JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (7): 1555-1568.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190717

• Geographer Spotlight • Previous Articles    

A pioneer in the studies on Chinese biogeography of different historical periods: The 100th anniversary of Mr. WEN Huan-ran's birth

WEN Rong-sheng   

  1. Documentation and Information Center, CAS, Beijing 100190, China
  • Received:2019-01-10 Online:2019-07-28 Published:2019-07-28

Abstract: WEN Huan-ran, a famous geographer in the 20th century, pioneered biogeography of different historical periods. His contribution to plant geography focused on four aspects: (1) The publication of his works was earlier than the formation of historical geography in China. (2) His research was conducted on community and subject classification system, especially on the bamboo forests of northern China, as well as the distribution and change of forests at national and provincial scales. (3) His research methods are concerned with both natural sciences and humanities, such as in-depth field visits, investigations, revision of errors, supplement of omissions in the literature, and discussion on the influencing factors and recommendations. (4) After overcoming difficulties, he carried out studies in the entire context and opened new far-sighted perspectives for further studies. His contribution to animal geography of historical periods included the following. (1) He published the earliest works in this field. (2) He was mainly involved in the study of many rare species in the reptilia, aves and mammalia. (3) The results can be used as surrogate indicators for eco-environmental change, reference for ancient vertebrates and modern animals and related disciplines, evidence of forest and bamboo forest distribution. It was mainly Wen's long-lasting achievements in historical geography that made his studies so valuable and unique, and aroused attention from foreign scholars. All this must be considered a highlight that can stand the test of time, and should have received more international appreciation.

Key words: physical geography of historical periods, plant geography of historical periods, animal geography of historical periods, academic contribution, biogeography of historical periods, WEN Huan-ran