We are late. It was in 1807, that Humboldt & Bonpland (39) summarized their experiences from observations and measurements made between 1799 and 1803 in the new world's tropical belt under the title "Ideas for a Ge ogr aÂ phy of Plants." They stated that this new branch of botany was to study the distribution of plants in various climates, and differentiated well between characteristics based on different geographical latitude o r elevation above sea level. The main climatic factors studied were temperature, humidity, atmoÂ spheric pressure, and electric tension. But a far wider scope of geographical aspects is presented to the reader. The vary ing plant communities, the spread of plant species, and the necessity for development of botanical maps were equally stressed. Conclusions and applications were postulated, such as the support for the theory of land bridges between Africa and America, the imÂ pact of agr ic ulture on climate and plant growth, the search for primitive plant species under the aspect of descendence and development, the signifiÂ cance for paleo-botany and paleontology as well as for anthropology, agriculÂ ture, and human nutrition. The "ideas" end with a vision of the capacity for forecasting of future
Annual Review of Phytopathology – Annual Reviews
Published: Sep 1, 1972
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