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Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (, , ; 4 February 17789 September 1841) was a
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial ...
botanist Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botanist
.
René Louiche Desfontaines René Louiche Desfontaines (14 February 1750 – 16 November 1833) was a France, French botanist. Desfontaines was born near Tremblay in Brittany. He attended the Collège de Rennes and in 1773 went to Paris to study medicine. His interest in ...

René Louiche Desfontaines
launched de Candolle's botanical career by recommending him at an
herbarium A herbarium (plural: herbaria) is a collection of preserved plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical ener ...
. Within a couple of years de Candolle had established a new genus, and he went on to document hundreds of plant families and create a new natural plant classification system. Although de Candolle's main focus was botany, he also contributed to related fields such as
phytogeography Phytogeography (from Greek φυτόν, ''phytón'' = "plant" and γεωγραφία, ''geographía'' = "geography" meaning also distribution) or botanical geography is the branch of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution ...
,
agronomy Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical ...
,
paleontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
, medical botany, and
economic botany Economic botany is the study of the relationship between people (individuals and cultures) and plants. Economic botany intersects many fields including established disciplines such as agronomy, anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, economics, ethno ...
. De Candolle originated the idea of "Nature's war", which influenced
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
and the principle of
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
. de Candolle recognized that multiple species may develop similar characteristics that did not appear in a common evolutionary ancestor; a phenomenon now known as convergent evolution. During his work with plants, de Candolle noticed that plant leaf movements follow a near-24-hour cycle in constant light, suggesting that an internal
biological clock
biological clock
exists. Though many scientists doubted de Candolle's findings, experiments over a century later demonstrated that ″the internal biological clock″ indeed exists. De Candolle's descendants continued his work on plant classification; son Alphonse and grandson
Casimir de Candolle Anne Casimir Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (20 February 1836, Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Cologny, Lancy, Grand-Saconnex, Pregny-Chambésy, Vernier, Switzerland, Vernier, Veyrier , website = ville-geneve. ...
contributed to the ''
Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis ''Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis'' (1824–1873), also known by its standard botanical abbreviation ''Prodr. (DC.)'', is a 17-volume treatise on botany initiated by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de ...

Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis
'', a catalog of plants begun by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle.


Early life

Augustin Pyramus de Candolle was born on 4 February 1778 in
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ; frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra) is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-spea ...

Geneva
,
Republic of Geneva The Canton of Geneva, officially the Republic and Canton of Geneva (french: link=no, République et canton de Genève; frp, Rèpublica et canton de Geneva; german: Republik und Kanton Genf; it, Repubblica e Cantone di Ginevra; rm, Republica e ...
, to Augustin de Candolle, a former official, and his wife, Louise Eléonore Brière. His family descended from one of the ancient families of
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, R ...

Provence
in France, but relocated to Geneva at the end of the 16th century to escape religious persecution. At age seven de Candolle contracted a severe case of
hydrocephalus :''This article concerns the medical condition. For the hydrocephalus creature in American folklore that bares this condition as a part of its legend, see melon heads.'' Hydrocephalus is a condition in which an accumulation of cerebrospinal flu ...

hydrocephalus
, which significantly affected his childhood. Nevertheless, he is said to have had great aptitude for learning, distinguishing himself in school with his rapid acquisition of knowledge in classical and general literature and his ability to write fine poetry. In 1794, he began his scientific studies at the Collège de Genève, where he studied under Jean Pierre Étienne Vaucher, who later inspired de Candolle to make botanical science the chief pursuit of his life.


Career in botany

He spent four years at the Geneva Academy, studying science and law according to his father's wishes. In 1798, he moved to Paris after Geneva had been annexed to the French Republic. His botanical career formally began with the help of
René Louiche Desfontaines René Louiche Desfontaines (14 February 1750 – 16 November 1833) was a France, French botanist. Desfontaines was born near Tremblay in Brittany. He attended the Collège de Rennes and in 1773 went to Paris to study medicine. His interest in ...

