the newspaper announced that “renowned architect Mr. Fontseré, director of the works at the [Ciutadella] Park, has donated a white bear to the Martorell Museum.” By 1900, the Museum was crammed with the many items it had received, including taxidermied ani­ mals, shells, minerals, fossils, and other specimens related to the natural sciences. It was even the recipient of more non-tra­ ditional donations such as stamps. This eclectic collection was difficult to catalogue, not to mention preserve and exhibit. The City Council of Barcelona had developed a plan to make Ciutadella Park, where the Martorell Museum was located, a cultural space dedicated to the natural sciences. Thus, in 1906, the City Council set up the Municipal Natural Sciences Board (with the incorporation of the Provincial Government in 1917 and the Mancomunitat de Catalunya (Commonwealth of Cata­

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Piqueras, Guerrero, Omedes

lonia, in 1920) to manage the park’s facilities: the Martorell Mu­ seum, the Zoology Museum, the Zootechnical Museum, the Greenhouse and the Shade House. The Board decided to move the collections of the Martorell Museum to the nearby Castell dels Tres Dragons, which had been built to serve as a café-restaurant for the Barcelona World Fair held in 1888. This prestigious building was the work of the famous Modernist ar­ chitect Lluís Doménech i Montaner. Yet, while the two build­ ings—the Martorell Museum and the Castell dels tres Dragons—were physically very close to each other, the move was not an easy decision for the Board because the Castell was al­ ready devoted to other activities, specifically, an exhibition on fish farming and fisheries, which had opened on its first floor in December 1912. Originally scheduled to close on 30 June 1913, the exhibit was so successful that it was extended until the end of the year. The Board had to again request use of the building and finally acquired the first floor as a natural history museum. After extensive restoration work, in 1917 the new Natural History Museum of Catalonia was inaugurated. Its aim was to exhibit samples of Catalan flora, fauna, and geology. In addition, the new museum integrated the work of naturalists linked to the recently created Catalan Institute of Natural His­ tory, which had been carrying out pioneering research focused on Catalonia. In 1935, the Botany Department of the Natural Sciences Museum broke away to become the Botanical Institute of Bar­ celona. Located in Montjuïc Park, it was one of the first re­ search centers of the Catalan Autonomous Government, es­ tablished in 1931. Dr. Pius Font i Quer, who had directed the Botany Department, was appointed as the first director of the new Institute. During his tenure, he gathered all of the botany collections spread throughout Catalonia to set up the Botanical Gardens in Sots de la Foixarda, a former quarry in Montjuïc. As part of the changes imposed on the city by the 1992 Olympic Games in Montjuïc, the City Council decided to move the historical Botanical Gardens to another area in the same park. In its new location, the Botanical Gardens were dedicat­ ed to the conservation of Mediterranean flora. One year after its 1999 inauguration, the Botanical Institute became a joint center of the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC) and the city of Barcelona. In 2003, it moved to its current location, on the premises of the new Botanical Gardens, in a new build­ ing built by the CSIC. In 2000, the Zoology Museum and the Geology Museum were combined to form the Natural History Museum. The unifi­ cation continued with the inclusion of the Botanical Gardens in 2008, thereby establishing a stable working relationship with the Botanical Institute in the areas of public programs and ad­ ministration. In 2011, the Museum’s new headquarters was opened in the Forum area as the Museu Blau. The collections. Its collections are what make the Natural History Museum special and unique. Although they date from the institution’s very beginning, they have been constantly en­ riched over the years, thanks to research and to agreements with other institutions charged with protecting natural spaces, the Barcelona Zoo, etc.

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The mineralogy and petrology collections now contain over 38,000 specimens. Of particular interest is the collection of mineralogy micromounts, comprising a basic systematic and geographical reference. The paleontology collections include some 150,000 vertebrate, invertebrate, and paleobotanical objects and thus provide an excellent overview of the paleon­ tology of Catalonia. The zoology collections are made up of more than 1,920,000 listed items (over 1 million specimens). Of particular note for their scientific relevance are the type samples (8700 types or paratypes), the coleoptera collections (a collection of cave-dwelling beetles that is one of the finest in the world), the collection of darkling beetles, the mollusk col­ lection, and the skeleton collections, which include species from all over the world. The Nature’s Sound Archive has 83,000 recordings of natural sounds and offers a very inter­ esting resource for consultation by specialists and by the gen­ eral public. The Botanical Garden collection contains 1500 species of living plants, with some 17,600 individual specimens. It also has a seed bank with 2500 listed items. The Documentation Center houses an extensive collection made up of 13,100 books, 1660 scientific journals titles, 3300 maps and images, and an historical archive. The Botanical Institute contains a large herbarium with about 860,000 pages of preserved speci­ mens, as well as the Salvador Science and Plant Library, a 17th-century library, and collection of curiosities. The Institute also has a library with 9080 books and 1400 scientific journal titles, a map collection and an historical archive. Activities. In 1993, Pere Alberch (1954–1988), a paleontolo­ gist who had worked with Stephen Jay Gould and had served as the director of the Natural History Museum in Madrid, stated that “natural history museums are at a turning point in their his­ tory. They can now play a central and critical role in the develop­ ment of research leading towards the understanding, conser­ vation and sustainable use of biodiversity. To achieve this goal, however, they must radically change their mode of operation and public image, to clearly define goals, objectives and new research strategies.” [1]. The Natural History Museum of Barce­ lona is thus no longer an anachronistic institution, focused only on its own collections, ‘a museum of itself’ in Alberch’s words. Instead, in addition to its exhibits, the Museum organizes nu­ merous activities aimed at attracting the local citizenship as well as Barcelona’s many visitors to the scientific world. Even before the 2007 Buffon Declaration, the Natural History Museum of Barcelona was engaged in the activities that the Declaration considers to be crucial: lectures and debates on topics of current interest (also through the Museum’s blog), guided visits for schools, retirees, and families, and research activities that allow the participation of non-scientist citizens. The Science Nest and the Association of the Friends of the Natural History Museum of Barcelona deserve special mention. At the Science Nest, the youngest visitors (ages 6 and un­ der), accompanied by caregivers or parents, are offered handson experiences, either creative or observational. It is the ques­ tion rather than the answer that matters here because the aim of these experiences is to encourage the young child’s curiosity

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and desire to learn. After a session at the Science Nest, chil­ dren can wander around the main exhibition rooms with their parents, caregivers, or teachers, linking the many objects on display to their Science Nest activities. The Association of the Friends of the Natural History Museum of Barcelona is a nonprofit association that supports the Museum and its programs and activities. Members of the Association contribute to the Museum with their ideas, suggestions, and experiences and may even become involved in research projects. They also or­ ganize meetings, debates, and excursions to natural spaces of interest. Research, publications and Documentation Center. Sci­ entific research has been a major task of the Barcelona Natural History Museum since its foundation. Research at the museum is aimed at the study and interpretation of the diversity of life and the geological structures that support it, with special em­ phasis on Mediterranean environments. The museum is thus engaged in research based on collections and in the study of species in their natural environment, evaluating their interac­ tions with the environment and with each other. The main lines of research carried out at the Museum are: the geological structure of Catalonia, the biostratigraphy and paleobiogeogra­ phy of the Tethys Sea, biodiversity and molecular biology (ma­ lacology, entomology, and biospeleology, chordates, and mo­ lecular biology), evolutionary and behavioral ecology, and the history of the natural sciences. In addition, the Barcelona Bo­ tanical Institute conducts research on vascular plant diversity, the history of botany, palynology, and paleoecology. The Museum publishes four scientific journals aimed at dis­ seminating the latest findings and scientific advances: Treballs del Museu de Geologia de Barcelona, Animal Diversity and Conservation, Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, and Mo­no­gra­ fies del Museu de Ciències Naturals (formerly, Treballs del Museu de Zoologia). In addition, the Museum publishes educational materials for schools, temporary exhibition catalogues and books related to the topics dealt with in the Museum (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Biodiversitat invisible (Invisible Biodiversity) cover, edited in Cat­ alan, Spanish and English, by Rubén Duro. Joint publication by the Museum of Natural History of Barcelona and the Institute for Catalan Studies. Published on the occasion of the opening of the new refer­ ence exhibit at the Museu Blau.

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The Documentation Center comprises a wealth of biblio­ graphic resources and a wide range of information on Earth and the life sciences, especially in the fields of geology, paleon­ tology, mineralogy, nature, biodiversity, zoology, ethology, bio­ acoustics, taxidermy, and museum studies. The Center pro­ vides services in Castell dels Tres Dragons, in Ciutadella Park. The Library of the Botanical Institute contains large collections in all thematic areas of botany: vegetation around the world (particularly Mediterranean flora), taxonomy, applied botany, mycology, genetics, ecology, and conservation. It is essentially a research library but is open to anyone interested in botany. In all, the Documentation Center and the Library contain more than 20,000 monographic articles, 3000 international pe­ riodical publications, 3600 maps, and several historical collec­ tions with approximately 2000 titles on naturalist topics dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries (in the Botanical Institute) and from the 17th to the 19th centuries (Documentation Center), as well as archived and photographic collections and docu­ mentation relating to the work of both institutions. The sum of these collections represents, in volume and quality, the largest documentary natural-history heritage in Catalonia. The two centers form part of the CSIC Libraries Network and the cata­ logue is available online at http://aleph.csic.es/ (searching by centers can be done using the advanced search option).

A new venue: the Museu Blau The Museu Blau (Blue Museum) is a facility with an innovative cultural offer that is dedicated to furthering our knowledge of and investigations into the natural sciences while offering the public a leisure time experience that includes hands-on learn­ ing and rigorous debate of current environmental topics. The Museu Blau building. In March 2011, the new head­ quarters of the Museum were inaugurated in what was previ­ ously called the Forum. The name Museu Blau comes from the indigo-blue color of this emblematic building, whose shape is a 180-meter equilateral triangle, 25 meters in height. It is located at an edge of the Forum Park, in the Diagonal Mar area, near the seashore. It was designed by the Swiss architectural team of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, on the occasion of the 2004 Forum of Cultures held in Barcelona (Fig. 3). Estab­ lishing a new space for the Natural History Museum was a challenge for the architects, but they took advantage of the characteristics of the building, transforming it as little as possi­ ble while ensuring its suitability as a museum. They were also deeply involved in the museography and thus took care to integrate the scientific content of the exhibits with the already existing spaces. In fact, the exhibition arrange­ ment follows the logic of the existing space and at the same time completely alters it. Interior patios, which might have been considered a hindrance, now seem to have been especially de­ signed for the Museum. One of the two main exhibits and the one that visitors first encounter is the history and evolution of the Earth and life on our planet. The specimens are displayed such that they seem to emerge from the dark surfaces of the

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Fig. 3. The Museu Blau building.

roughened walls, which resemble volcanic rocks spewing out their contents. The facilities of the Museu Blau. The Museum occupies an area of 9000 m², distributed on three floors, but most of its fa­ cilities are now on the second floor. Visitors reach the lobby through the main stairway, where they are welcomed by a 20-m whale skeleton—originally displayed at the Castell dels Tres Dragons—dramatically suspended from the ceiling (Fig. 3). Its white bones contrast with the dark walls and ceiling of the Museu Blau, adding to the sense of a mystery that will soon be revealed. The spacious lobby is the starting point for the visit to the Museum but can also be a reason for a visit itself: it con­ tains a media library, a bookshop, a restaurant, temporary ex­ hibits and display cases with specimens from other natural his­ tory museums in Catalonia, and information about those museums. The ‘Science Nest,’ for children ages 0–6, the lec­ ture rooms, a conference hall, and other event spaces, admin­ istration and support areas are also connected with the lobby, as is the area for the main permanent exhibits (Fig. 4).

The reference exhibition: Planet Life The core of the Museum is its reference exhibition, which was named ‘Planet Life’ (Planeta Vida) because it is life that has made the Earth different from any other planet. The perspec­ tive offered by Planet Life is very different from standard de­ scriptions of the evolution of the Earth and living beings that can be found in other museums. The exhibit aims to attract a wide audience, appealing to people with a broad range of inter­ ests, educational levels, and ages. It tells the tale of the joint evolution of life and the Earth, taking advantage of the vast re­ sources offered by the Museum’s collections and enhanced with up-to-date explanations using 21st-century museograph­ ic resources, including interactive screens, replicas, life-size models, graphics, and audiovisuals. Planet Life is structured around three major concepts: The Biography of the Earth, The

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Table 1. Team responsible for developing the new reference exhibition ‘Planet Life’ at the Museu Blau

Fig. 4. Skeleton of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) that beached in Llançà, Costa Brava in 1862. The village of Llançà and the Univer­ sity of Barcelona collaborated to ensure the preservation of the skele­ ton measuring almost 20 m in length and weighing a ton, which in 1917 was taken to the Martorell Museum. This year marks its 150th anniversary.

Earth Today, and Islands of Science (Table 1). It offers a space for exploring, discovering, and acquiring a sense of the wonder of nature (Fig. 5). Mission statement. The Earth is clearly distinguishable from its neighbors Venus and Mars by its very special atmosphere, containing oxygen, a strong oxidizing gas, and by its emission of light, as a result of its large forest fires and luminous cities. Before we arrived at our present understanding of the history of the Earth and life, many hypotheses were put forward to try and explain the events surrounding its origin. For a long time, we humans believed that our planet was the center of the Uni­ verse. Copernicus showed that this was not so; that the Earth is just another planet of our star, the Sun. Like many other stars, the Sun is orbited by small, non-luminous bodies: the planets. Our Earth was formed some 4.5 billion years ago and is the third planet from the center of the solar system. However, the belief persisted that Earth, from the very be­ ginning, had been home to many different kinds of animals and plants, all of which were there to serve us and that we were ‘the lords of creation.’ We were also taught that Earth, as modern humans know it, was created in a very short time… only six days. Charles Darwin convinced us otherwise. He showed that the Earth was much, much older; that it took hundreds of mil­ lions of years for it to achieve its present state, including the current geography of its mountains, rivers, and oceans, the animals and plants that we know, and the presence of mi­ crobes in every conceivable environment. This view implied that the skin of our planet has undergone countless transfor­ mations and that living things have been subject to a great many changes over the course of evolution. Finally, until quite recently, we considered the Earth to be a privileged place, where life was possible because of the special conditions of the planet, which are quite different from those on Venus and Mars, our companions in space. But the British chemist James Lovelock proved us wrong, by showing that the original conditions on Earth were very similar to those on

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Manager

Anna Omedes

General coordination and museographic content

Natural History Museum of Barcelona

Concept curator

Ricard Guerrero

Scientific coordination

Mercè Piqueras

Museographic project

Herzog & de Meuron

‘Biography of the Earth’ curators

Carles Curto, Yael Díaz, Jaume Gallemí, and Julio Gómez Alba

‘The Earth Today’ curators

Carles Curto, Yael Díaz, Jaume Gallemí, Julio Gómez Alba, Ricard Guerrero, and Mercè Piqueras

‘The Islands of Science’ curators

Ramon Folch, Joan Carles Senar, Jordi Serrallonga, Francesc Uribe

Venus and Mars, and that the presence of life on our planet modified the initial conditions, while the Earth’s physical condi­ tions—its atmosphere, climate, and landscape—in turn affect­ ed its life forms. This is now known as the Gaia theory, or the science of Earth’s physiology. We could therefore say that we gave our planet the wrong name; it should not be called ‘Planet Earth,’ not even ‘Planet Water’ or the ‘Blue Planet.’ The most appropriate name for it is ‘Planet Life,’ since life is its principal distinctive trait. Evolution is not just the ‘natural selection of organisms;’ rather, it is a planetary process that has occurred, and continues to occur, as a result of the interaction between the environment and life forms. The Earth’s rocks, soils, rivers, lakes, and seas, as well as its normal and extreme environments, are intimately con­ nected with the myriad organisms that inhabit them and con­ stitute a unique system of Gaian evolution. This system regu­ lates the climate and the conditions that keep our planet habitable. The Biography of the Earth. The exhibit ‘Biography of the Earth’ explains this uniqueness of our planet and the particular form of evolution that the Earth has undergone throughout its history. It does so by showcasing the most advanced scientific knowledge, in a clear and easy way to understand presenta­ tion, while also providing a comprehensive explanation of phe­ nomena previously considered by completely distinct branches of science: geology, climatology, zoology, botany, microbiol­ ogy, ecology. The exhibition is also unique in that it has been approached from the viewpoint of Catalonia and adjacent ter­ ritories; since these are Mediterranean lands, special attention is paid to the Mare Nostrum. A 700-m2 exhibit provides a chronological overview divided in seven periods: the beginning of the Universe and the Earth (13.8–3.8 billion years ago); Archaean, first continents, the be­ ginning of life (3.8–2.5 billion years ago); Proterozoic, new

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continents, first multicellular organisms (2.5 billion–542 million years ago); Lower Paleozoic, major mountain building, explo­ sion of life in the oceans (542–359 million years ago); Upper Paleozoic, Pangaea supercontinent, first land plants and first vertebrates (359–251 million years ago); Mesozoic, diversifi­ cation of invertebrates, and Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event (251–65 million years ago), Cenozoic, Glacial Ages, ev­ olution of primates, human beings, (65 million years ago to the present). For each period, large projected images recreate life at that time, while interactive screens feature the main novelties of the geological changes and life’s main ‘inventions.’ Rocks and fos­ sils from the Museum’s collection likewise contribute chapters to Earth’s biography. Unlike many museums, which represent the history of life as if all had started in the Cambrian, some 543 million year ago, the Museu Blau has not overlooked the Pre­ cambrian inventions of life and the critical role that microorgan­ isms played in the history of life. One crucial event was the evo­ lution of the eukaryotic cell by symbiosis or symbiogenesis, a concept first introduced by the American biologist Lynn Margu­ lis in the 1960s and now widely accepted. The Earth Today. In this 1700-m2 exhibit area, visitors dis­ cover a diverse world of fossils, animal, fungi, plants, algae, mi­ crobes, rocks and minerals. Some sections are based on the Museum’s historical collections; in fact, more than 5000 such items are on display. In addition, new collections of taxonomic groups not represented in the former Museum, including fungi, algae, and microorganisms, have been prepared for this ex­ hibit. In the case of microorganisms, the inclusion of fixed cul­ tures was quite labor-intensive, because they are not usually contained in natural history museum collections. This is a puz­ zling absence, since microorganisms are not only the most abundant living beings on Earth, they are a life form essential to maintaining further life on the planet.

