Pluridisciplinary approach

Jack Kruf

“The main thing in Oldeman’s work is that he created a methodology made up of a whole set of perfectly articulated morphogenetic, ecological and physiological concepts allowing the structural analysis of the populations of trees … in all regions of the world.”

This quote in the introduction of the highly respected George Mangenot in the introduction of the thesis of Oldeman says it all. In the design of this new approach of diagnosing forest and what really ‘drives’ them to be what they are is truly a scientific breakthrough at the beginning of the seventies.

The pluridisciplinarity of this approach is the key to get the right picture. What makes it special is that indigenous tribes living in these forests, when seeing the transect designs, could easily point the existing niches in the ecosystem. Quite essential and proof of how Oldeman came close to reality by connecting six different approaches in one picture.

The main lesson for all managers, strategists, researchers and advisors can be derived: combine different approaches, angles and perspectives at the same time to get the right picture of the issue you are working on. ‘Pluridisciplinarity’ is the word. It is key. It is the only road.

L’essentiel, dans l’œuvre d’Oldeman, est qu’il a créé une méthodologie faite de tout un ensemble parfaitement articulé de concepts morphogénétiques, écologiques et physiologiques permettant l’analyse structurale des populations d’arbres, en majorité dicotylédoniens, dans toutes les régions du monde. Un récent essai, inédit, de l’auteur, sur une forêt du Massachusetts a montré qu’il est possible, par les méthodes éprouvées en Guyane, de l’expliquer et de comprendre les profondes différences la distinguant des forêts équatoriales,. le caractère souple et adaptable du système oldemanien est ainsi mis en évidence. George Mangenot, Professor Botanique Sorbonne University, Paris.

Oldeman, R.A.A. (1974a, 2nd ed.). L’architecture de la forêt guyanaise. Mémoires ORSTOM, 73.