The Life Forms of Connecticut Plants and Their Significance in Relation to Climate

The Life Forms of Connecticut Plants and Their Significance in Relation to Climate

The Life Forms of Connecticut Plants and Their Significance in Relation to Climate

The Life Forms of Connecticut Plants and Their Significance in Relation to Climate

Excerpt

The subject of life form is one of large importance in its bearing on the relationship between plants and the conditions under which they live. The basic idea of this relationship is familiar to even the general student of plant life, but its detailed study in an attempt to correlate various features of life form with different features of environment is a comparatively recent development dating back scarcely more than half a century. Until very recently practically all the serious work along this line has been carried on in Europe, and even now the studies of life form by American investigators are very few in number. Recent studies have demonstrated that the nature of the climate in any region is very closely correlated with the abundance of particular plant life forms in that region, and conversely, that the so-called life form "spectrum" for a region affords a very reliable indicator of the character of the climate.

In the present volume an attempt has been made to analyze the flowering plants of Connecticut with reference to life form. Analyses of the floras of various other parts of eastern North America have also been made for the purpose of showing the climatic relationships between the flora of Connecticut and that of other regions. To a large extent the studies have been carried on in the field, but for a considerable number of plants it has been necessary to work out the life forms from the study of herbarium material and from published descriptions.

This problem was suggested to the author by Professor G. E. Nichols of the Botany Department of Yale University and has been worked out under his direction. To him I wish to express my thanks for his constant interest and helpful criticism. I wish also to express my appreciation to Mr. E. H. Eames and Mr. C. A. Weatherby for aid in determining the life form of certain plants.

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