Fig. 5. In ‘Planet Life’ visitors discover a fascinating, diverse world of fossils, animals, plants, algae, fungi, microbes, rocks, and minerals. The exhibition occupies the largest area on the main floor.

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Each section in the ‘Earth Today’ is represented by display cases specifically designed to accommodate the items they hold. In those devoted to the various organisms, the speci­ mens are not arranged according to systematics, as is done in most museums, but based on commonalities regarding nutri­ tion, shape, relationship with other organisms, motility, repro­ duction and ecology, among others. There also scale models and interactive moving screens that use animation and illustra­ tions to present the didactic material. Through hyperlinks, visi­ tors can pursue several additional levels of knowledge about each concept. ‘More in depth’ combines video in which scien­ tists tell us about their research and the latest findings on spe­ cific topics related to that area, with display cases showing the relevant items. Even if the museography presents the units comprising ‘The Earth Today’ in separate areas, the Earth itself must be under­ stood as a whole that functions through the interaction of its components. Ecosystems are balanced; everything in them has a place and a function. All living beings live on a substrate made of rocks, minerals and water. We know their history; it is told in fossils, sometimes very well, sometimes only partially. Energy flows through the ecosystem’s components, species populations interact with each other and with the abiotic com­ ponents of the ecosystem. Everything functions as the various components of a large system, so that if one component fails, the whole system is disturbed. In the Animals, Fungi, Plants and Microbes areas, 6 × 2.5 m panels present the classification of each group and their phylo­ genetic relationships with the others. Images of the species of the main groups are displayed on screens and change contin­ uously.

Prospects for the Natural History Museum of Barcelona The Blue Museum will soon be the main venue of the National Museum of Natural History of Catalonia. It will be responsible for defending, preserving, increasing and disseminating the natural heritage of Catalonia and awareness thereof. It aims to be a reference center on natural diversity, mainly that of the re­ gion of Catalonia and the Mediterranean area, as well as a mu­ seum recognized for its history, the value of its programs and services, its prestige, and the soundness of its criteria and opinions. The Museum’s commitment to conservation should allow it to demonstrate leadership and to serve as a role model based on its high standards and the value it places on environmental sustainability. In addition, it aspires to become a major learning resource in Catalonia, for citizens from all walks of life who share a desire to explore, learn, understand, and acquire more in-depth knowledge about our planetary home. In the coming years, the Museum will remain an integral part of the cultural, social, scientific and environmental life of Catalonia and will seek to build upon its relationships with the institutions and people who share its aims.

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References

3.

1.

4.

2.

Alberch P (1993) Museums, collections and biodiversity inventories. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8:372-275 Janes RR (2009) Museums in a Troubled World. Routledge, New York and Oxford

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ICOM Statutes [http://icom.museum/fileadmin/user_up­ load/pdf/Statuts/Statutes_eng.pdf] The Buffon Declaration. Natural History and the Environ­ mental Crisis [http://www.mnhnfr/museum/front/medias/ activite/11836_BuffonDeclarationFinal_Eng1.pdf]

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forum

CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 93–98 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.139   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

A transition from indigenous to European technology in colonial Mexico: The case of tequila José M. Murià National Institute of Anthropology and History and El Colegio de Jalisco, Guadalajara

“Tequila is a pale flame that burns through walls and flies over roofs to soothe one’s feeling of despair… On the surface, te­ quila knows no borders, but some climates are more favorable, just as some hours seem to have been wisely designed to be­ long to tequila…It is at the highest twilight of doubt and per­ plexity that tequila teaches us a consoling lesson, its everpresent voice, its wholehearted indulgency.” ~ Álvaro Mutis The world-famous alcoholic beverage known as tequila can be produced legally only along a strip of western Mexico. It is ob­ tained from an agave tree that grows in that region and is com­ monly known as maguey, a word of Caribbean origin [1]. In the sixteenth century, the Spaniards adopted this word due to the many different versions of the word maguey that existed in the native Mexican languages spoken at the time [2]. Moreover, several different types of maguey pervaded the warm and mod­ erately humid lands of central and southern Mexico (Fig. 1). Even before the Spanish invasion of Mexico during the sec­ ond decade of the 16th century, maguey was widely known. A fermented sap is still prepared today from a type of maguey that is larger than the better-known variety. It is called pulque and is commonly used in fermented form as an alcoholic bev­ erage. Its devoted followers say that the plant is only one step away from being meat: the fibers of its lanceolate leaves were once used to make strings and thick ropes, as well as the rough clothing and shoes worn by the macehual·li, the ‘village people.’ The leaf tips were used as nails and needles and in ceremonial rites of immolation. In addition, the dry leaves served to cover the roofs of houses and to build fires. The ash­ es provided a substitute for bleach. Pulque was also used for medicinal purposes: its warm sap was applied to heal wounds and ulcers and to treat the poisonous bite of adders. In addi­ tion, pulque maguey was converted into pulp to produce cer­ tain types of paper, such as those used in the historically worldrenowned books of old known as amoxtli [3]. The Spanish conquistadores who arrived in Mexico were eager to find a hot alcoholic beverage, and soon discovered the mexcal·li, which translates as ‘what’s on the burner.’ In­ deed, as has been done from time immemorial, an excellent caramel was prepared from maguey, specifically, from the heart of certain low-fiber types of the plant, after it was steamed Correspondence: J.M. Murià, El Colegio de Jalisco, Cinco de Mayo, 321, Zapopan, Jalisco, 45100 México. Tel. +52-3336423855. E-mail: jm@pgc-sa.com; jm@coljal.edu.mx

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Fig. 1. Agave tequilana at Hacienda Doña Engracia, Jalisco, Mexico. Photo: Stan Shebs.

and cut into pieces. Aware of its sweetness, the new settlers, with many Andalusians among them, tried to press mexcal·li and then distill the resulting juice in pot-stills made of mud, as was done with all spirits back in Spain. What emerged from that process was a drink which we know as mescal. Around 1540, one of the first friars to arrive in Mexico was said to have heard about this type of spirit, after the Spanish assured him it had “plenty of substance and was very healthy [4].” Mescal was produced in many places at the time, and even today many villages make their own, which is sold under their village name [5]. Among these, the mescal from tequila, or simply tequila, made from a variety known as Weber’s blue agave tequilana, is undoubtedly the most popular. The word ágave, which means ‘impressive’ in Greek, was first introduced in the middle of the 17th century by the Swed­ ish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, to refer to the type of maguey from which mescal could be obtained. The expression ‘Mexican agave’ dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and was first used by the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lamark. Final­ ly, in 1902, the German scientist F. Weber, based on first-hand information sent to him by Leon Diguet from Mexico, provided a more appropriate description [6], stressing the bluish color that set it apart from all the other agaves [7]. Tequila, like many other words linked to this drink, comes from Náhuatl, which is the name of the village that served as the seat of the municipal government, the corregimiento. Náhuatl was where tequila was first produced, at the onset of

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the colonial period, and over time it developed into one of the first production centers. Tequila means ‘grassy area between rocks’ or vice versa [8]. The most appropriate conditions for the growth of the blue agave in this very specific geographical loca­ tion are: an average temperature of 20ºC, a height of approxi­ mately 1500 m above sea level, an average annual rainfall of 1 m3, and between 65 and 100 days of cloudy skies per year. This region, which eventually became very important for the development of industry, is located northwest of Guadalajara. Over time, it was developed as a route that led to the sea and thus allowed exportation to three cardinal points: North and South America and the Philippines. It is very likely that mescal was already being produced else­ where when the Spaniards settled down in western Mexico. The Spanish authorities outlawed mescal from the beginning, as a potential competitor with the spirits produced in the south­ ern Iberian Peninsula. The authorities claimed ‘in good faith’ that they wanted to prevent the indigenous and mestizo peoples from constantly getting drunk. A consequence of the outlawing of mescal was its clandestine production, usually in locations that were difficult to access and only known to the indigenous people. That is why some assert that the knowledge needed to produce tequila was around even before the onset of the Conquista, although there is no evidence to prove this. Indeed, the oldest known tequila factory belonged to the indigenous people and was located at the bottom of a very high cliff near Amatitan, which means ‘amate’ or ‘paper place.’ It dates back to the 16th century, some 50 years after the onset of the Spanish con­ quest and the occupation of the present state of Jalisco. The Spanish interdict was not particularly effective since it was rarely enforced. For example, a priest in Tepic wrote a de­ scription of the region in 1621 that noted the great virtues of mescal, “clearer than water and stronger than spirit.” He also pointed out that, unfortunately, its abuse also harmed one’s reputation [9]. However, the opinion of local doctors was al­ ways in favor of the alcoholic beverage. In 1638, the governor decided to legalize mescal, create an estanco, i.e., a monopoly outlet for commercial sales, and levy taxes. What probably mo­ tivated him were not the benefits attributed to the product, rather the increase in its consumption, which would help to meet the pressing economic needs of the government. Unfortunately, the first taxes collected were used in the con­ struction of a public bathing area. At the time, traders of Anda­ lusian spirits, coming from a region lacking in cleanliness, ar­ gued that this was an unnecessary luxury and they succeeded in reinstating the ban. However, the estancos were reopened in 1673 due to the urgent need for funds to build a water distribu­ tion network. The subsequent arguments for and against mes­ cal only served to prove that the manufacture and consumption of what was called the ‘mescal wine of our region’ was con­ stantly growing, along with the need to expand the water sup­ ply, especially since the population of Guadalajara had experi­ enced rapid growth, beginning in the 18th century [10]. In fact, round 1735, tequila was consumed in almost the same amounts as water. In the face of a possible new interdict, the most notable historian of the time advocated a fierce defense of the legalization of tequila, as can be read in his seminal work of

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Murià

1742. He was especially concerned that not all villages were paying taxes, which meant that ‘a good many resources were being wasted.’ He also stated that he would have agreed with a ban on the manufacture of tequila if it had meant the end of its consumption, but instead other sugar-cane based alcoholic beverages, such as xinguerite and bingarrote, described as ex­ tremely harmful [11], were being consumed. Given the large sums of money needed to build the new Government Palace, the mescal wine estanco prevailed. However, when in 1785 other means of funding became abundant, e.g., trade, prohibi­ tion was again reinstated. This ban lasted 10 years, until money had to be collected urgently to combat emerging epidemics. During the second half of the 18th century, the effects of colonization were being felt in Guadalajara, 50 years before colonization of the present Northwest Mexico (the present state of Sonora and the Californias) had begun. At the same time there was a growing sense that the land of tequila could no longer be pushed into a corner within the vast Spanish em­ pire but had become a necessary point of transit. With the de­ mands imposed by colonization, the province of Guadalajara was able to benefit by supplying the ‘new territories,’ where manufacture was still almost non-existent, with tequila al­ though it was also being smuggled in through the northern route. In 1767, by the end of the 18th century, reports coming from the port of San Blas indicated that many thousands of barrels of tequila were being shipped mainly to California and even further, as well as to Central and South America, the Phil­ ippines, and even to Mexico City. Records from the beginning of the 19th century note that the jurisdiction of Tequila was one of the richest in the region [12]. The War of Independence in 1810 also aided the tequila cause. War first broke out in Guadalajara, where large numbers of people had embraced the insurgency led by Miguel Hidalgo. Those poverty-stricken supporters lived in miserable condi­ tions and were prone to seek solace in alcohol [13]. The most important action took place between 1812 and 1815, when the warlord José M. Morelos rose up in arms on the southern coast of the Pacific, cutting off communication between the port of Acapulco and the city of Mexico and banning the trans­ port of goods from the Philippines. The port of San Blas had to be used as an alternate, which in turn brought commercial life to the western part of Mexico. This situation was taken advan­ tage of and mescal was shipped in vessels bound for Asia. In 1815, shortly before Morelos was imprisoned and executed, the highest incomes in the history of the mescal wine estanco were recorded. But the route to Acapulco was reopened in 1816 and the availability of tequila dropped sharply. Luckily for mescal manufacturers, 1821 saw the independence of Mexico and the end of the avenging blockade established by Spain, which had banned the legal sale of Spanish spirits and other goods to Mexico for more than 15 years. Sales of tequila im­ proved accordingly, but the numbers achieved in 1815 were not surpassed until after 1849: gold in California was to be found within the more than 2 million km2 that the US had taken from Mexico, and the tequila shipped from the port of San Blas was the spirit the gold diggers resorted to, despite the fact that they had to travel far to get it. Exports grew over the following

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20 years but they ended when the railway system in the United States [14] spanned from coast to coast and cheap bourbon could be supplied from Kentucky. Part of the earnings the tequileros (tequila manufacturers) obtained during this period were used to support General Ra­ mon Corona, the liberal warlord in west Mexico, in his fight first against the conservatives and subsequently against the French. It is only natural that the manufacturers preferred the free trade championed by the liberals over the agenda of the old conservative regime. Precisely due to this support, an out­ standing tequilero by the name of Gómez Cuervo became the governor of Jalisco, when the Mexicans ridded themselves of Napoleon III’s soldiers, which also dealt a fatal blow to the hopes for a Mexican empire. The first thing Gómez Cuervo did once in power was to lower the taxes on tequila, which he compensated by increasing all other taxes. The republican regime was restored in 1867. Up until then, Mexico had suffered yet another French intervention, the afore­ mentioned invasion by the gringos, great political turmoil, and a full-scale civil war between liberals and conservatives. Finally the country enjoyed a long period of peace that brought social and economic transformation with it. Unfortunately, it all came to an end 40 years later with what is known today as the Mexi­ can Revolution [15]. One of its underlying causes was that dur­ ing those 40 years only a very few individuals had prospered. Over time, the manufacturing conditions of tequila improved substantially. The manufacturers were very proud of their prod­ uct and supported efforts to officially name this spirit ‘tequila,’ as it was already widely known. Traditionally, after having grown in the fields for a period of 10 years, the leaves of the agave plants were cut away with a large steel razor that was fixed to the tip of a stick. This tool is still called coa, which means ‘snake’ in Náhuatl. What was left of the plant was the heart or piña. The process, which remained essentially unchanged, is still known as jima, another word from Náhuatl, which means ‘smooth down’ or ‘shave.’ After being cut into two or four sec­ tions, the shaved hearts were transported on donkeys or mules to stone-lined ovens, where they would be cooked for 2–3 days (Fig. 2). The cooked pieces were then crushed by a large stone wheel pulled by one or two animals known as tahona. This has been known as the ‘Chilean mill’ since ancient times, evidenc­ ing the contact established along the Pacific coast. The result­ ing mosto (wort) was placed in wells a little deeper than 1.5 m and around 80 cm in diameter and was left there to ferment for a few days. In order to accelerate the process of fermentation, apart from using yeast, there was a batidor, a Christian who was immersed up to the waist in the mosto and who by slowly wading around for a few hours would stir it. The man’s sweat, including urea, became part of the fermented mosto, as no doubt did his urine considering the length of time spent in the mosto and the heat around the legs. Today a small amount of urea is usually added when the mosto starts fermenting. Finally, the mosto was transferred to the pot stills and then to barrels or casks, where it would sit ready to be sold and consumed. Technical and hygienic conditions improved by the 1870s, with the import of copper pot stills, which not only were more hygienic but also reduced the amount of liquid losses, and the

