The Geography of Plants and Animals

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<ul><li><p>American Geographical Society</p><p>The Geography of Plants and AnimalsGeographie des Plantes by Henri Gaussen; Geographie des Animaux by Marcel PrenantGeographical Review, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Jan., 1934), pp. 172-173Published by: American Geographical SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/209518 .Accessed: 08/05/2014 18:12</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>American Geographical Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access toGeographical Review.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 18:12:05 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=agshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/209518?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>THE GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW </p><p>THE GEOGRAPHY OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS </p><p>HENRI GAUSSEN. G6ographie des Plantes. 222 pp.; maps, diagr., bibliogr. (Col- lection Armand Colin (Section de Geographie) No. I52.) Librairie Armand Colin, Paris, I933. Io fr. 50. 7 x 4X inches. </p><p>MARCEL PRENANT. Geographie des Animaux. 199 pp.; maps, bibliogr. (Collection Armand Colin (Section de Geographie) No. I53.) Librairie Armand Colin, Paris, I933. Io fr. 50. 7 x 42 inches. </p><p>Biogeography-the geography of plants and animals-is much more than mere </p><p>description of the distribution of species. It involves the recognition of biological communities of widely varying sizes and types. It deals with the relations of such communities to One another and to their geographical environment; with the condi- tions and forces that bring about changes in the composition and structure of the communities as well as in the areas that they occupy and in their significance to mankind. </p><p>These small but extremely compact and thought-provoking books give an insight into the two branches of this complex and controversial science. Something of the </p><p>philosophy of biogeography and critiques of its methods and objects are presented, rather than systematic expositions of data as in a textbook. </p><p>Gaussen's volume is divided into two parts. The first treats of "plants taken </p><p>separately," or, more specifically, the geography of plants considered in terms of </p><p>species, genera, families, and orders and the grouping of floras. The second, " Groups of Plants," has to do with the geography of types of vegetation considered in terms, not of individual species, but of composition and form. The study of such groups from the static and dynamic points of view and their designation, description, and classification are discussed at some length. The two concluding chapters deal with the vegetation of France and give a brief survey of the vegetation of the world. </p><p>Gaussen maintains that, from the geographical point of view, the physiognomy of a given group or community of plants is more important than the actual species that the group comprises. Under similar environmental conditions in different continents quite different species may enter into the composition of-say moorland- </p><p>formations that have, nevertheless, almost identical morphological characteristics. " The environment imposes the formation (or its derivatives); it permits a particular" combination of species. The dynamic study of groups is concerned in the main with </p><p>changes brought about by the agency of man and has yielded results of great prac- tical value to farmers and foresters. " Natural dynamism," on the other hand, is </p><p>but little understood. Gaussen has scant respect for the minute investigation of </p><p>small quadrats to which many phytosociologists "attach enormous importance." He observes with dry humor: "It seems reasonable to me that the precision of </p><p>researches should be in proportion to the importance of the results to be obtained "- </p><p>a remark not without geographical application. Exaggerated ingenuity in the </p><p>development of technical terminology also draws his fire. Plant geography ought not to be allowed to become " an immense vocabulary-than which nothing is better </p><p>calculated to sterilize a science. One should be able to find nature behind the </p><p>vocabulary." A suggested systematic terminology of plant formations yields the </p><p>word " Macrophanerophytium"; Gaussen adds, "I prefer 'forest.'" Prenant's main theme is the dual nature of zoogeography, or the geography of </p><p>animals-a distributional, or primarily statistical, aspect and an ecological aspect. His two opening chapters discuss the distribution of animals from the static and </p><p>dynamic points of view-the areas occupied by different species and communities, </p><p>the spread of species, centers of dispersion, various phases of zo6geographical history, etc. The more ecological approach is