Leslie Holdridge

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Leslie Holdridge
BornLeslie Rensselaer Holdridge
September 29, 1907
Ledyard, Connecticut
DiedJune 19, 1999(1999-06-19) (aged 91)
Easton, Maryland
Alma materH. B.S. in Forestry, University of Maine, 1931, postgrad., 1931-32
M.S. in Ecology, University of Michigan, 1946, Ph.D., 1947.
Scientific career
InstitutionsInstituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica

Leslie Ransselaer Holdridge (September 29, 1907 – June 19, 1999) was an American botanist and climatologist. He was the son of Samuel Eneas Holdridge and Phebe J. Holmes. He was the father of composer Lee Holdridge as well as the father of Leslie A. Holdridge, Lorena Holdridge, Marbella Holdridge, Marly Holdridge, Marisela Holdridge, Thania Holdridge, John Holdridge, Ida Holdridge, Reuseland Holdridge, Leythy J. Holdridge and youngest son Gregory Holdridge whom he fathered with Costarican last life partner Clara Luz Melendez.


Diagram of life zone classifications.

In his famous 1947 paper, he defined "life zones" using three indicators:

  1. Mean annual biotemperature (average temperature, after data values below 0 °C or above 30 °C have been eliminated)
  2. Total annual precipitation
  3. The ratio of mean annual potential evapotranspiration to mean total annual precipitation.

See also[edit]


  • Holdridge, L.R. (1947). "Determination of world plant formations from simple climatic data". Science. 105 (2727): 367–8. doi:10.1126/science.105.2727.367. PMID 17800882.