Plant Community, Plantesamfund

  • Peder Anker


The plant community concept was first introduced by the Danish botanist Johannes Eugenius Bülow Warming (1841–1924) in his book “Plantesamfund” of 1895, where he suggested a general theory of explaining different geographical distributions of plants. The title “Plantesamfund” can be translated both as Plant societies and Plant communities, since the Danish word samfund means both “society” and “community” (or alternatively “Gesellschaft” and “Gemeinschaft” in German). To keep the broad meaning of the original title Warming chose the German title “Ökologischen Pflanzengeographie” (1896) and the English title “Oecology of Plants” (1909). The book addressed different factors limiting the geographical distribution of different plants. He used the concept of “community” or “Gemeinschaft” when describing smaller geographical distributions of plants, while “oecologie” or “Ökologie” had a broader geographical meaning corresponding to “society” or “Gesellschaft” as a whole. “Plantesamfund” was not translated into French, though Warming was inspired by the French botanical notion of “le commensal” (dinner partner) in his thinking about the plant community. “Plantesamfund” was also translated into Polish in 1900 and Russian in 1901.


Plant Community Systematic Botany Plant Society Plant Geography English Title 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Environmental Studies Program at New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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