exemplified in chapters on animals in relation </p><p>to natural environments, or milieux-adaptation, acclimatization, fundamental in- </p><p>I72 </p><p>This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 18:12:05 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEWS GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEWS </p><p>fluences of light, heat, humidity, climates, and soils, and special adaptations to terrestrial, aquatic, biologic, and human milieux. Biogeographical laws, so far as such laws may be formulated at the present time, are essentially statistical-state- ments of probabilities rather than of certainties. For example, "it is probable that the area of a species with highly developed powers of dissemination will be vast; that the area of a stenotherm will be narrow; that in two analogous milieux the biologic types will be comparable; . . . that the introduction of a new predatory in a harmonic fauna will upset the latter; that an area occupied at hazard will be continuous," etc. Prenant holds that the greatest current need in biogeographical research is for a closer integration of the statistical with the ecological methods, today at best connected "very empirically." </p><p>HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF PLANTS </p><p>E. V. WULFF. Introduction to the Historical Geography of Plants. 356 pp.; maps, diagrs., ills., bibliogrs. (In Russian, with an English summary.) Bull, of Ap- plied Botany, of Genetics and Plant-Breeding, Suppl. 52, Leningrad, I932. </p><p>The vegetation of a region is subject to numerous agencies either facilitating or checking its development. They are responsible for gradual changes in the bounda- ries of botanical areas, for the supplanting of some species or groups by others, the elimination of some species and complete floras, and the development of new forms, individuals, and their societies. The history of the evolution of vegetation as a whole as well as of its individual representatives is inseparable from the general history of the evolution of the earth's surface. Knowledge of the causes reveals the origin of the contemporary distribution of plants. On the other hand, knowledge of the evolution of the existing relationships helps to discover the causes and in this way to read the past history of the earth. The interesting and fundamental volume by E. V. Wulff is devoted to this subject. </p><p>After a substantial review of the general problems involved and of the methods of investigation and a historical sketch the author discusses the determination of the areas, their origin, boundaries, and centers, and their classification. By an area (area geographica) he means a definite territory of the surface of the earth occupied by some systematic unit of plant or animal life. </p><p>A chapter is devoted almost entirely to a discussion and criticism of the age-and- area thesis of J. Willis, which is based on the theory of monotypic formation of species with gradual expansion of the area of distribution. The quite opposite views developed by D. Rosa are mentioned only in a footnote. His is the thesis that formation of species took place not at some particular points or "centers of forma- tion" but over the entire territory of the original area. The more ancient forms of vegetation, being more primitive, were adapted to a wider range of natural condi- tions than the younger and more specialized species developed in the course of evolution. </p><p>In a discussion of the different forms of areas and their classification Wulff devotes special attention to discontinuous areas or " islands," of which he describes more than twenty principal types, </p><p>Analyzing the process of the geographical distribution of plants, Wulff, who supports a theory of monotypic formation of species, attacks the general question as to whether distribution "occurs gradually, step by step, occupying more and more territory until some impediment bars the spread or whether the dissemination of species can proceed in leaps through penetration of separate individuals into more or less distant localities isolated from the general area." His conclusion is that, in general, the distribution of plants is of a gradual character. Natural agencies, such as wind, currents of water, and birds, may be responsible for occasional but rather local dissemination of seeds and spores. However, no one of them is sufficient </p><p>fluences of light, heat, humidity, climates, and soils, and special adaptations to terrestrial, aquatic, biologic, and human milieux. Biogeographical laws, so far as such laws may be formulated at the present time, are essentially statistical-state- ments of probabilities rather than of certainties. For example, "it is probable that the area of a species with highly developed powers of dissemination will be vast; that the area of a stenotherm will be narrow; that in two analogous milieux the biologic types will be comparable; . . . that the introduction of a new predatory in a harmonic fauna will upset the latter; that an area occupied at hazard will be continuous," etc. Prenant holds that the greatest current need in biogeographical research is for a closer integration of the statistical with the ecological methods, today at best connected "very empirically." </p><p>HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF PLANTS </p><p>E. V. WULFF. Introduction to the Historical Geography of Plants. 