DAVENPORT, LAWRENCE J .
From Cro-Magnon to Kral: A History of Botany in Alabama.
Due to its great diversity of both freshwater and terrestrial habitat, Alabama supports an inordinate number of species, including nearly 4000 vascular plants. These species are distributed, from north to south, across the Interior Plateau, Piedmont, Southwestern Appalachian, Ridge & Valley, Southeastern Plains, and Southern Coastal Plain ecoregions.
Alabama's plant life has been studied and utilized since ancient times. Such studies began with Paleo-Indians, Native Americans, and European explorers. During the early 1800s, the major botanical "players" were pioneers, settlers, travelers, academics, and medical doctors. The latter half of the 19th century was defined by the works of Mobile pharmacist Charles Mohr, culminating in his 1901 magnum opus, Plant Life of Alabama. Roland Harper, working mainly through the Geological Survey of Alabama, dominated the first half of the twentieth century. Floristic studies have taken hold since 1950, with "hotbeds" for such studies established at each of the state's universities.
No current botanist stands as tall as Robert Kral. His voluminous knowledge of Alabama's flora has been recorded in monographs, revisions, Federal reports, floristic accounts, checklists, and websites. His thousands of Alabama specimens, now housed at BRIT, constitute a botanical treasure of inimitable value.
1 - SAMFORD UNIVERSITY, Department Of Biology, 800 Lakeshore Drive, BIRMINGHAM, AL, 35229-2234, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Candidate for Awards:None