Lamouroux, Jean Vincent FÉlix

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Lamouroux, Jean Vincent FÉlix

(b. Agen, France, 3 May 1776; d Caen, France, 26 May 1825)

natural history.

The son of Claude Lamourous and Catherine Langayrou, Lamouroux came from a well-to-do merchant family. he was first interested in botany as an amateur, under the guidance of F. B. de Saint-Amans, and traveled through southern France and Spain to broaden his knowledge of the subject. When the printed calico factory that his father managed suffered a serve reverse, Lamouroux had to plan on supporting himself. He went to Paris to complete his medical studies and received the M.D. in 1809. Named assistant professor of natural history at Caen in 1809, he became a full professor there at the Faculty of Science in 1810. Later he was elected a corresponding member of the Académie des Sciences. in 1818 he married Félicité de Lamariouze, by whom he had one son, Claude Louis Georges, (1819–1836), midshipman who died at sea.

Lamoouroux was attracted to the study of marine algae by his ffiend J. B. Bory de Saint-Vincent, and with the latter he was one of the first FRench botanits to take an interest inmarine vegetation. In 1805 Lamouroux published his first memoir, which was illustrated with thirty-six engraved plated depicting several species of Fucus found along the coasts of Europe and in tropical regions. At that time Focus was considered to included all marine algae that, when viewed by the naked eye or under a magnifying glass, did not exhibit a filamentous cellular structure (such a was seen among the articulated thallopohytes). Moreover, both brown algae and red algae were indiscriminately attributed to this genus. Having recognized the heterogeneity of Fucus, Lamouroux described many new genera (dictyopteris, Amansia, Bryopsis, Caulerpa, and others) in memoirs and in the first seven volumes of Bory de Saint-Vincent’s Dictionnaire classique d’historie naturalle (1822–1825).

In Essai sur les genres de la famille des Thalassiophytes inarticulés (1813) Lamouroux proposed a general classification of the marine algae, which he diveided into Fucaceae, Florideae, Dictyoteae, Ulvaceae, Alcyonideae, and Spongodieae. Except for the last two, these groups have been maintained in present classifications, although with modifications regarding limits and hierarchy. For example, Lamouroux's Fucaceae include not only the current Fucales, Laminariales, and Desmarestiales but also certain Rhodophyceae (Furcellarie). the Florideae are more homigeneous, and in defining them Lamouroux employed a biochemical characteristic that has proved to be of fundamental value: the red color. Furthermore, he was the first to insist on the existence, among these algae, of two distinct types of reproductive organs: tubercles containing “seeds” (cystocarps) and capsules whose c9ontents are almost invariably tripartite (tetraporocysts). until then it was assumed following Dawson Turner and J. C. Mertens, that these two types of reproductive organs corresponded to different stages in the development of the same organ.

Lamouroux thus deserves credit for separating for the first time, even if imperfectly the brown, red, and green algae, thus eliminating a good deal of confusion. Lamouroux considered the Essai of 1813 merely a preliminary exposition which he intended to extend to the nonarticulated thalassiophytes, but he died before he could do so. His ideas on the classification of the algae inspired those adopted by C. A. Agardh, m and the two men may be considered the founders of modern phycology.

Lamouroux also wrote Historie des Polypiers coralligénes flexibles (Caen, 1816), in which he described, besides such maribe animals as hydrozoa and bryozoa, new genera of calcified algae previously joined with the polyparies (Neomeris, Cymopolia, Halimeda, Liagora, Galazaura). By studying a great number of exotic algae brought back by scientific expeditions to the tropical seas and especially the Pacific Ocean, Lamouroux was able to describe many new species. In particular he furnished one of the first descriptions of the algae of Austral;ia, including Claudea elegans, which he named for his father, Moreover, Lamououx was the first to be concerned with the geographic distrubution of marine algae, but the data upon which he attempted to establish its broad outlines were insufficient for the task.


Dissertations sur plusieurs espéces de Fucus peu connues ou nouvelles avec leur description en latin et en français (Agen, 1805); “Mémoire sur trois nouveaux genres de la famille des Algues marines,” in Journal de botanique, 2 (1809), 129–135 “Historie des Polypiers coralligénes flexibles vulgairement appelés zoophytes,” in Bulletin de la Sociélté philomatique, 3 (Caen, 1812–1816), 236–316; “Essai sur les genres de la famille des Thalassiophytes non articulées,” in Annales du Muséum d’histoire naturelle, 20 (1813), 21–47, 1158–139, 267–293; Exposition methodique des genres de l’ordre des Polypiers (Paris, 1821); “Mémoire sur la geogrphie des plantes marines,” in Annales des sciences natu5relles, 7 (1826) 60–82.

See also the many articles in Bory de Saint-Vincent, ed., Dictionnaire classique de l’historie naturelle (Paris, 1822–1831)

J. Feldmann

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Lamouroux, Jean Vincent FÉlix

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