René Louiche Desfontaines
, who recommended de Candolle for work in the
herbarium A herbarium (plural: herbaria) is a collection of preserved plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical ener ...
of Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle during the summer of 1798. The position elevated de Candolle's reputation and also led to valuable instruction from Desfontaines himself. de Candolle established his first genus, ''Senebiera'', in 1799. De Candolle's first books, ''Plantarum historia succulentarum'' (4 vols., 1799) and ''Astragalogia'' (1802), brought him to the notice of
Georges Cuvier Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier (; 23 August 1769 – 13 May 1832), known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in ...

Georges Cuvier
and
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck (1 August 1744 – 18 December 1829), often known simply as Lamarck (; ), was a French naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fu ...

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
. de Candolle, with Cuvier's approval, acted as deputy at the
Collège de France The Collège de France (), formerly known as the ''Collège Royal'' or as the ''Collège impérial'' founded in 1530 by François I, is a higher education and research establishment (''grand établissement'') in France. It is located in Paris, ...
in 1802. Lamarck entrusted him with the publication of the third edition of the ''Flore française'' (1805–1815), and in the introduction entitled ''Principes élémentaires de botanique'', de Candolle proposed a natural method of plant classification as opposed to the artificial
Linnaean
Linnaean
method. The premise of de Candolle's method is that taxa do not fall along a linear scale; they are discrete, not continuous. Lamarck had originally published this work in 1778, with a second edition in 1795. The third edition, which bears the name of both Lamarck and de Candolle, was in reality the work of the latter, the former having only lent his name and access to his collection. In 1804, de Candolle published his ''Essai sur les propriétés médicales des plantes'' and was granted a doctor of medicine degree by the medical faculty of Paris. Two years later, he published ''Synopsis plantarum in flora Gallica descriptarum''. de Candolle then spent the next six summers making a botanical and agricultural survey of France at the request of the French government, which was published in 1813. In 1807 he was appointed professor of botany in the medical faculty of the
University of Montpellier The University of Montpellier (french: Université de Montpellier) is a French public research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of highe ...
, where he would later become the first chair of botany in 1810. His teaching at the University of Montpellier consisted of field classes attended by 200–300 students, starting at 5:00 am and finishing at 7:00 pm. While in
Montpellier Montpellier (, , ; oc, Montpelhièr , it, Mompellieri ) is a city in southern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental coun ...

Montpellier
, de Candolle published his ''Théorie élémentaire de la botanique'' (Elementary Theory of Botany, 1813), which introduced a new classification system and the word ''taxonomy''. Candolle moved back to Geneva in 1816 and in the following year was invited by the government of the Canton of Geneva to fill the newly created chair of natural history. De Candolle spent the rest of his life in an attempt to elaborate and complete his natural system of botanical classification. de Candolle published initial work in his ''Regni vegetabillis systema naturale'', but after two volumes he realized he could not complete the project on such a large scale. Consequently, he began his less extensive ''
Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis ''Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis'' (1824–1873), also known by its standard botanical abbreviation ''Prodr. (DC.)'', is a 17-volume treatise on botany initiated by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de ...

Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis
'' in 1824. However, he was able to finish only seven volumes, or two-thirds of the whole. Even so, he was able to characterize over one hundred families of plants, helping to lay the empirical basis of general botany. Although de Candolle's main focus was botany, throughout his career he also dabbled in fields related to botany, such as
phytogeography Phytogeography (from Greek φυτόν, ''phytón'' = "plant" and γεωγραφία, ''geographía'' = "geography" meaning also distribution) or botanical geography is the branch of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution ...
,
agronomy Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical ...
,
paleontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
, medical botany, and
economic botany Economic botany is the study of the relationship between people (individuals and cultures) and plants. Economic botany intersects many fields including established disciplines such as agronomy, anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, economics, ethno ...
. In 1827 he was elected an associated member of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands.