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Fig. 2. A distillery oven loaded with agave piñas, the first step in the production of tequila. Photo: Tobias Hesse.

replacement of wood by steam in order to speed the cooking of the mescal. In addition, mechanical equipment was intro­ duced to crush the mescal more quickly. Exports also started around that time. The first exports were tentative and were di­ rected to the southern United States, but before the end of the century tequila was also being sold in Western Europe as well as in neighboring countries such as Guatemala and El Salva­ dor, which since then have been faithful and enthusiastic con­ sumers. Significant effort was also invested into selling tequila at fairs and exhibitions, both in Mexico and abroad, since it al­ lowed the traditional producers to make themselves known and to gain new clients. At those events, richly ornamented medals, plaques, and certificates were often awarded to out­ standing tequilas. These forms of recognition, as a reflection of nostalgia, nowadays serve as symbols of pride for the factories that long ago won them. During those years, measures were also being taken to en­ courage industrial and agricultural improvements. A very popu­ lar action was that of an apothecary named Lázaro Pérez who, after several analyses, stressed the great virtues of tequila but warned that “people should clearly understand” that it had to be consumed in moderation. In his own words, these are but a few of the qualities of tequila: “It whets the appetite for food […] eases difficult digestion; strengthens gastric functions […] aids the prompt scarring of wounds … eases pain and prevents the swelling of twisted ankles—when applied with a stupe—, invigorates those func­ tions weakened with age […] quenches thirst and the sense of hunger […] helps in rebuilding strength after an excessive physical effort and awakens the intelligence […] keeps bore­ dom at bay and provides pleasant sensations.” [16] This was not the first time the healing properties of tequila were described. But apart from what we know was said about tequila in the 17th century, when its legalization was sought, there seems to be no direct evidence of the health benefits of tequila. In 1812, an excerpt from the newspaper Diario de México stated:

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“Pure wine has the virtue of healing illnesses, as people in the places where it is not prohibited well know … It eases menstruation pains when a well-balanced use is made, and prevents pain around the groin when it is lukewarm. It kills worms and prevents the breeding and such of other insects. When consumed lukewarm it eases the pain of women in labor. To be able to experience these beneficial effects te­ quila has to be in its purest state and not diluted in water. It can be purchased on Espíritu Santo street, between houses number 3 and 4.” Between 1900 and 1915, the production of tequila almost doubled, while the number of manufacturing factories was ap­ proximately the same. Many guild members mistrusted the use of glass bottles purchased in Germany. Thus, in 1906, the first large-scale glass factory was built in Monterrey, which was able to supply a sufficient amount of glass bottles and at cheaper prices. Until then, everything had been transported in large wooden barrels (pipones) like the ones still in use today, and kept in approximately 33-liter decanters known as damajuanas (demijohns). The bottles turned out to be more practical and were also reminiscent of, in a period of elixirs and syrups, medicine bottles. The emergence of the glass industry also gave way to the appearance of the famous caballitos, which are the tiny glasses, almost cylindrical in shape, that imitate the traditional, hollowed horns previously used to drink tequila. Tequila played a large role in 1918, when the infamous ‘Spanish flu’ pandemics struck the world. A combination of te­ quila, lemon, and salt was recommended to fight infection. This form of consumption remains common practice today, albeit for non-medicinal purposes! It was believed that lemons, espe­ cially those grown in Mexico, contributed to combating disease because they were very rich in vitamin C. However, the real purpose of this cocktail, apart from its vasodilator quality, was no doubt to insure the prosperity of tequila producers and salesmen. The Spanish flu was followed in 1920 by the famous prohibition in the United States, which banned the manufac­ ture of alcoholic beverages as well as their consumption. This gave way to the clandestine production and illegal importation of tequila. Judging by the producers’ success, these 13 years were busy times, as enormous loads of tequila were shipped to the United States. During much of the 1920s and early 1930s, large amounts of tequila were supplied to the emergent oil-producing lands on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, but the open oil wells in the Middle East reduced the local market significantly. The situa­ tion worsened when the government of Lázaro Cárdenas im­ plemented an agrarian reform program, which led to the breakup of the latifundios or ‘big estates’ and split the tequila industry into farmers and manufacturers, who did not always see eye to eye. The first attempts at the organization of trade unions were then carried out, but the resulting institutions were too weak to be effective [17]. The fierce nationalism in Mexico that gave support to the successful Mexican Revolution in the 1920s also led to impor­ tant contributions in the humanities and visual arts. This was especially so in Jalisco, the land of tequila, through the success

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of a filmography known as ranchera, which highlighted the val­ ues of non-indigenous rural life in Mexico. Overall, tequila made its way into the growing Mexican middle class, which a few years earlier would have shunned a drink produced by lowerclass, rural people. In fact, tequila was considered appropriate at times of great patriotism. Thus, from the 1930s on, and con­ tinuing nowadays, tequila became ‘the Mexican drink par ex­ cellence.’ Nonetheless, the popis (dandies) would continue scorning tequila for the following 40 years. World War II resulted in a huge increase in demand for te­ quila. The production of spirits in war-torn countries such as England, France, Russia, and Poland was strongly restricted while soldiers on the battlefields were in large need. Exports rocketed between 1941 and 1944, from 21,000 to almost 5 million liters. The end to these benevolent times, at least for the tequila industry, mainly affected the manufacturers. A Spaniard monopolized the tank wagons and other types of cargo and, with all sorts of dubious tricks, signed a contract of exclusivity both with the city of Monterrey regarding the bottle supply and with a distillery located next to the railway. This resulted in the introduction of cheaper liquors, produced under substandard hygienic conditions. Documents of the U.S. Department of Health, although compiled once production and the market were normalized, showed that tequila bottles often had been refilled without being previously rinsed, as many of them con­ tained shards of glass. Subsequent steps taken to protect the tequila manufactured in Jalisco were to no avail. The bureau­ cratic jungle was worsened by the aforementioned Spaniard’s chicanery. However, as soon as the armistice was reached, he returned to his native land, without, not surprisingly, an agree­ ment regarding his extradition. With the excuse of better controlling tequila production and distribution, taxes on tequila bottles entering the United States dramatically increased. The situation for producers was further complicated by consumers’ mistrust, which greatly minimized tequila consumption. Bulk tequila exports sunk from 5 million liters in 1944 to only 9000 liters in 1948. Intense efforts were therefore made to reorganize the industry and thus to increase sales. In 1949, the government passed the first regulations on a standard of quality. This was a hard-fought battle lasting 9 years. The government also took advantage of the wave of success brought on by the international agreement on the de­ nomination of origin, signed by many countries in Lisbon in 1958, and managed to register the brand ‘tequila.’ The follow­ ing year saw the foundation of the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry, which is still active today. Furthermore, apart from the establishment in Guadalajara of the first glass factory, the aim of which was to supply the te­ quila industry, other actions were taken in order to regain the market, in particular, technical improvements and better hygi­ enic conditions, such as the use of stainless steel in pot stills and barrels. In addition, some manufacturers reduced the al­ cohol content (and therefore the price) of their tequila to a little less than 40 % by using distilled water, to make the drink more palatable [18]. Unfortunately, the resulting explosion in demand was not mirrored by an increase in the raw material: the blue agave. To

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be able to reach a wider market, a questionable regulation made in the name of ‘quality’ was passed in 1964; it allowed the addition of different types of sugar (mainly cane sugar) in amounts of up to 30 %, and later, in 1970 up to 49 %, during the fermentation process. This regulation has not been modi­ fied [19]. In 1991, the production of blue agave was scarce and some unscrupulous tequileros, in collusion with deputies and employees in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, nearly suc­ ceeded in changing the official regulation to allow an added sugar content of 90 %. Fortunately, this measure was avoided thanks to the prompt response of several concerned citizens and the support of a senator representing Jalisco. One of the reasons for the increase in demand during the 1980s and 1990s was that the upper classes began to accept the ‘Mexicanization’ of their palate and thus finally embraced te­ quila, because of its digestive qualities but also reflecting the enormous increase in imported spirits due to the long-standing devaluation of the Mexican currency. However, this also result­ ed in periodic, extreme increases in the price of tequila, in part derived from the belief that, as for many other products, ‘the more expensive, the better.’ Thus, for some, expensive tequila became a status symbol. What is to be appreciated is the trend of making tequila with a higher percentage of agave. Nowadays, there are almost 500 manufacturing companies able to boast that their product is ‘100 % agave.’ This is ensured by the Te­ quila Regulatory Council, founded in 1994 and formed by gov­ ernment representatives, agave producers, and tequila manu­ facturers. The Council is headed by a businessman who is not allowed to do business with any of the council members. One of its responsibilities is to certify that a bottle of tequila sold as añejo (aged) was kept in oak barrels for at least one year, and for at least 3 months in the case of reposado (rested) (Fig. 3). Tequila labeled blanco (white) can be bottled and is ready for consump­ tion as soon as the desired alcohol content is obtained. It should be noted that tequila cannot remain in the oak barrels for more than 3 years, otherwise it begins to decay. This is the reason why there is no aged tequila, only tequilas of high quality, and why good tequila is, relatively speaking, not very expensive. Over the years, the Tequila Regulatory Council has grown in size and has consequently become overly bureaucratic, to the detriment of its fairness and utility. It is increasingly unable to fulfill its stated aim, to properly regulate the production of agave and the manufacture of spirits, shielding the industry from the huge price volatility of the raw materials. The Council has failed to develop a long-term plan that would offer steady growth. In all probability, if the government had been more honest and rigorous in the pursuit of its stated aims, fewer important Mexi­ can companies would have passed into foreign ownership. According to international agreements such as the Lisbon Agreement or the one Mexico reached with the European Un­ ion in 1997 [20], tequila can only be manufactured in a particu­ lar region of Mexico. It is therefore regretful that in several countries, including Japan, Spain [21], and South Africa, coun­ terfeit, low-quality tequila is made with full impunity. This type of tequila is known as ‘chemically pure.’ This is not to imply that the appropriate use of chemicals is objectionable per se: there are many insecticides, fertilizers, as well as new products to

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improve the hygienic conditions of factories all of which have improved the quantity and quality of tequila. Fields of the jagged agave dominate the central strip of Jalisco. They allowed the production of 199 million liters of te­ quila in 1999, a significant rise from the 91 million produced in 1994. Two thirds were sold around the world, but 65 million lit­ ers were consumed in Mexico. This amounted to more than 650 million caballitos, or what the American would call shots. In fact, patriotic enthusiasm resulted in a two-fold increase in the national consumption of tequila within 10 years, whereas ex­ ports increased by a little more than 40 %. Together this amounted to 250 million liters. On a positive note, most of these exports are increasingly in the form of bottles, and the economical spillover that remains in Mexico has increased cor­ respondingly, from 3 % to 30 %. It is also encouraging to know that quality tequila is being favored. The production of tequila made with 100 % agave, which was 15 % in 1995, reached nearly 60 % in 2009. This has been due to demands in local consumption because exports are mainly 51 % agave. While the American market has ignored quality tequila this has not been the case for Europeans, who tend to prefer the high-qual­ ity brands, although even around Europe the worst can be found in plenty of bars and pubs [22]. Tequila is sometimes combined with a carbonated soda made of grapefruit or pomella; in a ‘margarita cocktail,’ to which lemon juice and a few drops of Cointreau are added (the juice of other fruits can also be added: mango, tamarind, zapote, tangerine, strawberry, etc.). A ‘vampire’ includes tomato juice; a ‘changuirongo,’ also known as charro negro, is made with

Fig. 3. Tequila being rested or aged in oak barrels. Photo: Tobias Hesse.

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ginger ale. It can be added to a sangrita, made from orange juice and spices. Together with a bite of a slice of lemon and dash of coarse sea salt tequila can ‘prevent the flu.’ Of course, it can simply be enjoyed ‘straight.’ Tequila, unlike what is often seen in films of the 1940s and 1950s, must be sipped slowly, letting it run from the tongue to the palate and breathing it in, as with the best spirits. In fact, not long ago, a delicate, stylized glass was ‘scientifically’ designed in Germany to allow a fuller savoring of tequila, but many still prefer the traditional glasses. We drink tequila in sorrow as well as in celebration. As the saying goes, para todo mal, mescal, y para todo bien, también (mescal to fix what’s wrong, as well as to accompany what’s right). Perhaps, the most meaningful enjoyment of tequila is when there is an opportunity to celebrate one’s Mexican na­ tionality: at patriotic festivities or when the country’s soccer team “plays like never before, but loses as always.” I conclude with an English version of several verses singing the praises of tequila, written by an inspirado vate saltillero, that are usually recited when tequila is having its effect:

Murià

4.

5.

6.

7. Tequila, gentlemen, is more magic than anything. It dissipates the feelings of sadness; it calms down the afflictions. It makes the lover skillful. It makes the singer sing in tune. If your body is weak, it lifts your spirits. It gives you determination and a relish for love in the battle; It warms you in winter. It excites you in the summer And it offers you consolation and hope at all times.

8.

9. 10. 11.

In all, tequila is God’s gift. The Holy Mother Church should declare it The second blessed water, or sacred, And use it in baptisms as a chrism of grace and in the last rites so that the soul can leave this valley of tears in good spirits and feeling no distress.

12. 13. 14. 15.

Notes & References 16. Notes 1. On 10 May 1973 the Mexican government published the Diario Oficial de la Federación (The Federation’s Official Journal), in which protection under the ‘denomination of origin’ was declared. On 9 December 1974, this protec­ tion was extended to the territory of origin, that is, Jalisco state and a few villages in neighboring states. 2. In Náhuatl, the most widely spoken of all indigenous lan­ guages, it’s known as mètl; in Otomí, which is spoken in the Hidalgo state, as guada; in Purèpech or Tarasco, spoken in Michoacan, as atocamba; it is known as ki in all Mayan dialects and as kaku’yste in Huichol or Wirrárica, a language still spoken between Nayarit and Jalisco, in the Western Sierra Madre mountain range. 3. In the 17th century, Joan de la Concepció, a barefooted Carmelite, wrote in the Romanç Històric: “De los magueyes retorcidas fibras / volúmenes de Historia die­

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ron muchos” (Many history volumes were produced / from the twisted fibers of maguey). Only in the state of Jalisco do the villages (approximately ten of them) put their name on the mescal label: Apulco, Quitupan, Tuxcacuesco, Tonaya, etc. Oaxaca is also a popular site of production: some producers have put the worm that breeds in the plant in the bottle. (This does not modify the flavor in any way.) ‘Ágave’ became ‘agave’ when Mr. Weber adapted it to the French language. Also, the change was due to a trait in Mexican speech, as inherited from Náhuatl, which con­ sists of stressing the penultimate syllable of every word. Another version states that the word comes from tequio, the mineral that miners were allowed to keep after every day’s work; someone pointed out that tequila meant ‘workplace.’ It is not common to find toponyms on quali­ ties or defects of the inhabitants, nor there is any reason to question the other version, as it is clear and corre­ sponds to the actual landscape. Throughout the 18th century, the population of Guadala­ jara increased from 4000–5000 to approximately 30,000. They were headed by Miguel Hidalgo, the priest that started the war and who was defeated in the vicinity of Guadalajara. This took place in 1869, near Chicago. The problem was that liberalism was out of control, simi­ lar to the current situation in Mexico. The first was Productores de Tequila S.A. in 1933. It be­ came Tequila S.A. 2 years later, with the aim of giving the firm a more flexible structure. Less than 38 % results in a bland-tasting tequila, al­ though in some brands it is 35 %. It was confirmed in 1993 and 1997. The agreement was reached in Brussels on 22 May. ‘El Sombrero’ was manufactured in Tarragona some years ago, licensed under Porfirio Juárez & De Tequila Co. But it does not seem to exist. Not long ago, I at­ tempted to visit one such factory in Talavera de la Reina but could not find it! Nor did I see a single agave there. Data provided by the Tequila Industry Council.

