IN CONTEXT

KEY FIGURE

Frederic Clements (1874–1945)

BEFORE

1872 German botanist August Grisebach classifies the world’s vegetation patterns in relation to climate.

1874 British philosopher Herbert Spencer suggests that the human population can be thought of as a giant organism.

1899 In the US, Henry Cowles proposes that vegetation develops in stages, a process called succession.

AFTER

1926 US ecologist Henry Gleason argues that a climax community is a coincidental collection of individuals.

1939 British botanist Arthur Tansley suggests there is not a single climax community but “polyclimaxes” responding to various factors.

The term “climax ...

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