Brittonia

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 421–437 | Cite as

David Fairchild expeditions to the Canary Islands: Plant collections and research outcomes

  • Javier Francisco-Ortega
  • Arnoldo Santos-Guerra
  • Janet L. Mosely
  • Nancy Korber
  • Marianne Swan
Article

Abstract

Dr. David Fairchild (1869–1954) made four field trips to the Canary Islands. They took place in 1903 (supported by Barbour Lathrop) and in 1925, 1926, and 1927 (supported by Allison V. Armour). They represented the first extensive plant exploration expeditions ever undertaken by United States botanists targeting this archipelago. At least two of the trips were joined by other biologists from several disciplines. Four of the seven Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, and Tenerife) were visited. The four expeditions yielded eight publications, over 315 photographs, and 89 germplasm accessions (73 species). Two of these publications focused on invertebrates, one on plant mosaic viruses, and two on the pollination biology and propagation of Ficus auriculata (Moraceae). The remaining three works provided accounts on the natural history and plants of the islands and on the cropping systems and the rural life of the archipelago.

Key Words

Botanical history plant exploration Macaronesia archives oceanic islands USDA 

Resumen

El Dr. David Fairchild (1869–1954) realizó cuatro viajes de campo a las Islas Canarias. Los mismos tuvieron lugar en 1903 (costeado por Barbour Lathrop) y en 1925, 1926 y 1927 (financiados por Allison V. Armour). Fueron las primeras exploraciones botánicas intensivas llevadas a cabo por investigadores de los Estados Unidos. Al menos dos de ellas también contaron con biólogos de otras disciplinas. Visitaron cuatro de las siete islas del archipiélago (Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma y Tenerife). Las cuatro expediciones produjeron ocho publicaciones, unas 315 fotografías y 89 muestras de germoplasma (73 especies). Dos de estos trabajos trataron sobre invertebrados, uno sobre virus del mosaico de plantas y dos de ellos sobre la biología de la polinización y la propagación vegetal de Ficus auriculata (Moraceae). Las tres publicaciones restantes contienen información sobre la historia natural y las plantas de las islas, y también sobre los sistemas de cultivos y la vida rural del archipiélago.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We dedicate this paper to Bryan Latham to acknowledge the support that he provided to plant exploration at FTBG. This is contribution number 217 of the Tropical Biology Program of Florida International University. Vitor Luís (Museu Vicentes, Madeira) provided biographical information on Jordão da Luz Perestrello. Prof. David Lee, Dr. M. Maunder, and an anonymous reviewer critically read an early draft of this paper. This study was supported with research funds from FTBG. Thanks to A. Concepción Pérez for drawing attention to relevant bibliography. Alan Meerow and R. Schnell provided details pertinent to the history of Chapman Field (USDA), Miami

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Francisco-Ortega
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arnoldo Santos-Guerra
    • 3
  • Janet L. Mosely
    • 4
    • 2
  • Nancy Korber
    • 2
  • Marianne Swan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Center for Tropical Plant ConservationFairchild Tropical Botanic GardenMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Unidad de Botánica Aplicada, ICIAPuerto de la Cruz, TenerifeSpain
  4. 4.ElonUSA

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