Chapter

Museum Research and the Rise of Ecological Animal Geography

in Modern Nature

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226610894
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226610924 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226610924.003.0009
Museum Research and the Rise of Ecological Animal Geography

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This chapter evaluates the research in biogeography and ecology conducted by museum men in the 1890s and after, with special attention to Karl Möbius' student Friedrich Dahl. It also argues that ecological animal geography emerged out of three converging sources: research in marine biology and ocean exploration, the work on terrestrial and freshwater animals conducted under the rubric of “biology,” and the traditional questions and concerns of animal geography. Dahl argued that most biocoenoses were open systems that overlapped with one another, thus allowing larger and smaller units of biocoenotic analysis. Richard Hesse's Ecological Basis of Animal Geography was an extremely influential book that reflected the breadth and variety of recent ecological research that could be connected to zoogeography. Community ecology flourished much more vigorously among those whose perspectives were not guided so firmly along taxonomic lines.

Keywords: ecological animal geography; biogeography; community ecology; Friedrich Dahl; Richard Hesse; marine biology; freshwater animals

Chapter.  12223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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