356 pp.; maps, diagrs., ills., bibliogrs. (In Russian, with an English summary.) Bull, of Ap- plied Botany, of Genetics and Plant-Breeding, Suppl. 52, Leningrad, I932. </p><p>The vegetation of a region is subject to numerous agencies either facilitating or checking its development. They are responsible for gradual changes in the bounda- ries of botanical areas, for the supplanting of some species or groups by others, the elimination of some species and complete floras, and the development of new forms, individuals, and their societies. The history of the evolution of vegetation as a whole as well as of its individual representatives is inseparable from the general history of the evolution of the earth's surface. Knowledge of the causes reveals the origin of the contemporary distribution of plants. On the other hand, knowledge of the evolution of the existing relationships helps to discover the causes and in this way to read the past history of the earth. The interesting and fundamental volume by E. V. Wulff is devoted to this subject. </p><p>After a substantial review of the general problems involved and of the methods of investigation and a historical sketch the author discusses the determination of the areas, their origin, boundaries, and centers, and their classification. By an area (area geographica) he means a definite territory of the surface of the earth occupied by some systematic unit of plant or animal life. </p><p>A chapter is devoted almost entirely to a discussion and criticism of the age-and- area thesis of J. Willis, which is based on the theory of monotypic formation of species with gradual expansion of the area of distribution. The quite opposite views developed by D. Rosa are mentioned only in a footnote. His is the thesis that formation of species took place not at some particular points or "centers of forma- tion" but over the entire territory of the original area. The more ancient forms of vegetation, being more primitive, were adapted to a wider range of natural condi- tions than the younger and more specialized species developed in the course of evolution. </p><p>In a discussion of the different forms of areas and their classification Wulff devotes special attention to discontinuous areas or " islands," of which he describes more than twenty principal types, </p><p>Analyzing the process of the geographical distribution of plants, Wulff, who supports a theory of monotypic formation of species, attacks the general question as to whether distribution "occurs gradually, step by step, occupying more and more territory until some impediment bars the spread or whether the dissemination of species can proceed in leaps through penetration of separate individuals into more or less distant localities isolated from the general area." His conclusion is that, in general, the distribution of plants is of a gradual character. Natural agencies, such as wind, currents of water, and birds, may be responsible for occasional but rather local dissemination of seeds and spores. However, no one of them is sufficient </p><p>I73 I73 </p><p>This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 18:12:05 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p>Article Contentsp.172p.173</p><p>Issue Table of ContentsGeographical Review, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Jan., 1934), pp. 1-176Front MatterThe Long Beach Earthquake [pp.1-11]Physiographic Results of a Recent Survey in Little Tibet [pp.12-41]White Settlement in Saba Island, Dutch West Indies [pp.42-60]The Population of the Malay Peninsula: A Study in Human Migration [pp.61-78]The Murray River Basin [pp.79-91]Climatic Years [pp.92-103]An Eskimo Discovery of an Island North of Alaska [pp.104-114]Discovery of a New Sketch of Cape Hudson in the Antarctic [pp.115-117]The Altitude and Location of Minya Konka [pp.118-128]A National Plan for American Forestry [pp.129-133]American Geographical Society [pp.134-135]Geographical Record [pp.136-153]Obituary: Major C. K. Cochran-Patrick; Lieutenant George R. Johnson [p.153]Geographical ReviewsA New Viewpoint in Climatology [pp.154-156]A "Recent Social Trends" Monograph [pp.156-157]A Popular Work on Virginia's Caverns [pp.157-158]The Exploration of the Western United States [pp.158-159]The Geographical Factor in American History [p.159]Handbook of South American Geography [pp.159-161]A South African Rainfall Study [pp.161-162]Three Distinctive European Atlases [pp.162-163]A New Linguistic Map o...</p></li></ul>