References 17. de Benavente T (2006) Historia de los indios de la Nueva España, Third Treaty, Chapter 19 18. de la Mota Padilla M (1973) Historia del Reino de Nueva Galicia en la América Septentrional, Chapter 65 19. Gutiérrez y Ulloa A (1983) Libro de la Razón General de hacienda Nacional de la provincia de Guadalajara, hoy es­ tado Libre de Xalisco. Gobierno de Jalisco, Guadalajara 20. Lázaro de Arregui D (1946) Descripción de la Nueva Gali­ cia, Chapter 21 21. Pérez L (1887) Estudio sobre el maguey llamado mezcal en el Estado de Jalisco. In: Luna R, Muriá JM (1990) Pro­ grama de Estudios Jaliscienses, pp. 15-16 22. Weber A (1902) Notes sur quelques agaves du Mexique occidental et de la Bassa-Californie. Bulletin du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, 8:220-223

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 99–105 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.140   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

historical corner

Fighting against smallpox around the world. The vaccination expeditions of Xavier de Balmis (1803–1806) and Josep Salvany (1803–1810) Francesc Asensi Botet Member of the Biological Sciences Section, Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona

Only seven years after Edward Jenner introduced the vaccine against smallpox, the enlightened King Charles IV of Spain promoted an expedition to extend the great medical break­ throughs throughout the mainland and to the overseas colo­ nies of his kingdom. As director of this difficult and heroic mission, he appointed Dr. Xavier de Balmis, from Alicante, and as his assistant, Josep Salvany, from Barcelona. Despite very different and sometimes conflicting personalities, both men were driven by a common goal: to fight one of the most terrible scourges of humanity, the cause of extremely high mortality and, in those lucky enough to survive, serious aftereffects. Given the short shelf life of Jenner’s vaccine and the lack of conservation methods (cold chain), vaccination, especially in the overseas colonies, had to be done ‘arm-to-arm,’ using a vesicle that had formed in one vaccinated person to vaccinate another. However, this process could be continued only for 10 days, much shorter than the time needed for a transatlantic journey, which in favorable weather conditions would take at least one month. To overcome this problem, children—espe­ cially those from orphanages—were enrolled in the overseas expedition. They became the authentic heroes of this impor­ tant chapter in the control of infectious diseases. Thanks to them, millions of people in America, the Philippines, and China were able to take advantage of the vaccine.

Colonization expeditions versus scientific expeditions Following the so-called ‘discovery’ of America, in the late 15th century, a series of expeditions took place over the following two centuries, usually promoted by the European monarchies, with conquer and colonization as their goals. Through geno­ cide and pillage, the “Europeanization” of most of those lands was achieved. During the 18th and 19th centuries, another series of expe­ ditions of a completely different nature was organized, the aim of which was to study, describe, and, upon the return of the participants, disseminate novel findings of all types (geological, botanical, zoological, anthropological, linguistic, etc.) to Euro­

peans. The list of these expeditions is very long, but to highlight only five: 1. The Hispano-French geodesic expedition designed to measure a meridian arc in the equator in order to com­ pare its length with an arc of the same angle previously measured in Lapland. It was demonstrated that the length of the arc and, consequently, the radius of the Earth, is longer at the equator than close to the North Pole. In oth­ er words, our planet is swollen at the equator. This expe­ dition was led by the Frenchman Charles Marie de La Condamine and the Valencian, Jorge Juan (1713–1773). 2. During a botanical expedition, its leader, Jose Celesti­ no Mutis, of Cadiz (1732–1808), identified and described two hundred species of plants unknown in Europe. Moreover, he collected a wealth of medical material from American natives, mostly from Colombia, thanks to which many diagnostic, preventive, and healing proce­ dures used by those populations became widely known. With the materials brought from America, Mutis was able to found the Botanical Garden of Madrid. 3. Medical expeditions conducted by the Valencian Xavier de Balmis (1753–1819) and the Catalan Josep Salvany (1774–1810), discussed in detail below. 4. The naturalist expedition by Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) led to many extremely important geograph­ ic discoveries, including the fluvial connection between the basins of the Orinoco and the Amazon rivers, and the South Pacific sea current that carries his name. His ex­ ceptional physical fitness allowed him to climb, without the advantages of modern mountaineering gear, the Chimborazo Volcano, approximately 6000 meters high, to study its rocks and lichens. 5. The biological expedition of Charles Darwin (1809– 1882) was the source of his well-known studies of the American fauna, especially in the Galapagos Islands. His observations allowed him to formulate his transcendental theory of evolution and the origin of species, which radi­ cally changed the scientific world.

Smallpox in Europe Correspondence: F. Asensi Botet, Carrer Guàrdia Civil 30, porta 61, E-46020 València, EU. Email: asensifrancesc@gmail.com

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Smallpox was a highly contagious viral infectious disease transmitted through the respiratory tract and causing severe

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outbreaks. The main symptoms were a very high fever and ma­ laise, followed by a typical rash that affected the whole body in different phases: macules, pustules, vesicles, and crusts (or scabs). Unlike chickenpox, in smallpox all the lesions are in the same phase and leave a permanent, often very deforming scar (Fig. 1). It is thought that the disease originated in Southeast Asia and spread to the West over the 14th and 15th centuries, with a mortality estimated at 20 % of those infected and seri­ ous after-effects, mainly in the form of blindness and skin de­ formations, in 30 % of the survivors. Annually, smallpox caused around 400,000 deaths in Europe. While multiple therapies had been attempted, smallpox had no effective remedy. The only relatively useful, preventive meth­ od consisted of inoculating smallpox through a different path (i.e., not respiratory). Thus, fluid from a vesicle from a smallpoxinfected person was applied to a previously-made excoriation in the receptor’s skin. In China, the dust from the crusts of the smallpox lesion was administered nasally. This procedure, known as variolization or variolation, caused a ‘minor’ form of smallpox and prevented the acquisition of natural smallpox. The success of this strategy was relative because the minor form had a mortality of 5 %, much lower than the 20 % of natu­

Asensi

ral smallpox but by today’s standards intolerable as a preven­ tive measure for use in previously healthy people.

Smallpox in America Smallpox came to America in 1520 through a slave servicing the troops of Pánfilo de Narváez, sent by the crown to fight against those of Hernán Cortés. The disease spread suddenly and devastatingly across Mexico and half of the native Indians died from smallpox that same year. Throughout the 17th cen­ tury, smallpox was prevalent throughout America and was par­ ticularly virulent in the Caribbean countries. The years 1780 and 1798 were especially notorious because of massive dead­ ly outbreaks.

The first vaccine In 1796, a momentous event in the history of medicine and hu­ manity took place. Edward Jenner, an English rural doctor from the county of Gloucester, using only his keen spirit of observa­ tion, verified that cows were suffering from a disease similar to human smallpox and that their udders presented vesicles simi­ lar to those of smallpox-infected patients. This ‘smallpox vac­ cine’ infected the milkmaids, provoking the same vesicles in their hands as in the cow’s udders. Most importantly, he veri­ fied that none of the milkmaids infected with this smallpox vac­ cine suffered from human smallpox, even during the most viru­ lent outbreaks. The next step was to artificially provoke spread of this small­ pox vaccine in healthy people. The most logical strategy would have been to take fluid from a cow’s vesicle and inject it. But Jenner hesitated, probably out of fear of the fierce criticism he could expect from the Anglican church, accusing him of mixing ‘animal nature’ with ‘human nature,’ thus joining that which God had separated. To overcome this obstacle, Jenner took fluid from a vesicle of a milkmaid that had been infected by a cow and used it to inoculate a child. After some time, against all current ethical standards of clinical trials, he inoculated the same boy with fluid from a vesicle of a human-smallpox-infect­ ed patient and confirmed that in fact he did not acquire the ill­ ness. For the first time in history, there was an effective and safe means to prevent smallpox. It was the first ‘vaccine.’(Fig. 2)

The vaccination campaigns

Fig. 1. Propagation of the smallpox scabs from day 4 to day 15 in their natural size and color. Drawing by Valencian artist Juan Ximeno Carre­ ro. Historico-medical Library and Museum, Valencia.

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Despite some highly critical and satirical efforts against the vac­ cine, this effective preventive remedy was enthusiastically ac­ cepted and the vaccine was extended quickly to all social classes in Europe. The family of the Spanish King Charles IV had suffered from the scourge of smallpox, as one of his daughters had fallen sick and had been left with terrible facial deformities from the scars. Aware of the discovery of the vac­ cine, he decided to organize a vaccination campaign through­ out the mainland and the overseas colonies.

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Fighting against smallpox around the world. The vaccination expeditions of Xavier de Balmis (1803–1806) and Josep Salvany (1803–1810)

The fluid vaccine could be briefly conserved either by soak­ ing a cotton thread in the fluid of a vaccine vesicle, moistening a lancet in the same fluid, or placing a drop of the fluid between two crystals, the edges of which were sealed with wax. Given the lack of mass conservation procedures, particularly a cold chain, the duration of vaccine activity for this fluid was very short, ten days at the most. For mainland territories that period was sufficient to allow mass vaccination of almost the entire population. The problem was the overseas colonies, since a voyage to America would take at least one month under favo­ rable conditions, much longer that the duration of the liquid vaccine’s activity. Nor would the period during which active fluid could be extracted from a vaccine lesion, approximately a week, allow the use of one person vaccinated on the mainland

Fig. 2. Top. An Inquiry Into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ Vaccinæ, a disease, by Edward Jenner and published in 1798. Bottom. Sarah Nelmes’ hand, with the pustules of cowpox vaccine with which Jenner vaccinated the boy James Phipps on 14 May 1796 (drawing by W. Skelton, colored by W. Cuff).

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and that same person once American soil was reached. The only solution was to include a group of healthy people on the voyage and vaccinate them sequentially over the course of its duration. Thus arose the idea of organizing a marine vaccina­ tion expedition to the overseas colonies.

Organizing the vaccination expedition Charles IV created a preparatory commission for the expedi­ tion, formed by the Court’s doctors and surgeons. The expedi­ tion, whose official name was the Royal Philanthropic Expedi­ tion of the Vaccines (Real Expedición Filantrópica de la Vacuna), would have three objectives: (i) to spread the vaccine against smallpox from the Kingdom of Spain throughout all the over­ seas colonies; (ii) to instruct local health officers in the towns and villages visited in the immunization practice, to ensure its continuity; and (iii) to create a ‘vaccination board’ to conserve, produce, and supply the vaccine so that the immunization campaign was maintained permanently. The Court dictated announcements so that the scheduled places would know about the arrival of the expedition and could organize human and financial resources for the campaign’s success. Local civil­ ian, military, and ecclesiastical authorities were urged to sup­ port the expedition and to ensure that the population showed up en masse at the vaccination centers. In most cases, this call was very successful. The choice for the expedition’s director was not controver­ sial. The 50-year-old Xavier de Balmis, a physician from Ali­ cante, was unquestionably the right person (Fig. 3). He was

Fig. 3. Portrait of Xavier de Balmis (1753–1819).

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Fig. 4. Balmis’ Spanish translation of Traité historique et pratique de la vaccine by J.L. Moreau.

highly disciplined, had received solid professional training, and was a good leader. He was familiar with the colonies in Ameri­ ca, particularly Mexico, where he had already carried out vario­ lization. Enthusiastic about the vaccine, he had translated the French book by J.L. Moreau de la Sarthe, the highest authority on the subject (Fig. 4). From the beginning, he completely iden­ tified with the expedition’s objectives. Just after his appoint­ ment, in June 1803, he began to meticulously undertake the necessary preparations. The appointment of the assistant director, however, was controversial. The Court’s Board of Physicians and Surgeons felt that the 29-year-old Josep Salvany, from Barcelona, was too young and, compared to Balmis, too different in personality (Fig. 5). He had a solid humanistic education (studies of Latin and grammar) and a great vocation for medicine. He had en­ rolled in the army as a military health worker and became very skilled in surgical techniques. Balmis did not agree with the choice, but the decisive intervention of the illustrious Catalan surgeon, Antoni Gimbernat, member of the Court’s Board of Physicians confirmed the appointment of Salvany as assistant director of the vaccination expedition. The expedition’s medical team was completed by the physi­ cians Manuel Julián Grajales and Antonio Gutiérrez Robredo, the practitioners Francisco Pastor Balmis and Rafael Lozano Pérez, and the nurses Basilio Bolaños, Pedro Ortega, and An­ tonio Pastor. Obviously, the most important human compo­ nent, and the basis of the expedition, was still missing: the vac­ cine carriers.

The vaccine-carrier children, anonymous heroes of the expedition A group of healthy people who had not been vaccinated or had suffered smallpox had to be chosen. The best candidates were

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children between the ages of five and eight. The Crown thus appealed to parents to volunteer their sons and daughters for the expedition. The children were offered free food and cloth­ ing and schooling until they found work. Despite this attractive offer, no fathers or mothers were willing to hand over their chil­ dren for the expedition. The only option was to recruit orphans, as there would be no adult claims for them. Children from the orphanage in Santiago de Compostela were therefore chosen. Balmis and Salvany calculated that the number of children needed to ensure the vaccine’s safe arrival on American soil was a minimum of 22, which was the number of children finally enrolled in the expedition. These children, who soon became known at the galleguiños, were under the care of the orphan­ age’s manager Isabel Cendales, a maternal figure for the chil­ dren and the only woman on the expedition. The vaccination plan consisted of initially vaccinating two children. A week later, two more children would be vaccinated with the vaccine vesi­ cles of the first, and so on. Two children were vaccinated in each round, to be sure that from at least one the vaccine could be transmitted.

The expedition sets sail from A Coruña The corvette Maria Pita, captained by Pedro del Barco, was equipped for the expedition. Five hundred copies of Moreau de la Sarthe’s book were loaded onboard for distribution to the vaccination boards, together with thermometers and barome­ ters to confirm the efficacy of the vaccine in various weather conditions, thousands of glass plates to keep the vaccination liquid, and pneumatic machines to create a vacuum in the bot­ tle containing the vaccination liquid. Loaded with this equip­ ment and the aforementioned passengers, the Maria Pita set sail from the port of A Coruña on 30 November 1803 (Fig. 6). The first stop was the Canary Islands. In Santa Cruz, Tenerife,

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Fighting against smallpox around the world. The vaccination expeditions of Xavier de Balmis (1803–1806) and Josep Salvany (1803–1810)

Fig. 5. Josep Salvany’s signature.

there was a great welcome and the first vaccination board was set up successfully; from there, the vaccine could be sent to the neighboring islands.

Arrival in the Americas The expedition’s first contact with the Americas was in Puerto Rico, where its welcome contrasted sharply to that in Tenerife: absolute indifference, and even signs of hostility, reigned. The reason was that shortly before, the vaccine had arrived in Puer­ to Rico from the neighboring British colonies. Balmis and Sal­ vany studied the procedures being followed and found flaws that endangered the success of the vaccination campaign. There were strong discussions with the Puerto Rican vaccina­ tors and the Maria Pita departed without having fulfilled its mis­ sion on that island. From San Juan, Puerto Rico, the expedition traveled next to Venezuela. The chosen port was La Guayra but a strong tropi­ cal storm, forced the expedition to disembark in Puerto Cabe­ llo. Here, the reception was once again triumphant and vac­ cines were received enthusiastically by the Venezuelans. The vaccination boards worked to perfection, allowing the cam­ paign to spread throughout the country. From there, the hith­

Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   103

erto single expedition was divided into two independent ones: Balmis directed the first, a maritime expedition, to Cuba, while Salvany directed the other, by land, to the rest of South Ameri­ ca. As feared at the time of their appointments, despite being guided by the same spirit the junior and senior physicians never established a close working relationship. Another difference was in the degree of financial support. While Balmis still had at his disposal most of the money invested by the Court for the expedition, Salvany had a much more limited budget and was forced to seek his own funding.

Balmis’ expedition to the north The first stage of Balmis’ expedition was Cuba. At Havana, everything was prepared for his reception and, as in Venezue­ la, the vaccination board functioned efficiently. However, while vaccination boards had been set up throughout the island, al­ lowing for a massive vaccination campaign, there were no car­ rier children and no replacements. Thus, Balmis bought several black female slaves to serve as carriers for the vaccine until the next stop, the Mexican port of Sisal, in the Yucatan Peninsula. From there, sub-expeditions were organized, partly on land and partly by sea. The Maria Pita went to Veracruz, where the journey ended and the ship returned to Spain with the galleguiños and Isabel Cendales. In Mexico, the vaccination boards were also successful, allowing the vaccine to be ex­ tended across the territory and from there to the north, to the current American state of Texas, and to the south, to Guate­ mala and the rest of Central America. In the Port of Acapulco, Mexican children were recruited to continue with the vaccina­ tion campaign to the Philippines. The Pacific journey was much more difficult than the Atlantic one because it was made on a mail ship that lacked the com­ forts of the Maria Pita. The children slept on the floor, where rats abounded, and the ship’s movements caused some chil­ Fig. 6. Engraving of the departure of Royal Philanthropic Expedition of the Vaccines.

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dren to be spontaneously infected by the vaccine, through mu­ tual contact. Nonetheless, despite these hardships, the expe­ dition reached the port of Manila, where it was also received with honors. Again, boards were set up to carry out massive vaccination campaigns, this time in all the Philippine islands. From Manila, the expedition, still directed by Balmis, went to the Portuguese enclave of Macau, on the Chinese coast, then continuing on to the Port of Canton, the entry point of the smallpox vaccine to China and the rest of Asia. Understandably, Balmis was exhausted and decided to re­ turn to Spain on a Portuguese ship, sailing through the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope and, in the Atlantic, once stopping at the small island of Santa Elena. At the occa­ sion of his reception there, the English governor presented him with a package that he had received many years before, from Jenner himself, containing samples of the vaccine fluid and in­ structions for its application. Obviously, the fluid had already expired and was no longer usable. From Santa Elena, Balmis went on to Lisbon, where, in 1806, he had disembarked. Upon his return to Madrid, he was received with full honors by King Charles IV. Balmis died in Seville in 1819.

Asensi

of individuals who were marketing the vaccine, which chal­ lenged one of his fundamental principles: that preventive measures should be public, universal, and free. Yet, Salvany still had the strength to organize new boards and promote sub-expeditions that extended throughout South America, all the way to Buenos Aires. He finally arrived in Bolivia where, exhausted, he died in the city of Cochabamba in 1810, at only 36 years of age. The words written several days before dying are especially moving, “The lack of roads, the precipices, the large rivers, the de­ serted places we have encountered have not stopped us for even a moment, much less the waters, snows, hungers, and thirsts we have suffered. The rigors that the cruel contagion offered in our first steps served as stimulus to bring a brilliant purpose to noble and humanitarian tasks…” It was 2 years later that Balmis became aware of Salvany’s death.

Results of the expeditions Salvany’s expedition to the south The expedition led by Salvany was of more precarious means, longer, and confronted with greater obstacles. Most of it was by land, but some stretches had to be undertaken by boat. The first stage was by sea, from the Venezuelan port of La Guaira to the Colombian port of Cartagena. It was along this route that the expedition suffered its first serious setback, running aground in the estuary of the Magdalena River. Luckily, the campaign could be continued by land. Crossing the Colombian Andes into Ecuador was an au­ thentic epic journey of heroism that did not dissuade the team from successfully completing its mission of vaccinating the maximum number of people. In Santa Fe, Salvany met with the botanist José Celestino Mutis, from whom he received abun­ dant praise and encouragement to continue the expedition’s meritorious humanitarian work. A very significant event took place in the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca. Simon Bolivar, who was fighting for Ecuador’s independence, was aware of the vaccination campaign conducted by Salvany and asked the royalist authorities in Venezuela to provide him with the vaccine for his troops, who were suffering from a major epidemic of smallpox. Indeed, military hostility was set aside and the vac­ cine reached Simon Bolivar’s soldiers. Salvany’s health had badly deteriorated. For many years he had suffered from diabetes and from malaria, which he proba­ bly contracted during his activity as a military health care work­ er in Extremadura. In America, he suffered from diphtheria and hemoptysis (TB), went blind in one eye, and one of his hands had to be amputated. Still, his spirits did not wane and he con­ tinued the vaccination campaign. In Lima, he even completed his studies and obtained a medical degree from the prestigious University of San Marcos. It was in the Peruvian capital that he became engaged in strong confrontations with several groups

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It is estimated that over a 1.5 million people were vaccinated during these expeditions— the first major worldwide campaign to carry out a preventive health measure. To reassure the vari­ ous targeted populations that the vaccination was a preventive measure for healthy people, the boards were set up far away from hospitals, hospices, and homes, and were mostly located in schools and municipal establishments. The boards were also active in education, thus creating a network continue health education and assure continued training. Unfortunately, the independence wars, which erupted dur­ ing the final years of Salvany’s expedition, led to the disband­ ment of most of the vaccination boards, hindering the desired continuity of the vaccination campaign. Nevertheless, it is clear that the enormous task undertaken by Balmis and Salvany was an important first step, one that contributed significantly to the World Health Organization officially declaring smallpox to be eradicated from the planet a little over a century and a half later.

Impact and dissemination of the vaccine expeditions Great scientific personalities around the world have praised the achievements of these expeditions. Among them it is worth quoting Edward Jenner, “I cannot imagine in the annals of History an example of phi­ lanthropy that is nobler and wider than this one.” and from Alexander von Humboldt, “This voyage will remain the most memorable in the annals of History.”

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Fighting against smallpox around the world. The vaccination expeditions of Xavier de Balmis (1803–1806) and Josep Salvany (1803–1810)

It is surprising, but achievements as extraordinary as the ones that have just been commented have so far had little im­ pact in terms of public knowledge on either side of the Atlantic. The vast number of events in these expeditions would be more than appropriate for a multitude of literary, theatrical, film and televised works of all types of genre. The names of Balmis and Salvany should be featured in the central streets and squares in all major cities in Spain and Latin America, their memory should appear on coins, stamps, banknotes, etc. There is practically none of that. The only literary repercussions have been: Theatre. Venezuela consolada (Venezuela comforted), a short play by the Venezuelan Andrés Bello, premiered in 1804, that honored Balmis’ achievements.

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Narrative. Saving the World by the American writer of Do­ minican origin, Julia Álvarez (2006); Ángeles custodios (Cus­ todian angels) by Almudena Arteaga (2010); and Los hijos del cielo (The sons of heaven) by Luis Miguel Ariza (2010). Poetry. A la expedición española para propagar la vacuna en América bajo la dirección de D. Francisco Balmis (To the Spanish expedition to spread the vaccine in America under the direction of D. Francisco Balmis), by Manuel Jose Quin­ tana (1804). We can anticipate that many more literary and popular sci­ ence works publicizing the impact of these memorable expedi­ tions will, over time, appear in all languages, thereby ensuring the continued appreciation of the two men and the many anon­ ymous children who were critical to their success.

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CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE, 8 (1): 107–117 (2012) Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.141   ISSN: 1575-6343  www.cat-science.cat

Biography and bibliography

Professor Creu Casas i Sicart (1913–2007)* Creu Casas i Sicart, Professor Emeritus at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Catalonia, and a member of the Insti­ tute of Catalan Studies (IEC) since 1978, died at the advanced yet still active age of 94 in Bellaterra on 20 May 2007, after a brief illness. She was unquestionably the most prominent bota­ nist in the field of bryological research (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) covering the entire Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands in the past 50 years. She also served as the president (1980–1982) of one of the most prestigious affiliates of our in­ stitute, the Catalan Institution of Natural History. Creu Casas was born in Barcelona on 5 May 1913 to a modest family. Her father was a gardener, and around 1917 he began to work for the benefactor and bibliophile Rafael Patxot, in an annex of the house where the family eventually lived. Her father was in charge of caring for Patxot’s gardens and other properties, one of them on Montseny mountain. The young Creu’s interest in the plant world began to take shape in this atmosphere of gardens, gardeners, and visitors from the world of culture. Her training was ambitious for the time thanks to her father, the economic support of the Patxot family, and her work as a private tutor in the summer (in the Maresme region and Mallor­ ca). She was educated at the Institut Tècnic Eulàlia (Eulàlia Technical Institute) and then went on to study pharmacy

Photograph: Archive of the Institute for Catalan Studies (IEC). This im­ age cannot be reproduced (digitally or in print) without the previous authorization of the IEC. * Xavier Llimona, Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biology, Uni­ versity of Barcelona. E-mail: xllimona@ub.edu

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(1931–1936) at the University of Barcelona. The latter included sound theoretical and practical training in botany and seemed like a good way to earn a living. Starting in 1933, she briefly benefited from the atmosphere of renewal at the first Autono­ mous University, particularly as represented by the teachings of Pius Font i Quer (Lleida 1888–Barcelona 1964), then a tem­ porary lecturer and the first botanist to be a member of the IEC. The classes taught by this great botanist, which were both modern and active and included field outings, encouraged Creu Casas’ interest in botany. A group of young naturalists, among them, Ramon Margalef, Pere Montserrat, Josep Vives, Guy Lapraz, and Creu Casas herself, began to gather around Font i Quer and the Botanical Institute, which he founded in 1935 and later, after the Spanish Civil War, was continued by Antoni de Bolòs. Font had plans to develop studies in geobotany and cryptogamy in Catalonia. He was in touch with the Faculty of Sciences professors Benito Fernández Riofrío (1896–1942) and Prudenci Seró (1883–1963), and even the great mycolo­ gist Rolf Singer joined his team. Seró, a physician who in 1930 had earned a degree in the natural sciences, was the first Ad­ junct Professor at the Faculty of Sciences and became the pro­ fessor in charge of botany, from 1942 to 1952. He was the nephew of another botanist, Longí Navàs (1858–1938) and had been influenced by this active lichenologist and entomolo­ gist. He also collaborated with the pioneer in Iberian bryology, Antonio Casares Gil (1871–1929). Seró introduced Creu Casas to the world of bryology but, given his disinclination to publish, their joint work was limited to two studies (1956, 1962). In­ stead, the person who finally exerted a decisive influence on Casas’ scientific education was Valia Allorge (1888–1977).

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During the Spanish Civil War, Creu Casas worked in a phar­ macy and helped Font i Quer at the Botanical Institute. In the post-war years, she was the manager of a pharmacy in the Clínica de l’Aliança hospital, a job she held for 27 years. With her responsibilites at the pharmacy concentrated to the morn­ ings, her afternoons were free and allowed her to pursue her interests. She had never broken off her ties with either Font i Quer or Antoni de Bolòs. On one of her field outings, on the oc­ casion of a visit by the geobotanist Josias Braun-Blanquet (1947) to Barcelona, she met the Chair of the Department of the Botany of Pharmacy, T. Mariano Losa, who invited her to work with him in identifying the specimens of gramineae of An­ dorra that he had gathered. She began to do so, without pay, in her free afternoons. Just a few months later, Losa informed her that an Adjunct Professorship in Phanerogamy would soon be available. She prepared for her Bachelor’s degree (1949) and passed the civil servant tests to land the job. She remained in this academic position until she moved to the Faculty of Biol­ ogy at her university as Assistant Professor in Phytogeography, through civil service testing as well. At that time, an Assistant Professor was virtually equivalent to a department Chair. Thus, the year 1967 was pivotal, as Creu Casas was the first woman to reach the top level of university teaching in botany. She was later named to the Chair in Botany (1971), after winning a meritbased competition for the job at the new Autonomous Univer­ sity of Barcelona. Creu Casas was essentially alone on the frontline of what one or two decades later would become a massive influx of women into university teaching and research. Her choice of research topic was motivated by the lack of knowledge on bryophytes in both Catalonia and in most of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands, and by her desire to complement her botanical study of Montseny. This mountain had been the subject of the doctoral thesis of Oriol de Bolòs (1924–2007), defended in 1950, which focused on the flora and vegetation of vascular plants. On the recommendation of Font i Quer, she also enlisted the aid of the aforementioned Prudenci Seró, who had brought the field of bryology to Catalonia and was the first Catalan botanist at the university to specialize in a group of plants other than the traditional flowering plants. Ca­ sas’ thesis was impressive for its quality, especially considering the fact that it was undertaken with few means in terms of books and reference collections. She defended it in Madrid, as required at that time, in 1953; but she had begun to publish bryology studies already in 1951. This was the beginning of a steady flow of output that would total 236 references, including articles and books (93 of them in which she was the sole au­ thor). This output was not interrupted but enhanced by her shift to Emeritus Professor status in 1983, as she continued going to her laboratory every morning, brimming with energy and projects and only stopping just a few days before her death. Just after she joined the Faculty of Biology (UB) in 1967, her first full-time position, she began an intensive career as a teacher, which enabled her to attract valuable students and fu­ ture research partners. With their help, she planned an exten­ sive study on bryophytes, many of them not well-characterized or virtually unknown, found in the Barcelona urban area. In the new Botany Department, she also pursued her other, ongoing

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Llimona

studies, using already collected material, mainly from the Pyr­ enees, supplemented with the products of her explorations of the Ebro River basin, especially in the arid semi-steppes of the Monegros region. During the same period, she gathered and categorized all the bibliographic references on Iberian bryo­ phytes. These efforts would serve as the nucleus of future cat­ alogues, bibliographic thesauri, and comprehensive works on the distribution of these species. In 1971, she moved to the recently founded Autonomous University in Bellaterra as Chair, where she launched and or­ ganized the botany program in the Department of Animal Biol­ ogy, Plant Biology and Ecology. She devoted a great deal of effort to organizing the program as well as to teaching and to establishing a smoothly functioning and productive research team. As mentioned above, as an Emeritus Professor (1983), granted to her when she reached the age of 70, she did not reduce her research efforts; rather the position served as a stimulus for her research and that of her team. Her contributions to the specialized field of bryology reflect a rigorous research agenda, which included detailed surveys of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. In these field stud­ ies, she was initially accompanied by her husband, Ramon Puig, or by Prudenci Seró, later by Valia Allorge (Paris) or Ce­ cilia Sérgio (Lisbon), and then by her students and research collaborators. The latter included Montserrat Brugués and Rosa Maria Cros, who worked closely with her and, after her death, have continued her avenue of study. On the Iberian Pe­ ninsula, her leadership was solicited and widely appreciated, especially after her Curset de Briologia (Short Course on Bryol­ ogy, UB, 1968), which brought together the majority of botany teachers in training, who were able to fill in the gaps in their limited knowledge of cryptogamy. This initial core gradually came to specialize in bryology, as reflected in the successive biannual editions of Reunió de Briòlegs (Bryologists’ Gathering). This series always included the exploration of a seldom studied area of the Iberian Penin­ sula, in an attempt to complete the bryological knowledge of little-known or totally unexplored regions based on the collec­ tions assembled by Casas and her assistants. The first gather­ ing was held in 1972, in the Cabo de Gata Mountains in Alme­ ria. Subsequent gatherings were held there and in various areas of interest, such as the Titaguas and the Albarracín mountains, the Gúdar and Javalambre mountains, and the De­ manda and Moncayo mountains. Casas faithfully attended the gatherings until 1994, when the 14th meeting was held in the mountains of Cantabria. These explorations have continued, on the initiative of the Spanish Society for Bryology, which Ca­ sas co-founded in 1989, serving as its first President (1991– 1993) and later as an Honorary Member. Her students and occasional research partners included re­ searchers from the Catalan-speaking lands such as Víctor Ca­ nalís, Isabel Alvaro, Josep Peñuelas, Ramon Pérez-Obiol, Francesc Lloret, Llorenç Sáez, and Anna Barrón, along with Felisa Puche (Valencia) and Josep A. Rosselló (Mallorca and Valencia). Others came from the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, including Rosa María Simó (Oviedo), Juan Varo and María Lui­ sa Zafra (Granada), Ester Fuertes (Pamplona and Madrid), Juan

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Professor Creu Casas i Sicart

Guerra (Granada and Murcia), Rosa Ros (Murcia), J.A. Gil (Gra­ nada), Alicia Ederra and J.C. Báscones (Pamplona), Juan Rei­ noso (Santiago de Compostela), Manuela Sim-Sim (Lisbon), María Jesús Elías (Salamanca), Patxi Heras and Marta Infante (Vitoria-Gasteiz), Jesús Muñoz (Madrid), Ana Losada and Jua­ na M. González-Mancebo (La Laguna). Indeed, her influence extended to almost all active Iberian bryologists. Two bryologists who were particularly important to Creu Ca­ sas at different times in her career deserve mention of their own. The first is Valentina (Valia) Allorge, née Valentina Sélitzky (1888–1977). She was Russian-born with French nationality and was married to the French bryologist Pierre Allorge (1891– 1944), with whom she explored the Iberian Peninsula in 1925, 1927, and 1941. In 1952, Valia Allorge had been invited by An­ toni de Bolòs to teach a course at the Botanical Institute, which included outings to Núria, Prades, and the environs of Olot. That course was definitive in Casas’ decision to direct her sci­ entific career towards bryophytes. Allorge likely encouraged Casas to present a paper on bryophytes in Catalonia at the In­ ternational Botany Conference held in Paris in 1954; at that time, it was quite rare for Iberian botanists to attend interna­ tional forums. Casas’ friendship and professional partnership with Valia Allorge was decisive at this early stage in her career, and it allowed her to travel to the Musée de Sciences Naturelles in Paris several times. Valia Allorge was known for her kindness but also for her tenacity and scientific rigor, qualities she shared with Creu Casas. The second bryologist who strongly influenced Creu Casas was Cecilia Sérgio, a researcher at the Botanical Garden of Lis­ bon. She supervised the Portuguese sites within the succes­ sive projects of the “Cartografia de Briòfits: Península Ibèrica i les Illes Balears, Canarias, Azores i Madeira” (Cartography of Bryophytes: Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands, Canary Is­ lands, Azores and Madeira). These studies were undertaken with several grants from the IEC (from 1983 until today), whose actions were integrated with those of the University of Lisbon (1982 and 1994). This also allowed Portuguese bryologists to attend the Symposia on Cryptogamy and the aforementioned Bryologists’ Gatherings and to publish articles jointly. Sérgio contributed to comprehensive works, such as those on cartog­ raphy, the red lists, and the floristic surveys published between 2001 and 2009, in addition to her authorship of many articles, starting in 1984. Also decisive was Creu Casas’ intervention in the organiza­ tion of the Symposia on Cryptogamy, the first of which was held in Pamplona in 1972. These forums promoted interactions among botanists who worked in or had joined the field of cryp­ togamy. There were soon parallel sessions on mycology, li­ chenology, phycology, bryology, and pteridology. The sympo­ sia, which shortly thereafter became a biannual event (with a few exceptions), exerted a significant influence on the creativi­ ty, initiatives, and collaborations among the scientists, almost all of them young, who worked in these fields. In fact, the meet­ ings had such a stimulating effect on their activities that, thanks to the studies published and the experience acquired, in just a few years the number of cryptogamists teaching at universities was almost equal to the number of fanerogamists. Later on,

