, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 5-10
Date: 26 Jan 2011

Marie Brockmann-Jerosch and her influence on Alpine phylogeography

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Abstract

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Marie Brockmann-Jerosch wrote, partly in collaboration with her husband Heinrich Brockmann-Jerosch, three influential overview articles on the origin and history of the Swiss alpine flora. Of special interest to her were the types and locations of Pleistocene glacial refugia of alpine plants. She summarised that there had been glacial refugia in the southern and northern peripheral European Alps and also supported glacial survival of high-alpine specialist plants in central Alpine nunatak regions within glaciated areas of the Alps. In contrast, Marie Brockmann-Jerosch dismissed the occurrence of glacial relicts in the lowlands and foothills north of the Alps: she rather saw the conspicuous stations of alpine plants in the lowlands as the result of post-glacial long-distance dispersal of seed out of the Alps. In this article, we first give a brief description of Marie Brockmann-Jerosch’s life and then show that modern phylogeographic research has largely proven her views of the glacial history of the alpine flora and that her writings are still intellectually stimulating and worthwhile reading.