Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Holdridge, L(eslie) R(ensselaer) (United States 1907-1999)
forestry, ecology

L. R. Holdridge specialized in tropical forestry throughout his long career, both as a civil servant and in the private sector. On this subject he became the foremost expert of his time. But he is best known for a life zones chart he constructed which graphically interrelated potential evapotranspiration and annual precipitation value ranges in a manner identifying the climatological limits of all the major vegetational provinces. The chart, introduced in a 1947 publication and later enhanced in his book Life Zones Ecology in 1964, was hugely influential, though Holdridge was careful to point out that these particular climatological variables could not be expected to perfectly predict actual assemblages, whose evolutions are often secondarily shaped by additional geological, edaphic, and anthropogenic forces.

Life Chronology

--born in Ledyard, Connecticut, on 29 September 1907.
--1931: B.S. in forestry, University of Maine
--1933-1934: reforestation foreman, Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana (Civilian Conservation Corps)
--1935-1938: head of the planting department, Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico
--1938-1941: forester for the U. S Forestry Service, Puerto Rico
--1941-1942, 1943-1946: manager, forestry division, Société Haitiano-Americaine Development Agricole
--1942-1943, 1947-1949: cinchona researcher in Colombia and Guatemala
--1947: publishes "Determination of World Plant Formations From Simple Climatic Data" in Science
--1947: M.S. & Ph.D. in botany, University of Michigan
--1949-1960: forester and ecologist, Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Turrialba, Costa Rica (dean of the graduate school, 1959-1960)
--1954: establishes the La Selva research station in Costa Rica
--1961-1963: private ecological consultant
--1963-1967: senior staff member, Central American field program, Associated Colleges of the Midwest
--1964: publishes his Life Zone Ecology
--1967: hired as ecologist by the Tropical Science Center, San José, Costa Rica
--1969: receives the Interamerican Medal of the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences
--1971: publishes his Forest Environments in Tropical Life Zones; A Pilot Study
--1978-1982: part time professor of ecology and dendrology, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica
--dies at Easton, Maryland, on 19 June 1999.

For Additional Information, See:

--Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 26(5) (1999): 1025-1038.

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Copyright 2007 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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