below, numerous paradigms have been developed for these scales and the scientific subdisciplines of limnology.

François Forel was the first scientist to use the term limnology in a publication, and his three-volume Le Leman: Monographie Limnologique ,3 published over the period 1892 to 1904, is considered to be the first book on limnology. Encyclopedic in scope, the book is divided into 14 chapters (Table 1), 11 of which define the main supporting fields of modern limnology (Edmondson, 1994). Taken together, Forbes' and Forel's contributions provide the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary framework that still defines the science of limnology.

The founders of academic limnology in North America, Edward Birge and his younger colleague Chancey Juday, continued this multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary tradition at the University of Wisconsin (Brooks et al., 1951; Mortimer, 1956; Frey, 1963). Birge was trained as a zoologist and was attracted to lake studies (in the context of zooplankton life cycles) even as an undergraduate at Williams College in Massachusetts during the early 1870s. Juday also was trained as a biologist and was first hired by Birge in 1897 to help conduct lake surveys for the newly established Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, of which Birge served as the first director. However, Birge and Juday soon branched into the physics and chemistry of lakes as they realized that one could not understand the dynamics of plankton without knowledge of these subjects. Their studies on annual cycles of thermal stratification (Birge, 1898) and dissolved gases (Birge and Juday, 1911) are seminal works that provided limnologists with information essential for understanding virtually all biological cycles in lakes. Birge and Juday knew the limitations of their training and actively sought collaboration with physicists and chemists to study lake phenomena beyond their own field of expertise. Together, these scientists developed many new techniques to measure physical properties and processes (e.g., light transmission, heat transfer, and heat

TABLE 1 Contents of Forel's Treatise on Lac Leman (Lake Geneva)

Vol. 1 (1892)

Vol. 2 (1895)

Vol. 3 (1904)

Geography

Hydraulics

Biology

Hydrography

Temperature

Historya

Geology

Optics

Navigationa

Climatology

Acousticsa

Fish

Hydrology

Chemistry

 

a Not considered a subfield of modern limnology.

3  

Lac Leman is Lake Geneva (Switzerland/France).



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement