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Abstract Detail

Historical Section

Barkley, Grant M. [1], Fike, Jennifer A [2].

Origins of American Experimental Plant Physiology.

The foundation of experimental plant physiology in the United States, arose as a part of the "New Botany" movement advanced by Midwestern Botanists during the latter half of the 19th century. The "New Botany" movement ushered in an era of expansion in American botanical sciences, which changed attitudes and approaches to the study of botany. The Morrill Act of 1862, and the companion Hatch Act enacted by Congress five years later, provided stimulus to this movement. New laboratories were being built at the land grant colleges and during the 1870's and 80's the funding of agricultural experiment stations were a substantial boost to botanical study. During this period a number of Midwestern Botanists actively promoted the importance of vegetable or plant physiology as a discipline separate from taxonomic or morphological botany. Joseph C Arthur, Charles R. Barnes and John M. Coulter, as editors of the Botanical Gazette, along with Daniel T. MacDougal, actively encouraged the study of vegetable or plant physiology. Although George L. Goodale, at Harvard in 1883, imported valuable apparatus from Germany, these pieces soon fell into disuse as Goodale's interest turned to economic botany. Arthur, known for his designs of physiological equipment, produced equipment for sale and published scale drawings in the Botanical Gazette. He was motivated in this work "especially to promote.. the study of vegetable physiology and to enable American Laboratories to have apparatus .. without the necessity of importing high priced pieces from Germany." MacDougal, promoting plant physiology in 1895, produced a volume of experimental methods, and in 1902 Charles E. Bessey, the Dean of American Botany, encouraged Botanists by writing: "They must be first of all a plant physiologist."

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Kent State University, Biological Sciences, 4314 Mahoning Avenue NW, Warren, OH, 44483-1998, USA
2 - Eastern Gateway Community College, Undergraduate Studies, 4000 Sunset Boulevard, Steubenville, OH, 43952, USA

Experiment Stations
history of botany

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PHS002
Abstract ID:975

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