Beketov, Andrei Nikolaevich
Born Nov. 26 (Dec. 8), 1825, in Novaia Beketovka, Penza Province; died July 1 (14), 1902, near Moscow. Russian botanist-morphologist and botanico-geographer.
In 1849, Beketov graduated from the University of Kazan. From 1863 to 1897 he was a professor at the University of St. Petersburg, and from 1895 he was an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Together with Kh. Ya. Gobi he organized the first Russian scientific botanical journal, Botanicheskie zapiski (1886), and was one of the founders of the St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists. He studied the principles of the structures of the vegetative surface organs of plants (doctoral dissertation On the Morphologic Relations of Leafy Parts Among Themselves and With the Stalk, 1858) and of blossom deformities, clarifying their morphologic nature. Almost simultaneously with the publication of C. Darwin’s Origin of the Species but independently of it, Beketov explained the expediency of the arrangement of organic forms from the standpoint of natural science. Besides studies in floristics (“On Arkhangel’sk Flora,” 1884, and others), Beketov clarified the causes of the treelessness of the steppes; he was the first to establish a “presteppe” zone (forest steppe). Beketov created a school of Russian botanico-geographers. He was the author of the first textbook on the geography of plants, Geografiia rastenii (1896).
WORKSKurs botaniki: Morfologiia, sistematika i geograficheskoe raspredelenie semeistv. ... St. Petersburg, 1889.
Uchebnik botaniki, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1897.
REFERENCES“Torzhestvennoe sobranie imp. SPB Obshchestva estestvoispytatelei 26 noiabria 1902 goda, posviashchennoe pamiati A. N. Beketova.” Tr. SPB obshchestva estestvoispytatelei, 1903, vol. 33, issue 1.
Russkie botaniki: Biografo-bibliograficheskii slovar’, vol. 1. Moscow, 1947. Compiled by S. Iu. Lipshits.