Archbold Biological Station
Biennial Report 1995-1996

P.O. Box 2057 Lake Placid, Florida 33862 USA
863-465-2571 FAX: 863-699-1927

back to biennial 1995 home page

hilary.gif (48827 bytes)

Director's Message


There is a broad interest among ecologists in the fact that the later episodes in a natural community depend, very much, on the starting conditions, and how a community can be set in very different directions in response to certain events. In many ways Archbold Biological Station is an evolving, ecological community. One cannot help reflect on Time’s Arrow, rewinding the Archbold tape and pondering how specific individuals and particular events fixed the directions, prescribed the courses, and framed the community we are today. Clearly a visionary role was played by Richard Archbold (1907–1976) in recognizing the ecological potential of this region of Florida, and having the character and personality to enjoin other scientists in his vision. Austin L. Rand (1905–1982), first Resident Biologist at the Station, instilled many of the scientific principles which succeeding generations of biologists have pursued and, in 1996, we dedicated our newly renovated office building in honor of his early guiding influence. A 1944 article in Science by Leonard J. Brass (1900–1971), Archbold Botanist, encouraged scientific participation at Archbold Biological Station and outlined the ecological possibilities, stating that "probably no other locality, and certainly no other established station in southern Florida, offers such a variety of interest for zoological, botanical and ecological research ... long-undisturbed sand scrub habitat, ... centrally located in a rich and diversified country, it gives easy access to other habitats such as pine flatwoods, bay-gall, and cypress swamps, hardwoods and cabbage palm hammocks, dry prairies, wet prairies, freshwater swamps, streams, canals and lakes."

It is overwhelming to recognize the extent to which Archbold Biological Station, during 1995–1996, has fully realized this ecological potential. We have grown to be an organization with six laboratories; technical support in the Library and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Lab; a land management program; off-site research programs exploring parallel research themes; an environmental education department; and the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center (MAERC), a full-scale working cattle ranch focused on the relationship between agricultural practices and Florida’s native biodiversity (see Organizational Chart). The past two years have seen so much activity among ourselves and research collaborators at the Ranch that we will produce a separate Report, focused on MAERC. Despite this astounding array of activities, Archbold Biological Station is still remarkably faithful to exploring the basic long-term ecological themes on the scrub habitats and surrounding environs so succinctly described by Leonard Brass. What was never anticipated, however, was that we would have to become more than mere observant passengers, more than cohabitants aboard these ecosystems, but also true community players in the very survival of these beloved but besieged landscapes.

We continue, in these two years, to be an evolving legacy of the early vision and energy of our founders, sustaining common interests and enthusiasm across the scientific generations, and laying the ecological and conservation cornerstones upon which future generations can build. It is my great pleasure to thank all those who played a role in making this happen, the Board of Trustees, science staff, support staff, the Science Advisory Board, students, donors, funding agencies, and our collaborators and visitors. All are part of a truly great institution.

Hilary M. Swain



Lohrer, F.E. (Editor). 1998. Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1995-1996. Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid. 62 pp.
Archbold Biological Station, 1998 October.
blkball.gif (842 bytes)Webmaster: Fred Lohrer.