Museum, University of Nebraska State


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Jon H. Oberg, Founders of Plant Ecology: Frederic and Edith Clements (Lincoln, NE: UNL Digital Commmons, 2019). 21p.


Copyright 2019 J. Oberg.


Nineteenth-century students of Charles Bessey at the University of Nebraska, Frederic Clements and Edith Schwartz received doctorates in botany, married, and went on to become founders of the discipline of plant ecology. They tested and taught their theory of plant succession, known as Clementsian ecology, for nearly four decades at their Alpine laboratory in Colorado. Their leadership and influence at the Carnegie Institution was world-wide and attracted followers from several other disciplines. They advocated land use measures to combat the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Clementsian ecology is still recognized as a paradigm against which other theories of nature are compared.