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Johann Reinhold Forster had discerned the relationship between species and area.
Johann Reinhold Forster, of the North American flora, comes forward through time more vividly than the rest.
And even Watson’s work was anticipated by the comment, already quoted, from that cantankerous Prussian biogeographer Johann Reinhold Forster, who had gathered his observations while exploring the southern Pacific with Captain Cook: “Islands only produce a greater or less number of species, as their circumference is more or less extensive.”
It’s a big, broad-ranging volume, an encyclopedic treatise on the distribution of all types of animal across all parts of the planet, and one of the last great landmarks of old-fashioned biogeography in the tradition that stretches forward from Johann Reinhold Forster.