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Essay on the Geography of Plants Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland. Edited and with an Introduction by Stephen T. Jackson. Translated by Sylvie Romanowski. 2009. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Pp. 296, 1 color plate, 9 halftones, 7 tables, 1 poster. $45.00 (cloth). ISBN 9780226360669.

Author(s): Ian Smith

Journal: Ethnobiology Letters
ISSN 2159-8126

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 28;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: geography | Humboldt | Bonpland | biogeography | Mt. Chimborazo | botany | historical ecology

Alexander von Humboldt established himself as one of the fathers of modern day biogeography when he wrote his Essai sur la Géographie des Plantes and accompanying Tableau Physique des Andes et Pays Voisins. This essay, based on scientific observations collected from a five year scientific expedition and journey from 1799-1804 through the Americas with Aimé Bonpland, was first presented in 1807. In Cosmos and other writings, Humboldt provided many intellectual insights to our modern understanding of the world including the similarity of plants growing at higher altitudes to those growing at lower and higher latitudes and the historical positions of the continents. A highly distinguished scientist in his own time and a contemporary of Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, and a multitude of influential scientific minds, Humboldt has faded from today’s public consciousness. This may not be the case for long.
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