Later life

Augustin de Candolle was the first of four generations of botanists in the de Candolle dynasty. His son,
Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle Alphonse Louis Pierre Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (28 October 18064 April 1893) was a French-Swiss botanist, the son of the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (, , ; 4 February 17789 Sept ...
, whom he fathered with his wife, Mademoiselle Torras, eventually succeeded to his father's chair in botany and continued the ''Prodromus''.
Casimir de Candolle Anne Casimir Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (20 February 1836, Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Cologny, Lancy, Grand-Saconnex, Pregny-Chambésy, Vernier, Switzerland, Vernier, Veyrier , website = ville-geneve. ...
, Augustin de Candolle's grandson, also contributed to the ''Prodromus'' through his detailed, extensive research and characterization of the plant family
Piperaceae The Piperaceae, also known as the pepper family, are a large family of flowering plants. The group contains roughly 3,600 currently accepted species in 5 genera. The vast majority of species can be found within the two main genera: '' Piper'' ...
. Augustin de Candolle's great-grandson, Richard Émile Augustin de Candolle, was also a botanist. Augustin de Candolle died on 9 September 1841 in
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ; frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra) is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-spea ...

Geneva
, after being sick for many years. That same year, he was elected as a member of the
American Philosophical Society The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 in , is a scholarly organization that promotes knowledge in the sciences and humanities through research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. ...
. In 2017, a book was written in
French
French
about his life and one of his greatest contributions, the Botanical Garden of Geneva.


Legacy

He is remembered in the plant genera ''
Candollea ''Stylidium'' (also known as triggerplants or trigger plants) is a genus of dicotyledonous plants that belong to the family Stylidiaceae. The genus name ''Stylidium'' is derived from the Greek ''στύλος'' or ''stylos'' (column or pillar), whi ...
'' and '' Candolleodendron'', several plant species like '' Eugenia candolleana'' or ''
Diospyros candolleana
Diospyros candolleana
'' and the mushroom ''
Psathyrella candolleana
Psathyrella candolleana
''. ''Candollea'', a scientific journal that publishes papers on systematic botany and phylotaxonomy, was named after de Candolle and his descendants in honor of their contribution to the field of botany. He was a mentor to the French-Mexican botanist
Jean-Louis Berlandier Jean-Louis Berlandier (1803 – 1851) was a French-Mexican natural history, naturalist, physician, and anthropologist. Early life Berlandier was born in Geneva, and later trained as a Botany, botanist there. During this time he probably served an ...
and is credited with encouraging
Marie-Anne Libert Marie-Anne Libert, (born 7 April 1782 in Malmedy, province of Liège, died 14 January 1865 in Malmedy) was a Belgian botanist and mycologist. She was one of the first women plant pathologists. She is sometimes referred to as "Anne-Marie Libert." ...

Marie-Anne Libert
to investigate cryptogamic flora. de Candolle also had the unexpected distinction of triggering the adoption of pre-paid postage in the Canton and City of Geneva, in a long address which he gave to the governing council in 1843. This led to them issuing Switzerland's second postage stamp, the famous Double Geneva later in that year P Mirabaud & A de Reuterskiold "The postage stamps of Switzerland 1842-1862" 1898; facsimile reprint 1975 Quarterman Publications, Laurence Massachusetts (see also postage stamps and postal history of Switzerland).


Classification system

De Candolle was the first to put forward the idea of "Nature's war", writing of plants being "at war one with another" with the meaning of different species fighting each other for space and resources.
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English natural history#Before 1900, naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all sp ...

Charles Darwin
studied de Candolle's "natural system" of classification in 1826 when at the
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply ...
, and in the
inception of Darwin's theory The inception of Darwin's theory occurred during an intensively busy period which began when Charles Darwin returned from the second voyage of HMS Beagle, survey voyage of the ''Beagle'', with his reputation as a fossil collector and geology, geolo ...
in 1838 he considered "the warring of the species", adding that it was even more strongly conveyed by
Thomas Malthus Thomas Robert Malthus (; 13/14 February 1766 – 23 December 1834) was an English cleric Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, be ...

Thomas Malthus
, producing the pressures that Darwin later called
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
. In 1839 de Candolle visited Britain and Darwin invited him to dinner, allowing the two scientists the opportunity to discuss the idea. De Candolle was also among the first to recognize the difference between the morphological and physiological characteristics of organs. He ascribed plant morphology as being related to the number of organs and their positions relative to each other rather than to their various physiological properties. Consequently, this made him the first to attempt to attribute specific reasons for structural and numerical relationships amongst organs, and thus to distinguish between major and minor aspects of plant symmetry. To account for modifications of symmetry in parts of different plants, an occurrence that could hinder the discovery of an evolutionary relationship, de Candolle introduced the concept of homology.


