Foundations of Ecology and Biogeography

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Linnaeus "every seed shall find its good soil”, Systematics


leClark and Buffon nature is in a perpetual state of flux, Animals are small in the new world, Species on different continencts must have common origin, Different regions (even with similar climates) are inhabited by distinct biotas, Continents were formally connected – but did not move, “Vicariant Event” – where a population divided can result in changes to each new group


Malthus Essay on population Discussed carrying capacity Exponential growth Inspired Darwin


Yohan Reinhold Forster Traveled with Capt. Cook Vegetation varies by climate and environment Type of vegetation determines type of fauna Same species can vary by climate



"Lamarck" disussed concept of heredity of traits aquired during an individual's lifetime


Alexander von Humboldt Defined isobar and isotherm, “Father of phytogeography” (Brown and Lemolina)


Agustin de Candolle Made distinctions between habitats and biogeographic regions. Refuted single origin of all plants - described instead that plants are "product of joint influence of temperature, soil, and the particular composition of moisture on the earth."


Edward Forbes Increase in depth synonymous to increase in latitude


James Dwight Dana Mountain building, volcanic activity, origin of continents, Limiting factor for northward movement is minimum temperature


Joseph Dalton Hooker Challenged Darwin’s ideas about dispersal, Coined what is now recognized as “vicariance hypothosis”


Phillip Scelltey Applied Buffon’s law and classified world’s regions (focused on bird diversity), Interrelationships between areas can be defined by endemic species


Asa Gray Made guide to north American species, Recognized similarity between north American and Asiatic species


Darwin Barriers to migration allow time for natural selection, Single centers of creation, then radiation, Individuals near edges are more ancient than those at center, Dispersal is important for evolution


Alfred Russel Wallace “father of biogeography”, Wallace’s line, Peer of Darwin


Herbert Spencer first said "survival of the fittest", Populations adjust to create stable equilibrium of birth and death rates - population control


Heinrich Haeckel Coined term Ecology (“oikos”), Evolution makes sense of biology


Stephen Alfred Forbes Studied lakes as 'complete ecosystems' that facilitate studying them as an ecological unit, one of the first to study food webs


Clinton Hart Merriam Lifezones between climate and vegetation, Influenced by van Humboldt and Forster


Henry Chandler Cowles Succession in sand dunes in Indiana, emphasized interaction between plants and soils/geology, thought that systems were always moving towards equilibrium but never arrive there



Hermann von Ihering Had theory for origin on South America to explain biodiversity, Historical reconstructions of the development and the spread of biotas should be based on zoogeography of ancient life forms


Wegner Continental drift


William Diller Matthew Reinforced centers of origin using fossils


Frederic Clements Climax theory, thought of community as super-organism, published first American textbook in ecology


Joseph Grinnell (1877-1939) Expert of North American birds, concept of niche was roughly synonymous to habitat. Included ideas of competitive exclusion. Published primarily descriptive works.


Raymond Pearl Noted that human population change seemed to follow a regular S-shaped curve which he called the "logistic curve," following Pierre-Francois Verhulst, a Belgian mathematician. Also worked on predator-prey interactions.


Vito Volterra (1860-1940) and Alfred James Lotka (1880-1949) whose work resulted in the Lotka-Volterra' equations, which is still used in models of predation.


Henry Allen Gleason (1882-1975) Proposed individualistic concept of plant association, in contrast to Clements. Recognized differences in community composition between areas, but noted that there is rarely a clear distinction between them, and that these differences depend on the scale at which one looks. Current location of plants depends on two factors, the chance of dispersal to the region and fluctuations in the environment. August Thienemann" relationship between community and habitat in context of succession. Stressed that systems can be dynamic and still support stable community.


Charles Elton Wrote book "Animal Ecology" and began to develop niche concept as an animal's place the food chain


J.B.S Haldane, R.A. Fisher, and Sewall Wright introduced ecological genetics


Sven Eckman Worldwide distribution of marine animals. Arthur Tansley coined term "ecosystem" as an improvement over "quasi-organism" Georgii F. Gause (1910-1986) Published "Struggle for Existance" introduced mathematics into study of predator/prey dynamics. Alexander John Nicholson (1895-1965) Australian entomoligist worked with Victor Albert Baily added intraspecific competition into the Lotka-Volterra models.


Raymond Lindemann (1915-1942) Physiological and community ecology, the "trophic dynamic aspect" of ecology. Studied links between short-term processes with long-term trends. Integrated biotic and abiotic aspects of ecosystems.


Evgenii Vladimirovitch Wulff, Botanical biogeography, Looked for major plant centers


Patrick H. Leslie developed method of analyzing populations using matrix algebra


H.G. Andrewartha and L.C. Birch studied density dependence of population regulation


G. Evelyn Hutchinson n-dimensional nitch concept