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several of these scientists would also join research organiza­ tions, some of which were part of the Spanish National Re­ search Council (CSIC), as well as the staff of museums, nature parks and the Royal Botanic Garden, Madrid. Creu Casas at­ tended the symposia and the Bryologists’ Gatherings until quite late in her life (she was 84 and 81 years old, respectively). Among the initiatives targeted at promoting the study of bry­ ophytes was Casas’ sponsorship of the creation of the collec­ tive exsiccata entitled Brioteca Hispánica (in 1969), for which she was the director and the reviewer of the identifications. This collection of samples of prepared and identified bryo­ phytes was published in several volumes and enabled more than 20,000 accurately identified bryophyte specimens to be distributed in different reference herbaria on the Iberian Penin­ sula, thus boosting the potential for their accurate identification and taxonomic revision. Between 1969 and 2006, Casas peri­ odically published the labels of the distributed species in scien­ tific journals. In 1989, Casas participated in the founding of the Spanish Bryology Society (SEB), serving as its first President. With around 100 members, most of them very active and their ef­ forts well coordinated, since 1992 the SEB has published a twice-yearly newsletter containing articles on local topics. The actions of Creu Casas and the SEB members have earned sig­ nificant international attention and have considerably diversified the fields of research. As part of the IEC’s Plant Biodiversity project, the ongoing series Cartografia dels Briòfits (Cartogra­ phy of Bryophytes) offers a detailed outline of the distribution of bryophytes on the Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Azores, and Madeira. The maps of the first 50 species appeared in 1985, and their presentation is very accurate. Four volumes were published during Casas’ lifetime and others are currently in preparation. Reference collections and compre­ hensive works are essential in studies on biodiversity. These scientific products entail an investment of many hours of work but are often improperly evaluated by the usual standards, de­ signed to fit the experimental and exact sciences. Creu Casas and her team devoted a great deal of effort to the bryophyte reference collection, which contains more than 55,000 sam­ ples (Herbari BCB) and is constantly expanding. She also soon noticed the need for an up-to-date analytic list of the bryology bibliography on the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands, as well as for an annotated catalogue or checklist of the known species that would derive from it. Ac­ cordingly, she published Referències bibliogràfiques sobre la flora briològica hispànica (Bibliographic References of Hispanic Bryological Flora), again in conjunction with Brugués and Cros, which geographically analyzes the context of each of the above-mentioned studies. This reference work was updated in 1984. Based on its bibliographic sources, the first Checklist of the Mosses of Spain: An Annotated Checklist (1981) was de­ veloped, followed by several updates (five of them, between 1991 and 2006). In 1998, a complementary volume was added containing the liverworts and hornworts. The comprehensive volume reflected the urgent interest in conserving endangered species, which was a constant fixture in Casas’ work. A good example is the first Lista vermelha dos Briófitos da Península

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Ibérica (Red List of Bryophytes of the Iberian Peninsula), written in conjunction with Sérgio, Brugués, and Cros and updated in 2006. The culmination of this service effort was the IEC’s publica­ tion of the two volumes of the Flora dels Briòfits dels Països Catalans (Flora of the Bryophytes of the Catalan Countries) in conjunction with Brugués and Cros, which featured the pains­ takingly meticulous drawings by Anna Barrón and Iolanda Filel­ la. The first volume, Molses (Mosses, 2001, sold out shortly af­ ter its introduction and was subsequently reissued; it received the Serra d’Or Critics’ Prize in 2001. The second was devoted to Hepàtiques i Antocerotes (Liverworts and Hornworts, 2004). In our opinion, the two volumes comprise a paragon of excel­ lence, not to mention their extraordinary usefulness. The known bryophytes in the Catalan-speaking lands ac­ count for 85 % of all bryophytes on the Iberian Peninsula. Ca­ sas and Cecilia Sérgio decided to publish a Handbook of Mosses of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands, also with the IEC but in English. The volume Mosses was issued in 2006 and The Handbook of Liverworts and Hornworts of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands in 2009. These comprehensive volumes represent the legacy of a lifetime devoted to bryo­ phytes and have proven to be extremely useful for a diverse group of international naturalists. Creu Casas’ work has been recognized in numerous ways. Early on, she was a member of the Bryophytes Commission of OPTIMA (Organization for the Pytotaxonomic Investigation of the Mediterranean Area). In 1980, she became the Spanish representative in the Workgroup for Mapping the Bryophytes of Europe and the Société d’Échange de Muscinées. In 1983, she won the Narcís Monturiol Medal for Scientific Merit, and in 2002 she was awarded the 13th Prize from the Catalan Re­ search Foundation. Particularly worth noting is Creu Casas’ role in the gradual process of gender equilibrium in academia and research. She skillfully combined a career as a pharmacist, scientist, teacher, and manager with the roles of a wife, homemaker, mother, and, later, grandmother. She was the first woman in the history of Spain to sit for the civil service tests for a professorship in Pharmacy (1967), and later the first to secure a Chair in Botany (1971). Likewise, she was also the first female member of the IEC (1978); there would not be another until 1989, when, Mer­ cè Durfort was granted membership. In 1981, Casas was ap­ pointed a full member of the Royal Academy of Pharmacy of Catalonia, of which she had been a corresponding member since 1958. She served as the President of the Catalan Natural History Institution (1980–1982), which named her an Honorary Member in 2002, and of the Spanish Bryology Association (1991–1992). A glance at the list of her publications (see below) reveals the breadth of her life’s work (236 entries, including articles, book chapters, and books). Many of these works focus on the bryol­ ogy of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands, with studies on corology, systematics, taxonomy, and autoecology. There are also numerous comprehensive volumes, including those mentioned above, all written with a sense of deep commitment to her chosen field. From a geographic standpoint, the contri­

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butions of Creu Casas revolve around the Pyrenees, Montseny, the Cap de Creus and Albera Nature Parks, the islands, the Monegros region, the city of Barcelona and the Collserola Park, the Cabo de Gata Nature Park and other areas of Andalusia, and also Montserrat, Titaguas, the Albarracín Mountains and other mountain chains on the Iberian Peninsula. In addition to her body of work, we are left with her example as a tireless, tenacious scientist, convinced of the importance of her efforts, as well as a valued teacher and an inspiring men­ tor for new scientists. Her apparent fragility and delicate man­ ners belied her strength, further evidenced by activities in her field of research until just a few days before her death.

Publications by Creu Casas The following bibliography contains the titles of scientific arti­ cles, books, and other publications written by Creu Casas. 1. 2.

3. 4.

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Casas C (1951) Algunas briófitas del macizo de Garraf. Collectanea Botanica 3: 69-75 Casas de Puig C (1951) Hepaticae, Musci. In: Losa M, Montserrat P (eds) Aportación al conocimiento de la flora de Andorra. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científi­ cas 53. Bot 6:174-181 Casas de Puig C (1952) Una excursión briológica al Valle de Núria. Collectanea Botanica 3:199-206 Casas de Puig C (1953) Contribución al estudio de la Flo­ ra Briológica del Norte de España. Anales del Jardín Bo­ tánico de Madrid 10:257-273 Casas de Puig C (1953) Una hepática nueva para la flora catalana. La Trichocolea tomentella (Ehrh.) Dum. en Olot. Collectanea Botanica 3:395-397 Casas de Puig C (1954) Associations de Bryophytes cor­ ticicoles de Catalogne. Rapports et Communications. Huitième Congrès International de Botanique, Paris, pp. 103-105 Casas de Puig C (1954) Adiciones a la brioflora catalana. Collectanea Botanica 4:231-234 Casas de Puig C (1954) Aportaciones a la brioflora cata­ lana. Excursiones briológicas por el Alt Berguedà. Collec­ tanea Botanica 4:141-159 Casas de Puig C (1956) Aportación a la flora briológica balear. Hepáticas de Mallorca. Boletin de la Sociedad de Historia Natural de Baleares 2:63-67 Casas de Puig C (1956) Contribución al estudio de la flo­ ra briológica balear. Pharmacia Mediterranea 1:1-16 Casas de Puig C (1956) Contribución al estudio de la flo­ ra briológica de los Pirineos Centrales (Huesca). Actes du Deuxième Congrès International d’Études Pyrénéennes, Toulouse, pp. 44-59 Casas de Puig C, Seró P, Ubach M, Vives J (1956) Flora briológica de las comarcas barcelonesas. Collectanea Botanica 5:119-141 Casas de Puig C (1957) Myurella julacea (Vill.) Bryol. eur. var. scabrifolia Lindb. en Cataluña. Collectanea Botanica 5:417-418

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Professor Creu Casas i Sicart

14. Casas de Puig C (1957) Aportaciones a la flora briológica de los Pirineos. Collectanea Botanica 5:419-424 15. Casas de Puig C (1957) Fimbriaria Ludwigii (Schw.) Limpr. et Pohlia carinata (Brid.) Muell. dans la vallée de Núria (Pyrénées Orientals). Revue Bryologique et Lichénolo­ gique 26:265 16. Casas de Puig C (1957) Jussiaea grandiflora Michx. en Port de la Selva. Collectanea Botanica 5:425-427 17. Allorge V, Casas de Puig C (1958) Contribution à la flore bryologique de l’Espagne. Revue Bryologique et Liché­ nologique 27:55-65 18. Casas de Puig C (1958) Targionia Lorbeeriana K. Muell., en Mallorca. Bolletí de la Societat d’Història Natural de les Balears 4:61-62 19. Casas de Puig C (1958) Adiciones a la flora briológica ba­ lear. Tres especies de Fissidens nuevas para la isla de Mallorca. Bolletí de la Societat d’Història Natural de les Balears 4:63-64 20. Casas de Puig C (1958) Exormotheca pustulosa Mitt. en Port-Bou. Revue Bryologique et Lichénologique 27:1718 21. Casas de Puig C (1958) La flora briológica del Cap de Creus. Pharmacia Mediterranea 2:440-459 22. Tosco U, Casas de Puig C (1958) Una interessante sta­ zione con stillicidio su tufo calcare in Val Serina (Prealpi Bergamasche, Alta Lombardia).Veröff. Geobotanisches Institut Rübel in Zürich, Heft 35:33-34 23. Casas de Puig C (1959) Tres Funariáceas africanas en España, nuevas para la flora europea. Anales Farmacia Hospitalaria 5:35-37 24. Casas de Puig C (1958) Aportaciones a la flora briológica de Cataluña. Musgos y hepáticas del Montseny. Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 16:121-226 25. Casas de Puig C (1959) Aportaciones a la flora briológica de Cataluña. Catálogo de las hepáticas y musgos del Montseny. Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 17:21-174 26. Casas de Puig C (1960) Contribución al estudio de la flo­ ra briológica de los Pirineos Centrales. Musgos y hepáti­ cas de Bielsa (Huesca). Anales del Instituto Botánico An­ tonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 18:269-288 27. Casas de Puig C (1960) La vegetación muscinal en el Montseny. Revista de la Real Academia de Farmacia de Barcelona 7:27-62 28. Casas de Puig C (1961) Algunos datos sobre la presen­ cia de elementos mediterráneos en la brioflora de la ver­ tiente española de los Pirineos Centrales. Anales Farma­ cia Hospitalaria 9:3-4 29. Allorge V, Casas de Puig C (1962) Au sujet des Bryo­ phytes récoltés au cours de l’excursion de l’Association Internationale de Phytosociologie dans les Pyrénées fran­ co-espagnoles. Revue Bryologique et Lichénologique 31:213-238 30. Allorge V, Casas de Puig C (1962) Contribution à la flore bryologique du Val d’Aran. Actas III Congreso Internacio­ nal Estudios Pirenaicos 3:163-177

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31. Allorge V, Casas de Puig C, Seró P (1962) Contribución al estudio de la flora briológica catalana. I. Briófitos de los montes de Prades. Collectanea Botanica 6:331-348 32. Casas de Puig C (1962) Nota preliminar sobre la presen­ cia de esfagnos en Cataluña. Instituto Estudios Pirenái­ cos, Actas III Congreso Internacional Estudios Pirenaicos, Zaragoza, pp. 179-184 33. Casas de Puig C (1966) Nueva aportación a la flora brio­ lógica balear. Algunos musgos y hepáticas de las islas de Ibiza y Formentera. In: Homenaje Prof. J.M. Albareda. Facultad Farmacia. Universidad de Barcelona, pp. 19-24 34. Allorge V, Casas de Puig C (1968) Contribución al estudio de la flora briológica catalana. II. Briófitos del llano de Olot y montañas próximas. Collectanea Botanica 7:47-68 35. Casas de Puig C (1968) Algunes espècies de Sphagnum que es troben a la Vall Ferrera i a la Vall de Cardós. Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Biologia 26:79-86 36. Casas de Puig C (1970) Oedipodiella australis (Wag. et Dix.) Dix. var. catalaunica P. de la V. en la Vall Ferrera. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 6:13-15 37. Casas de Puig C (1970) Avance sobre el estudio de la flora briológica de Los Monegros (Valle medio del Ebro). Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 6:5-12 38. Casas de Puig C (1970) Trichostomopsis umbrosa (C. Muell.) H. Robinson en la ciudad de Barcelona. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 6:16-22 39. Casas de Puig C (1972) Nueva aportación al estudio de los Sphagnum en Cataluña. Actes IVème Congrès Inter­ national d’Études Pyrénnéennes, Toulouse, pp. 77-82 40. Casas de Puig C (1972) Brioteca Hispánica 1969. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 10:18-26 41. Casas de Puig C (1972) Goniomitrium seroi sp. nov. en la Sierra del Cabo de Gata. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcino­ nensia 10:10-15 42. Casas de Puig C, Simó RM (1972) Pyramidula algeriensis Chudeau et Douin en la Sierra del Cabo de Gata (Almería). Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 10:5-9 43. Casas de Puig C (1973) Datos para la flora briológica es­ pañola. Algunos musgos y hepáticas del Sureste de España. Revista da Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa 17:603-616 44. Acuña A, Casas de Puig C, Costa M, Fuertes E, Ladero M, Simó RM (1974) Aportaciones al conocimiento de la flora briológica española. Nótula 1: El Cabo de Gata (Almería). Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Ca­ vanilles de Madrid 31:59-95 46. Brugués M, Casas de Puig C, Cros RM (1974) Aporta­ ción a la brioflora catalana. Leucobryum juniperoideum (Brid.) C. Muell. en los alcornocales del Alto Ampurdán. Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 31:109-117 47. Casas de Puig C (1974) Eurhynchium striatum (Hedw.) Schimp. ssp. zetterstedtii (Stoerm.) Podp. en los abetales del Pirineo Central. Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 31:49-53 48. Casas de Puig C (1974) Quelques Muscinées de la Sierra del Cabo de Gata et leur relation avec la flore bryologique

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49.

50.

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53. 54. 55.