Chronobiology

De Candolle also made contributions to the field of
chronobiology Chronobiology is a field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, ...
. Building upon earlier work on plant
circadian A circadian rhythm (), or circadian cycle, is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. It can refer to any process that originates within an organism (i.e., endogenous Endogenous substa ...
leaf movements contributed by such scientists as
Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan (26 November 1678 – 20 February 1771) was a French geophysicist, astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope ...
and
Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau (20 July 1700, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2 ...
, de Candolle observed in 1832 that the plant ''
Mimosa pudica ''Mimosa pudica'' (from la, pudica "shy, bashful or shrinking"; also called sensitive plant, sleepy plant, action plant, touch-me-not, shameplant) is a creeping annual Annual may refer to: *Annual publication, periodical publications appearing r ...

Mimosa pudica
'' had a free-running period of leaf opening and closing of approximately 22–23 hours in constant light, significantly less than the approximate 24-hour period of the Earth's light-dark cycles. Since the period was shorter than 24 hours, he hypothesized that a different clock had to be responsible for the rhythm; the shortened period was not entrained—coordinated—by environmental cues, thus the clock appeared to be endogenous. Despite these findings, a number of scientists continued to search for "factor X", an unknown exogenous factor associated with the earth's rotation that was driving circadian oscillations in the absence of a light dark schedule, until the mid-twentieth century. In the mid-1920s, Erwin Bunning repeated Candolle's findings and came to similar conclusions, and studies that showed the persistence of
circadian rhythm A circadian rhythm (), or circadian cycle, is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. It can refer to any process that originates within an organism (i.e., endogenous Endogenous subst ...

circadian rhythm
in the South Pole and in a space lab further confirmed the existence of oscillations in the absence of environmental cues.


Published works

* ''Reticularia rosea'' (1798)
''Historia Plantarum Succulentarum'' (4 vols., 1799)

''Astragalogia'' (1802)
* ** Introduction: ''Principes élémentaires de botanique'' p. 61 *** also published separately as: – *** *
vol. I
*
vol. II
*
vol. III
*
vol. IV Part I
* *
vol. V
Supplementary volume, volume index page 650
''Les liliacées'' vols. 1–4, (1805–1808)
of 8
''Essai sur les propriétés médicales des plantes comparées avec leurs formes extérieures et leur classification naturelle'' (1804)

''Synopsis plantarum in flora Gallica descriptarum'' (1806)

''Mémoire sur la Géographie des Plantes de France, Considerée dans Ses Rapports avec la Hauteur Absolue'' (1817)
*
2nd ed. 1819
* ''Flore du Mexique'' (1819) transcribed in Hervé M. Burdet, "Le récit par Augustin Pyramus de Candolle de l'élaboration de la Flore du Mexique, dite aussi Flore des dames de Genève," ''Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid'', 54 (1996) 575–88. *

* [https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/32221#/summary A. P. de Candolle and K. Sprengel. Elements of the philosophy of plants: containing the principles of scientific botany. W. Blackwood, Edinburgh,1821.] * ** First seven volumes 1824–1839, continued by
Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle Alphonse Louis Pierre Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (28 October 18064 April 1893) was a French-Swiss botanist, the son of the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (, , ; 4 February 17789 Sept ...


See also

*
de Candolle systemThe De Candolle system is a system of plant taxonomy by French (Swiss) botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (1778−1841). History The first taxonomic system by de Candolle, who introduced the term taxonomy, appeared in his description of the p ...


Notes


References


Bibliography

;Books * * * * * * * * * *
RJ Willis. Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, and His Era; in The History of Allelopathy. Springer 2007
;Encyclopaedias * ;Articles * * * * * * * * * * ;Websites * * *


External links

* * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Candolle, Augustin Pyramus de 19th-century biologists 19th-century Swiss botanists 1778 births 1841 deaths Bryologists Chronobiologists Corresponding Members of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences Foreign Members of the Royal Society Honorary Members of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences Members of the French Academy of Sciences Members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
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People with hydrocephalus Proto-evolutionary biologists Pteridologists Royal Medal winners Scientists from the Republic of Geneva
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