Henri Gaussen

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Henri Gaussen
Born (1891-07-14)14 July 1891
Died 27 July 1981(1981-07-27) (aged 90)
Residence France
Nationality French
Fields botany, geography

Marcel-Henri Gaussen (14 July 1891 in Cabrières-d'Aigues (Vaucluse) - 27 July 1981 in Toulouse), was a French botanist and biogeographer.

Muséum de Toulouse - Jardin botanique Henri Gaussen - La spirale ethnobotanique.

In 1926, he defended his thesis on "the vegetation of the eastern half of the Pyrenees", which laid the foundation for future work on the border between biogeography and vegetation mapping. Gaussen was an early advocate of the ideas of stages and vegetation succession, which are fundamental to phytogeography. His work allowed for the production of a vegetation map of France at a scale of 1/200 000 (completed after his death by the service of the CNRS, but which he had created and directed) and many similar projects in other countries. His work led to many advanced phytogeographic tools such as "Gaussen index", the "xerothermic index" and "ombrothermic diagram ". As recognition for his scientific work in mapping of vegetation cover and ecology, he received in 1971 the Grand Prix of the Geographical Society for geographical research and publications.

He was also responsible for the creation in 1922 of the Arboretum de Jouéou, and for the strength and reputation of teaching and research in botany at the University of Toulouse. A great traveller, he was also the creator of a science section at the French Institute of Pondicherry. He worked with Flora Europaea as a regional adviser for France.

Henri Gaussen spent his entire career as a professor at Toulouse, where he was also in 1958 elected as a "mainteneur" (council member) of the Académie des Jeux floraux.

Having accumulated an impressive number of personal photographs, he donated his collection to the archives of the department of Haute-Garonne, where they can still be viewed.[1]

Principal publications[edit]

  • Les cultures en terrasses dans le bassin méditerranéen occidental in Annales de géographie, tome 36, 1927
  • Géographie des Plantes, Librairie Armand Colin, 1933, (222 pages, 8 cartes et figures)
  • Les gymnospermes actuelles et fossiles, Travaux du laboratoire forestier de Toulouse 2, 1946-1979
  • Le dynamisme des biocénoses végétales, Colloque international du CNRS sur l'écologie. P., février 1950
  • Montagnes, la vie aux hautes altitudes, Horizons de France, 1955 (avec Paul Barruel)
  • Habitations humaines dans les Pyrénées et les Alpes, in La Montagne, Club alpin français, décembre 1966

Taxa named after Gaussen[edit]



  • The Henri Gaussen Prize
Presented by the Académie des sciences, inscriptions et belles-lettres de Toulouse, this prize is awarded annually for a scientific work on the Pyrenees mountain range.
  • The City of Toulouse honours him with the Boulevard Henri Gaussen, in the Minimes quarter.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Henri Gaussen database, founded on photos taken by himself
  2. ^ IPNI.  Gaussen. 
  3. ^ Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 85(7): 62. 2000 (IK)
  4. ^ Willdenowia 10(2): 232. 1980 (IK)
  5. ^ Adansonia sér. 2, 6: 440. 1966 (IK)
  6. ^ Butl. Inst. Catalana Hist. Nat. 1932, xxxii. 92 (IK)
  7. ^ Bull. Soc. Bot. France 99: 26, in adnot. 1952 (IK)
  8. ^ in Trav. Lab. Forest. Toulouse Tome 1. iii. Art. 8, 3 1940 (IK)
  9. ^ Candollea 27(1): 17. 1972 (IK)
  10. ^ Bull. Soc. Bot. France 106: 142. 1959 (IK)
  11. ^ Bull. Soc. Hist. Nat. Toulouse 69: 417. 1936 (IK)
  12. ^ Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 45(2): 384. 1989 (IK)