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africaine. Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France, Co­ llection Bryologie 121:313-318 Casas de Puig C, Brugués M (1974) Tortula ruralis (Hedw.) Gaertn. var. hirsuta (Vent.) Par. (Tortula papillosissima (Cop.) Broth.) en Espagne. Revue Bryologique et Lichénologique 40: 263-266 Casas de Puig C, Molinas ML (1974) Étude au micros­ cope électronique à balayage de la surface des feuilles de Tortula ruralis (Hedw.) Gaertn. var. hirsuta (Vent.) Par. Re­ vue Bryologique et Lichénologique 40:267-270 Acón M, Casas de Puig C (1975) Aportación a la brioflora española. Claopodium whippleanum (Sull) Ren. et Card. en los Montes de Toledo. Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 32:117-123 Casas de Puig C (1975) Aportación al estudio de la flora briológica española. Musgos y hepáticas de las provincias de Soria, Logroño, Burgos y Segovia. Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 32:731-762 Casas de Puig C (1975) Brioteca Hispánica 1970. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 15:27-33 Casas de Puig C (1975) Brioteca Hispánica 1971. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 15:34-38 Casas de Puig C (1975) Consideraciones sobre el área de distribución y ecología de Tortula desertorum Broth. en España. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 15:3-13 Casas de Puig C, Molinas ML (1975) Estudio al micros­ copio electrónico de barrido del envés de las hojas de Tortula desertorum Broth., procedentes de diferentes lo­ calidades de España. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcino­ nensia 15:14-18 Allorge V, Casas de Puig C (1976) Contribución al estudio de la flora briológica catalana. III. Musgos y Hepáticas del Valle de Núria. Collectanea Botanica 10:13-28 Casas de Puig C (1976) Contribución al estudio de la flo­ ra briológica catalana. IV. Musgos y hepáticas de Mont­ serrat. Collectanea Botanica 10:147-180 Casas de Puig C, Fuertes E, Varo J (1976) Aportaciones al conocimiento de la flora briológica española. Nótula III: Musgos y hepáticas de los alrededores de Titaguas. Anales del Instituto Botánico Antonio José Cavanilles de Madrid 33:139-152 Casas de Puig C (1977) Estado actual de las investiga­ ciones sobre Briología en España. Acta Phytotaxonomica Barcinonensia 21:5-13 Casas de Puig C (1977) Zur Moosflora von Navarra (Nord-Ost-Spanien) 7. Mitteilung: Sierra de Leyre. Herzo­ gia 4:345-350 Casas de Puig C, Fuertes E, Simó RM, Varo J (1977) Aportaciones al conocimiento de la flora briológica espa­ ñola. Nótula II: Sierra de Albarracín. Acta Phytotaxonomi­ ca Barcinonensia 21:19-41 Casas de Puig C (1978) La pretendida presencia de Schistostega pennata (Hedw.) Webb. et Mohr. en Cata­ luña. Boletim da Sociedade Broteriana 52:287-293 Casas de Puig C, Brugués M (1978) Nova aportació al coneixement de la brioflora dels Monegros. Anales Insti­ tuto Botánico Cavanilles 35:103-114

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65. Casas C, Brugués M (1979) Flora briofítica. In: Folch R (ed) El Patrimoni natural d’Andorra. Ketres, Barcelona, pp. 81-83 66. Casas de Puig C (1979) Funaria pallescens (Jur.) Broth. var. mitratus (Cas. Gil) Wijk. et Marg. en Menorca. Revue Bryologique et Lichénologique 45:467-470 67. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1979) Referències biblio­ gràfiques sobre la flora briològica hispànica. Treballs de l’Institut Botànic de Barcelona 5:1-52 68. Brugués M, Casas C, Cros RM (1981) Estudio sobre la flora briológica de los alcornocales de l’Alt Empordà. Piri­ neos 113:33-48 69. Casas Sicart C (1981) The Mosses of Spain. An annota­ ted checklist. Treballs de l’Institut Botànic de Barcelona 7:1-57 70. Casas C, Brugués M (1981) Estudio comparativo de la flora briológica de algunas sierras del Sistema Ibérico. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 37:417-430 71. Casas C, Brugués M (1981) Contribució de Ramon de Bolòs (1852-1914) a la briologia catalana. Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural 46:95-98 72. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1981) Contribuciò al co­ neixement de l’àrea geogràfica d’alguns briòfits. Treballs de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural 9:169-178 73. Casas C, Simó RM, Varo J (1981) Aportaciones al cono­ cimiento de la flora briológica española. Nótula V: Avance sobre un estudio de la Sierra de la Demanda. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 37:431-454 74. Sérgio C, Casas C (1981) Tortella flavovirens (Bruch.) Broth. var. papillosissima C. Sérgio, C. Casas. Portuga­ liae Acta Biologica 13:114-118 75. Brugués M, Casas C, Alcaraz M (1982) Estudio mono­ gráfico del Orden Polytrichales en España. (Ensayo para una flora briológica española). Acta Botanica Malacitana 7:45-86 76. Brugués M, Casas C, Girbal J (1982) Dades per a la brio­ flora del Gironès. Folia Botanica Miscellanea 3:21-26 77. Casas Sicart C (1982) Current research into bryophytes distribution in Spain. Lejeunia 107:15-17 78. Casas de Puig C (1982) Valentine Allorge (1888-1977) Su contribución a la brioflora española. Acta Botanica Mala­ citana 7:39-44 79. Casas de Puig C (1982) Algunos musgos y hepáticas de la Sierra de Cazorla. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Ma­ drid 39:31-38 80. Casas de Puig C, Fuertes E, Simó RM, Varo J (1982) Aportación al conocimiento de la flora briológica españo­ la. Nótula IV: Las Sierras de Jabalambre y Gúdar (Teruel). Acta Botanica Malacitana 7:119-140 81. Casas C, Oliva R (1982) Aportación al estudio de la brio­ flora de las provincias de Córdoba y Sevilla. Collectanea Botanica 13:153-161 82. Casas C, Oliva R (1982) Aportación al conocimiento de la brioflora de Andalucía Noroccidental (Huelva, Sevilla y Córdoba). Acta Botanica Malacitana 7:97-118 83. Casas Sicart C, Sáiz-Jiménez C (1982) Los briófitos de la catedral de Sevilla. Collectanea Botanica 13:163-175

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84. Casas i Sicart C (1983) Els briòfits a la ciutat de Barcelo­ na. In: Alguns aspectes moderns de la briologia. Reial Acadèmia de Farmàcia Barcelona. Universitat Autòno­ ma de Barcelona, pp. 45-47 85. Casas i Sicart C, Belmontes J (1983) Ornamentaciò de les espores en les espècies espanyoles del gènere Pleuridium (Musci). Actas IV Simposio Palinología, Universi­ tat de Barcelona pp. 131-139 90. Casas C, Brugués M (1983) Addicions a la brioflora de les comarques tarragonines. Collectanea Botanica 14:235-241 91. Casas C, Brugués M (1983) Contribuciò a la brioflora de l’illa de Menorca. Collectanea Botanica 14:231-234 92. Casas C, Brugués M, Peñuelas J (1983) Briòfits de l’Alt Empordà. Annals Institut d’Estudis Empordanesos 16:13-32 93. Casas C, Reinoso J (1983) Lepidozia cupressina (Sw.) Lindb., novedad para España. Collectanea Botanica 14:243-246 94. Gómez J, Belmonte J, Casas C (1983) Riella notarisii (Mont.) Mont. a Menorca. Lazaroa 5:297-300 95. Sanz MM, Casas C (1983) Anomodon rostratus (Hedw.) Schimp., novetat per a la brioflora catalana i altres espè­ cies notables. Collectanea Botanica 14:579-585 96. Cartañà M, Casas C (1984) Meesia longiseta Hedw. en una turbera del Cuaternario superior en el Pla de l’Estany (Garrotxa, Girona). Cryptogamie, Bryologie-Lichénolo­ gie 5:127-134 97. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1984) Referències bi­ bliogràfiques sobre la flora briològica hispànica II. Tre­ balls de l’Institut Botànic Barcelona 9:1-24 98. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1984) Briòfits. In: Ros J, et al. (eds) Els sistemes naturals de les illes Medes. Insti­ tut d’Estudis Catalans. Barcelona, pp. 129-130 99. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Sérgio C, Sim-Sim M (1984) Estudio de la flora briofítica de las comarcas ali­ cantinas. Anales de Biología 2:215-228 100. Casas C, Fuertes E, Varo J (1984) Aportación al conoci­ miento de la flora briológica española. Nótula VI: Mus­ gos y hepáticas del Macizo del Moncayo. Anales de Biología 2:229-247 101. Casas C, Reinoso J (1984) Metzgeria temperata Kuwah., novedad para la brioflora de Galicia. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 40:321-323 102, Sérgio C, Sim-Sim M, Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (1984) A vegetaçao briologica das formaçoes calcarias de Portugal-II. O Barrocal Algarvio e o Promontorio Sa­ cro. Boletim Sociedade Broteriana Ser. 2, 57:275-307 103. Canalís V, Casas C (1985) Novetats per la brioflora dels Pirineus Centrals. Collectanea Botanica 16:59-62 104. Casas C (1985) El desenvolupament de la briologia als Països Catalans. Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’His­ tò­ria Natural 50:91-96 105. Casas C (1985) Rhodobryum ontariense (Kindb.) Kindb. a Catalunya. Orsis 1:3-7 106. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Sérgio C (1985) Carto­ grafia de briòfits: Península Ibérica i les illes Balears, Ca­

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108. 109.

110. 111.

112.

113. 114.

115.

116.

117.

118.

119.

120.

121.

122. 123.

124.

nà­ries, Açores i Madeira. Fasc. I:1-50. 50 mapes. Insti­ tut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Sérgio C, Sim-Sim M (1985). Estudi de la brioflora dels Ports de Beseit. Orsis 1:13-31 Casas C, Lloret F, Pérez R (1985) Addicions a la brioflo­ ra del Montseny. Orsis 1:9-12 Casas C, Peñuelas J (1985) Dychelyma falcatum (Hedw.) Myr., a glacial relict new to Southern Europe. Journal of Bryology 13:591-592 Casas C, Puche F (1985) Contribución a la brioflora de la Sierra Palomita (Teruel). Orsis 1:33-41 Manobens RM, Casas C (1985) Mielichhoferia elongata (Musci), espècie nova per a la brioflora ibèrica, i altres aportacions. Collectanea Botanica 16:323-326 Peñuelas J, Canalís V, Casas C (1985) Aportació al co­ neixement de la brioflora aquàtica de l’alta muntanya pirinenca. Collectanea Botanica 16:51-57 Casas C (1986) Brioteca Hispánica. Acta Botanica Malacitana 11:83-112 Casas Sicart C (1986) Catálogo de los briófitos de la vertiente española del Pirineo Central y de Andorra. Co­ llectanea Botanica 16:255-321 Casas C (1986) Briòfits del Montseny. In: El patrimoni biològic del Montseny. Catàleg de flora i fauna. Servei de Parcs Naturals, Diputació de Barcelona, pp. 31-39 Casas C, Sérgio C, Crops RM, Brugués M (1986) Acaulon dertosense, sp. nov., musgo terrícola de los olivares del Baix Ebre (Catalunya). Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 42:299-301 Casas C (1987) P. Font i Quer (1888-1964). Homenaje al Farmacéutico Español. Monografía Beecham 34, Ma­ drid, pp. 133-138 Casas C, Fuertes E, Varo J (1987) Aportaciones al co­ nocimiento de la flora briológica española. Nótula VII: El Valle del Cuiña, Sierra de Ancares. Universidad de Gra­ nada, Act VI Simp Nac Bot Cript, pp. 473-483 Elías MJ, Casas C (1987) Andreaea Hedw., en el occi­ dente del Sistema Central. Universidad de Granada, Act VI Simp Nac Bot Cript, pp. 499-504 Sérgio C, Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Sim-Sim M (1987) Bryophyte vegetation and ecology of calcareous areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Proceedings of the IAB Conference of Bryoecology, Simposia Biologica Hunga­ rica 35:423-446 Sérgio C, Sim-Sim M, Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1987) Alguns musgos novos ou raros para a flora de Portugal, recentemente encontrados no Maciço Calcá­ rio Estremenho. Revista Biologica da Universidade Avei­ ro 1:47-52 Casas Sicart C (1987-1988) Datos para la brioflora de la Sierra de Gredos. Lazaroa 10:265-267 Casas C (1988) La Botànica a la Facultat de Farmàcia de la Universitat Autònoma (Barcelona 1933-1939). Mis­cel·lània Homenatge al Dr. P. Font i Quer, Lleida, pp. 101-109 Casas C (1988) L’activitat docent del Dr. P. Font i Quer a la Facultat de Farmàcia de Barcelona. Homenatge de

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125. 126.

127.

128.

129.

130.

131.

132.

133. 134. 135.

136.

137.

138.

139.

140.

la Facultat de Farmàcia de Barcelona al Dr. P. Font i Quer en el Centenari del seu Naixement. Universitat de Barcelona pp. 21-42 Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1988) La brioflora de la Sierra de Gata. Orsis 3:27-40 Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1988) Musgos del her­ bario JACA recolectados en el Pirineo por P. Montserrat y sus colaboradores. Homenaje a P. Montserrat. Mono­ grafías Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología de Jaca 4:131142 Casas i Sicart C, Elías MJ (1988) Notas breves. Ditrichum lineare (Sw.) Lindb. en la Peña de Francia (Sala­ manca). Collectanea Botanica 17:307-308 Casas C, Heras P, Reinoso J, Rodríguez-Oubiña J (1988) Consideraciones sobre la presencia en España de Campylopus introflexus (Hedw.) Brid., C. pilifer Brid. Orsis 3:21-26 Sérgio C, Sim-Sim M, Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1988) A vegetaçao briologica das formaçoes calcarias de Portugal-IV. O Maciço Calcário Estremenho. Serras de Aire, Candeeiros e Sicó. Memórias da Sociedade Broteriana 28:93-135 Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Sérgio C (1989) Carto­ grafia de Briòfits: Península Ibèrica i les illes Balears, Canàries, Açores i Madeira. Fasc. II:51-100. 50 mapes. Institut d’Estudis Catalans & Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona Casas i Sicart C, Pérez-Obiol R (1989) Noves dades so­ bre briòfits semifòssils de la Garrotxa. Butlletí de la Insti­ tució Catalana d’Història Natural 56:27-30 Casas C, Zuttere Ph de (1989) Dades per a la brioflora de Sant Llorenç del Munt. I Trobada d’estudiosos de Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac. Diputació de Barcelona Casas C (1990) Crossidium aberrans Holz. & Bartr. a l’Aragó. Orsis 5:155-156 Casas C (1990) Datos para la brioflora de Burgos. Orsis 5:157-161 Casas Sicart C (1990) Síntesis biogeográfica de la brio­ flora de los Pirineos, Sierras Cantábricas y Macizo Galai­ co-Portugués. Botánica Pirenaico-Cantábrica pp. 21-34 Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1990) Ditrichum flexicaule (Schwaegr.) Hampe y D. crispatissimum en la Pe­ nínsula Ibérica e Islas Baleares. Botánica PirenaicoCantábrica, Jaca, pp. 34-41 Casas C, Sérgio C (1990) Acaulon fontiquerianum sp. nov. de la Península Ibèrica. Cryptogamie, BryologieLichénologie 11:57-62 Casas C, Sérgio C, Cros RM, Brugués M (1990) Datos sobre el género Acaulon en la Península Ibérica. Crypto­ gamie, Bryologie-Lichénologie 11:63-70 Sérgio C, Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (1990) Notas Breves. Schizymenium pontevedrensis, una nueva combinación para una especie endémica del género Mielichhoferia en la Península Ibérica. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 46:606-608 Casas C (1991) New checklist of Spanish mosses. Orsis 6:3-26

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141. Canalís V, Casas C (1992) Encalypta affinis Hedw. f. i Encalypta alpina Sm. als Pirineus. Actes Simp Int Bot P Font i Quer 1988, Lleida, pp. 223-229 142. Casas C (1992) Brioteca Hispánica. Boletín de la Socie­ dad Española de Briología 0:2-4 143. Casas C (1992) Una nova localitat de Conostomum tetragonum (Hedw.) Lindb. als Pirineus. Orsis 7:149-150 144. Casas C (1992) Una notícia històrica: Sphagnum papillosum Lindb. a Santa Fe de Montseny. Orsis 7:155-157 145. Casas i Sicart C (1992) La brioflora del massís de Garraf. I Trobada d’estudiosos de Garraf, Diputació de Barce­ lona 146. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1992) Distribució del gènere Racomitrium Brid. secció Racomitrium a la Pe­ nínsula Ibèrica. Actes Simp Int Bot P Font i Quer 1988, Lleida, pp. 231-235 147. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1992) Els briòfits del Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici i la seva zona d’influència. La investigació al Parc Nacio­ nal d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici. Segones jornades sobre recerca 1991. Generalitat de Catalunya, Lleida 148. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (1992) Endangered bryo­ phytes of the Iberian Peninsula: Los Monegros. Biologi­ cal Conservation 59:221-222 149. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Sérgio C (1992) Carto­ grafia de Briòfits: Península Ibérica i les illes Balears, Ca­ nà­ries, Açores i Madeira. Fasc. III:101-150. 50 mapes. Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona 150. Casas C, Fuertes E. Brugués M, Cros RM, Reinoso J (1992) Aportaciones a la flora briológica española. Notu­ la VIII. Los Páramos de la Lora (Burgos, España). Studia Botanica 10:109-122 151. Casas i Sicart C (1993) Els briófits a la Península Ibèrica. Reial Acadèmia de Farmàcia de Catalunya, Sessió inau­ gural, Barcelona 152. Casas C (1993) Validation of Goniomitrium seroi Casas. Orsis 8:151 153. Casas C (1993) Brioteca Hispánica. Boletín de la Socie­ dad Española de Briología 1:2-11 154. Casas C (1993) Modificaciones a ‘New checklist of Span­ ish mosses’ II. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Brio­ logía 2:2 155. Casas C (1993) Brioteca Hispánica. Boletín de la Socie­ dad Española de Briología 2:2-12 156. Casas i Sicart C (1993) Una antiga contribució a la brio­ flora catalana: recol·leccions de P. Font i Quer i els seus col.laboradors (1911-1919). Butlletí de la Institució Ca­ talana d’Història Natural 61:33-39 157. Casas C (1993) Brioteca Hispánica. Boletín de la Socie­ dad Española de Briología 3:2-7 158. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (1993) Crossidium laevipilum Thèr. & Trab. a la comarca de la Terra Alta (Tarra­ gona). Orsis 8:143-146 159. Casas C, Cros RM, Muñoz J (1993) Triquetrella arapilensis y especies afines: su morfología y distribución geográfica. The Bryologist 96:122-131

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160. Muñoz J, Casas C (1993) Datos para la brioflora del nor­ te de España. Orsis 8:153-155 161. Sérgio C, Herbrard JP, Casas C (1993) Acaulon fontiquerianum Casas et Sérgio (Musci, Pottiaceae) nouveau pour la bryoflore du Portugal, de France et de Corse. Orsis 8:11-19 162. Sérgio C, Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1994) Lista Vermelha dos Briòfitos da Península Ibérica. Instituto da conservaçao da Natureza, Lisboa 163. Casas C (1994) Orthotrichum acuminatum Philib., una novetat als Països Catalans. Orsis 9:113-115 164. Casas i Sicart (1994) Addenda a la brioflora de Sant Llo­ renç del Munt. II Trobada d’estudiosos de Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac 21:21-23, Diputació de Barcelona 165. Casas C (1994) Els briòfits del cap de Creus. In: La pe­ nínsula del Cap de Creus i la serra de Verdera. Institut d’Estudis Empordanesos 166. Elías MJ, Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Oliva R, Gran­ zow de la Cerda I, Muñoz J, Ederra A, Rupidera JL (1994) Aportaciones al conocimiento de la flora briológi­ ca española. Nótula IX: musgos, hepáticas y antocero­ tas de los Arribes del Duero (NW de Salamanca). Studia Botanica 13:163-173 167. Fuertes E, Casas C, Cros RM, Ederra A, Muñoz J, Oliva R (1994) Aportaciones al conocimiento de la flora brioló­ gica española. Nótula X: musgos y hepáticas de la ver­ tiente noroccidental de Sierra Morena (Badajoz). Studia Botanica 19:45-58 168. Casas C (1995) In Memoriam. Josep Vives i Codina (1931-1993). Orsis 10:127-129 169. Casas C (1995) Brioteca Hispánica 1993-1994. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 7:11-14 170. Casas i Sicart C (1995) La Brioflora dels Països Cata­ lans. Arxius de la Secció de Ciències 100:159-181, Ins­ titut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona 171. Casas C, Brugués M (1995) Dues aportacions de J. Vi­ ves a la briologia catalana. Orsis 10:123-125 172. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1995) Els esfagnes de les mulleres del Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici. III Jornades sobre Recerca al Parc Na­ cional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, Generali­ tat de Catalunya, Lleida 173. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (1995) Loscos y la brio­ logía española. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 53:163-169 174. Casas C, Sérgio C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1995) Los há­ bitats de las especies amenazadas de briófitos de la Pe­ nínsula Ibérica. XI Simposio Nacional de Botánica Crip­ togámica 1995, Santiago de Compostela 175. Muñoz J, Brugués M, Casas C, Cros RM, Ederra A, Fuer­ tes E, Heras P, Infante M, Sérgio C (1995) Aportaciones al conocimiento de la flora briológica española. Notula XI: Hepáticas y musgos de la Liébana (Cantabria, N-Espa­ ña). Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 7:1-9 178. Casas C, Ederra A, Heras P, Infante M, Muñoz J (19951996) Aproximación a la brioflora burgalesa. Estudios del Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Álava 10-11:73-90

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179. Casas C (1996) Modificaciones a ‘New checklist of Span­ ish mosses’ III. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Brio­ logía 9:8-10 180. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1996) Bryological notes. Brachythecium dieckii Röll in Spain. Journal of Bryology 19:193 181. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Sérgio C (1996) Carto­ grafia de Briòfits: Península Ibèrica i les illes Balears, Canàries, Açores i Madeira 4:151-200. 50 mapes. Insti­ tut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona 182. Casas C, Sérgio C (1996) Nota briològica. Hedwigia stellata Hedenäs a la Península Ibèrica. Orsis 11:183-186 183. Ros RM, Guerra J, Casas C (1996) Bryological advan­ ces in Spain (1983-1992). Bocconea 5:325-334 184. Sérgio C, Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (1996) Bryolo­ gical notes. Fossombronia maritima (Paton) Paton in the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Bryology 19:349 185. Casas C (1997) Brioteca Hispánica 1995-1996. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 10:9-15 186. Casas C (1997) Nota briològica. Pohlia andalusica (Höhn.) Broth., una novetat per a la brioflora dels Piri­ neus. Orsis 12:163-164 187. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1997) Musgos de la ver­ tiente española de los Pirineos en peligro de extinción. Estudios del Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Álava 12:51-55 188. Casas C, Brugués M, Sérgio C (1997) Algunos datos para a brioflora de Galicia. España. Boletim da Sociedade Broteriana 68:213-225 189. Sérgio C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Casas C (1997) Flora e vegetação briológica do Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede. Portugaliae Acta Biologica (B) Sist 17:5-46 190. Sérgio C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Casas C (1997-1998) Dados sobre a brioflora de charcos e de cursos de água temporários com Isoetes, na Península Ibérica. Agrono­ mia Lusitana 46:21-28 191. Brugués M, Casas C, Belmonte J (1998) Bryological Notes. On the status of Pyramidula algeriensis Chadeau & Douin, syn. nov., with observations on the spores of P. tetragona (Brid.) Brid. and Goniomitrium seroi Cas. de Puig in Spain. Journal of Bryology 20:502-504 192. Casas C (1998) Trichostomopsis umbrosa (C. Müll.) Robins y Tortula ruralis (Hedw.) Gaertn., Meyer & Scherb. var. hirsuta (Vent.) Par. al Sur de la provincia de Soria. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 12:10-11 193. Casas C (1998) The Anthocerotae and Hepaticae of Spain and Balearic Islands: a preliminary checklist. Orsis 13:17-26 194. Casas C, Brugués M (1998) Cinclidotus danubicus Schiffn. & Baumg. i Didymodon mamillosus (Crundw.) M. Hill a la península Ibèrica. Orsis 13:119-123 195. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1998) Les espècies del gènere Andreaea del Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Es­ tany de Sant Maurici. IV Jornades sobre recerca al Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, Octu­ bre 1997. Espot (Pallars Sobirà), Generalitat de Catalu­ nya, pp. 127-136

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196. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (1998) La brioflora de la península del cap de Creus. Acta Botanica Barcinonensia (Homenatge a O. de Bolòs) 45:157-172 197. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Sérgio C, Font J (1998) Els briòfits de les basses de l’Albera, Alt Empordà. Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural 66:73-80 198. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Sérgio C, Gutiérrez C (1998) Noves localitats d’Hookeria lucens (Hedw.) Sm. al Montseny. Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural 66:91-94 199. Casas C, Girbal J (1998) Campylium elodes (Linb.) Kindb. a la península Ibèrica. Orsis 13:51-54 200. Casas C, Infante M (1998) Aportaciones al conocimiento del género Lophozia en la península Ibérica. Orsis 13:43-50 201. Casas C (1999) Modificaciones a ‘New Checklist of Spanish Mosses’ IV. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 14:13-15 202. Casas C (1999) Neckera besseri, Homalia lusitanica i Homalia trichomanoides (molses) als Països Catalans. Orsis 14:31-37 203. Casas C (1999) Revisión de los ejemplares de Schisti­ dium distribuidos en la Brioteca Hispánica. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 15:9-10 204. Casas C (2000) Algunes molses noves o rares per a la brioflora catalana. Acta Botanica Barcinonensia 46:8995 205. Casas C (2000) El género Schistidium Bruch & Schimp. en España. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 16:1-9 206. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Sérgio C (2000) Flora Briofítica Ibérica. Referencias Bibliográficas. Treballs de l’Institut Botànic de Barcelona 17:1-58 207. Casas C (2001) Les espècies del gènere Schistidium Bruch & Schimp. dels Països Catalans. Orsis 16:9-28 208. Casas C, Blom HH, Cros RM (2001) Schistidium occi­ dentale from the Sierra Nevada (Spain), new to the European bryophyte flora. Journal of Bryology 23:301-304 209. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (2001) Flora dels Briòfits dels Països Catalans I. Molses. Secció de Ciències Biològiques, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona 210. Brugués M, Sérgio C, Cros RM, Casas C (2002) Los briófitos de las zonas altas de Sierra Nevada (Andalucía, España). Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 20-21:1-7 211. Casas C (2002) Brioteca Hispánica 1997-1999. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 20-21:11-21 212. Casas C (2002) Modificaciones a ‘New Checklist of Spanish Mosses’ V. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 20-21:9-10 213. Sáez Ll, Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (2002) New bryo­ logical data from the Balearic islands Cryptogamie. Bryologie 23:181-187 214. Sérgio C, Casas C (2002) Bryum neodamense Itzigs. novo elemento para a brioflora de Portugal. In: Sérgio C (ed) Notulae Bryoflorae Lusitanicae VIII. Portugaliae Acta Biologica 20:106-107

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Llimona

215. Brugués M, Sérgio C, Casas C, Cros RM (2003) Rediscovery of Brachymenium commutatum (Müll.Hal.) A. Jaeger and Pohlia andalusica (Höhn.) Broth. in Sierra Nevada (SE Spain). Lindbergia 28:99-101 216. Casas C, Barrón A (2003) Els briòfits saprobiolignícoles de la Vall d’Aran. Acta Botanica Barcinonensia 49:167172 217. Casas C (2004) La reproducció vegetativa de les molses i els seus mecanismes d’adaptació al medi àrid. Omnis Cellula 4:17-24 218. Casas C (2004) Brachythecium turgidum (Hartm.) Kindb. in the Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici: New to the Spanish bryoflora. Braun-Blanquetia 34:9-10 219. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Sáez L, Balaguer P (2004) Referencias bibliogràficas sobre la flora briofítica de las Islas Baleares. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 25:33-40 220. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM (2004) Flora dels Briòfits dels Països Catalans II. Hepàtiques i antocerotes. Secció de Ciències Biològiques, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona 221. Heras P, Infante M, Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M (2004) Contribución a la brioflora del Pirineo Aragonés. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 25:25-31 222. Casas C (2005) Catàleg de les molses d’Andorra. Orsis 20:41-59 223. Casas C, Cros RM, Brugués M, Ruiz E, Sérgio C, Barrón A, Lloret F (2006) Aportaciones a la brioflora del Pirineo. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 28:73-86 224. Casas C (2006) Brioteca Hispánica 2000-2004. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 28:1-9 225. Puche F, Casas C, Brugués M (2006) Didymodon ecke­ liae (Pottiaceae), new to Europe. The Bryologist 109:239-241 226. Ruiz E, Brugués M, Casas C (2006) Hypnum uncinula­ tum Jur. new to peninsular Spain. Cryptogamie, Bryo­ logie 27:399-402 227. Sáez L, Brugués M, Casas C, Cros RM, Balaguer P (2006) Briófitos nuevos o interesantes para las Islas Baleares. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 28:11-23 228. Sáez L, Brugués M, Casas C, Cros RM, Balaguer P (2006) New bryological data from Balearic Islands. II. Cryptogamie, Bryologie 27:387-394 229. Sérgio C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Casas C, García C (2006) Red List and an updated checklist of bryophytes of the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal, Spain and Andorra) Lindbergia 31:109-126 230. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Sérgio C (2006) Handbook of mosses of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. Secció de Ciències Biològiques, Institut d’Es­tu­ dis Catalans, Barcelona 231. Brugués M, Casas C, Solé L (2007) Los briófitos de la zona volcánica de Olot (Girona) Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 30-31:19-24

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Professor Creu Casas i Sicart

232. Brugués M, Muñoz J, Ruiz E, Heras P (2007) Sphagnaceae. In: Brugués M, Cros RM, Guerra J (eds) Flora Briofítica Ibérica. Sphagnales, Andreaeales, Polytrichales, Tetraphidales, Buxbaumiales, Diphysciales, vol. 1. Universidad de Murcia, Sociedad Española de Briología, Murcia, pp. 17-78 233. Brugués M, Ruiz E, Casas C (2007) Polytrichaceae. In: Brugués M, Cros RM, Guerra J (eds) Flora Briofítica Ibé­ rica. Sphagnales, Andreaeales, Polytrichales, Tetraphidales, Buxbaumiales, Diphysciales, vol. 1. Universidad de Murcia, Sociedad Española de Briología, Murcia, pp. 101-128 234. Sérgio C, Casas C (2007) 6. Pohlia filum (Schimp.) Mar­ tensson (Bryaceae) nova espécie para a brioflora portu­ guesa. In: Sérgio C (ed) Notulae Bryoflorae Lusitanicae X. Portugaliae Acta Biologica 22:199 235. Sérgio C, Brugués M, Casas C (2007) Trichostomum tenuirostre (Hook. & Taylor) Lindb. (Pottiaceae) nova es­ pécie para a brioflora de Portugal continental. Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 30-31:57-59 236. Casas C, Brugués M, Cros RM, Sérgio C (2009) Hand­ book of Liverworts and Hornworts of the Iberian Penin­ sula and Balearic Islands. Secció de Ciències Biològi­ ques, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona

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Contrib. Sci. 8 (1), 2012   117

Biographical bibliography 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7. 8.

Barceló Coll J (2009) In memoriam Creu Casas i Sicart. El Butlletí de l’IEC 116 Cros RM, Brugués M (2009) In memoriam Creu Casas (1913-2007). Orsis 22:121-134 Duran X (2004) Creu Casas. Fundació Catalana per la Recerca, Barcelona, 170 pp. Institut d’Estudis Catalans (2007) Mort Creu Casas: pri­ mera dona membre numerària de l’Institut d’Estudis Ca­ talans. Recull de prensa. http://www.iec.cat/butlleti/pdf/ 109_butlleti_creu.pdf Llimona X (2007) Creu Casas i Sicart. El butlletí de l’IEC 11 Puche F (2007) Biografía i bibliografía de Creu Casas. Bo­ letín de la Sociedad Española de Briología 30-31:3-18 Vigo i Bonada J (2008) Creu Casas Sicart (Barcelona 1913-2007). Acta Botanica Barcinonensia 51:137-139 Anonymous (2007) Dra Creu Casas Sicart (1913-2007). Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 64:243-244

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CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE

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Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona

contents

Volume 8 Issue 1

June 2012

Giner S

9

foreword distinguished lectures Margalef Prize Lecture 2011

Castilla JC

11

Conservation and social-ecological systems in the 21st century of the Anthropocene era

CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE

CONTRIBUTIONS to SCIENCE

CONTRIBUTIONS to

SCIENCE

focus Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Ros J

23

Rachel Carson, sensitive and perceptive interpreter of nature

Molina T

33

The theme of Earth Day and the social perception of what is really happening to our planet

Suriñach E

41

Recent large earthquakes from a geophysical perspective

Simó R

47

Sea and sky. The marine biosphere as an agent of change

Bradley RS

53

What can we learn from past warm periods? The Nobel Prizes of 2011

61

Dendritic cells (DC) and their Toll-like receptors (TLR): Vital elements at the core of all individual immune responses. On the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 awarded to Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann, and Ralph M. Steinman

Massó E

69

The accelerated universe. On the Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Riess

Volume 8 Issue 1    June 2012

June 2012

Juan Otero M

Volume 8 Issue 1

Celebration of Earth Day 2011

research articles Martínez-Francés V, Hahn E, Juan J, Vila R, Ríos S, Cañigueral S

77

Ethnobotanical study of the sages used in traditional Valencian medicine and as essential oil: Characterization of an endemic Salvia and its contribution to local development forum

Piqueras M, Guerrero R, Omedes A

85

The Museu Blau, a natural history museum for the 21st century

Murià JM

93

A transition from indigenous to European technology in colonial Mexico: The case of tequila historical corner

Asensi F

99

Fighting against smallpox around the world. The vaccination expeditions of Xavier de Balmis (1803–1806) and Josep Salvany (1803–1810) biography and bibliography

Llimona X

Cub. Contrib 8-1.indd 1

107

Professor Creu Casas i Sicart (1913–2007)

Barcelona • Catalonia

25/09/2012 16:52:34

Contributions to Science  

Contributions to Science is the international journal of the Biological Sciences Section and the Science and Technology Section of the Insti...