Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Braun-Blanquet, Josias (Switzerland-France 1884-1980)
plant ecology

Photo courtesy of the Museum of Nature in Chur.
Braun-Blanquet was the early- and mid-twentieth century leader of the Zurich-Montpellier school of plant sociology--itself the leading twentieth century European school of plant ecology. Characteristic of the Braun-Blanquet approach was an emphasis on pattern rather than process, classification of units based on floristic composition and nothing else, and the identification of "characteristic species" rather than dominant forms. Braun-Blanquet solidified his dominance through his book Pflanzensoziologie, a classic title which went through two later new editions into the 1960s. Braun-Blanquet was for many years director of the Station Internationale de Géobotanique Mediterranéene et Alpine, located at Montpellier, France. Braun-Blanquet's high rank of influence within the world of European plant ecology has never been duplicated in the U. S., where most workers have preferred approaches more attuned to the dynamics of natural stands of vegetation, multivariate causal explanations, and applied contexts.

Life Chronology

--born in Chur, Switzerland, on 3 August 1884.
--1905-1912: assistant to Schröter, Brockmann-Jerosch and Rübel
--1913-1915: studies at Montpellier, France, under the supervision of Charles Flahault
--1914-1921: sets up experimental plots in the Swiss National Park
--1915: Ph.D., University of Montpellier
--1915-1922: assistant to Eduard Rübel
--1922-1926: lecturer, University of Zurich
--1928: publishes his Pflanzensoziologie
--1930-1980: director of the International Station for Alpine and Mediterranean Geobotany (SIGMA), Montpellier, France
--1932: publishes his Plant Sociology; The Study of Plant Communities (translated from the German)
--1948: founds and is made the first editor of Vegetatio
--1948: publishes his La Végétation Alpine des Pyrénées Orientales
--1974: awarded the gold medal of the Linnean Society of London
--dies at Montpellier, France, on 20 September 1980.

For Additional Information, See:

--International Year Book and Statesmen's Who's Who, 1982 (1982).
--Knowledge and Society, Vol. 8 (1989): 139-186.
--Taxonomic Literature, Supplement III (1995).
--Vegetatio, Vol. 48(3) (1982): 193-196. [in French]
--Ecology, Vol. 14(1) (1933): 70-74. [review of Plant Sociology by H. A. Gleason]

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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