Francisco José de Caldas and the early development of plant geography

Carlos GONZALEZ-OROZCO, Malte Ebach, R Varona

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Between 1801 and 1810, the Colombian cartographer, astronomer and botanist Francisco José de Caldas (1768-1816) produced a series of maps showing phytogeographical regions of taxon distributions drawn in three-dimensions across landscapes in the Andean region of present-day Ecuador. However, until the late 1990s, his phytogeographical maps remained unpublished and his methods largely unknown. To create his maps, Caldas generated three-dimensional topographic profiles showing the elevation, maximum and minimum limits of distribution for single species and taxon regions delimited according to latitude, illustrating the geographical extent of each phytogeographical region. Here, we provide evidence to argue that Caldas' scientific work is important for understanding the development of plant geography in late 18th century Latin America.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2023-2030
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Biogeography
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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