Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Milestones in Ecological Thought: A Canon for Plant Ecology

Paul A. Keddy
Journal of Vegetation Science
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Apr., 2005), pp. 145-150
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4096739
Page Count: 6
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Preview not available
Preview not available

Abstract

Scientific progress in plant ecology is at risk of being obscured by increasing ignorance of major works in the field. The driving force seems to be the twin seductions of novelty and crowd psychology. I illustrate this tendency with three examples from plant community ecology that span the past thirty years of ecological research. I offer, as one solution, the concept of a canon: a short list of essential books that we assume all students and co-workers have read, a short list that summarizes the wisdom of the discipline. A canon can be likened to DNA, be it in music, art, or science, as it carries forward through time the key ideas that have worked in the past. Without a canon, there is no memory of past achievement, no context for appreciating current work, and no way of judging the quality of newer productions. I suggest 20 essential books (the short canon), and 22 complementary readings, for a total of 42 books needed in any young professional's library on plant ecology.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
145
    145
  • Thumbnail: Page 
146
    146
  • Thumbnail: Page 
147
    147
  • Thumbnail: Page 
148
    148
  • Thumbnail: Page 
149
    149
  • Thumbnail: Page 
150
    150