Progress in Botany 68

Progress in Botany

Book 68
Springer Science & Business Media
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With one volume each year, this series keeps scientists and advanced students informed of the latest developments and results in all areas of the plant sciences. The present volume includes reviews on genetics, cell biology, physiology, comparative morphology, systematics, ecology, and vegetation science.
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Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Nov 22, 2006
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Science / Life Sciences / Botany
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
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In his lectures my teacher Karl Mägdefrau used to say that one only becomes a real plant scientist when one enters a tropical rainforest. For me this initiation occurred in 1969 in northern Queensland, Australia, and was associated with the greatest excitement. On another level it received confirmation when I set out in 1983 together with some friends and colleagues for the first detailed ecophysiological studies of epiphytes in the wet tropics in situ in the island of Trinidad and later for similar work in Venezuela. This then promoted the idea of organizing a special symposium on "The evolution and ecophysiology of vascular plants as epiphytes" during the XIV International Botanical Congress in luly 1987 in Berlin, and to ask some of the speakers to produce chapters for a small monograph on the interesting ecologically defined group of plants "epiphytes" as presented in this volume of "Ecological Studies". The enthusiasm of the participants of the symposium giving reports and adding to the discussion was most stimulating, and it appears that epiphytes might gain well-deserved, wider consideration in the future. The cooperation with the authors of this book was very pleasant and I appreciated the new contacts established with adepts of the "epiphyte community". The chapters were organized and arranged covering first more gen eral aspects with setting the scene in Chapter 1, the evolution of epi phytism in Chapter 2 and the role of CO -concentrating mechanisms in 2 Chapter 3.
There are almost one third of a million species of plants whichrange in form from unicellular algae a few microns in diameter togigantic trees that can grow to a height of 100 meters. Plant Lifemakes sense of the bewildering diversity of plants by treating themnot just as photosynthetic factories, but as living organisms thatare the survivors of millions of years of evolutionary struggle.The book examines plants from an evolutionary perspective to showhow such a wide range of life forms has evolved and continues tothrive.

The book is divided into three main sections. The firstintroductory section sets out the necessary background ofevolutionary and taxonomic theory and introduces a classificationof living plants based on the ways in which they have evolved. Thesecond part investigates how the challenges of life in the waterand on land have led to the evolution of the major taxonomic groupsof the plants, and describes the key adaptations that havecontributed to the success of each group. The final section showshow the contrasting environments of the world's major climaticzones have led to the evolution of such different floras as thoseof tropical rainforests, prairies and deserts. This sectionintroduces a fascinating range of plants with ingenious and oftenbizarre methods of survival and reproduction.

The book is enriched by detailed case studies, points fordiscussion and suggestions for further investigation. In addition,extensive color plates and line drawings bring the world of plantsvividly to life. Clear classification charts and a full glossaryare also useful.

Plant Life is an essential elementary text forundergraduate students and should prove a breath of fresh air forjaded botanists who are accustomed to the traditional taxonomicgrind through the plant kingdom.

New, environmental approach in keeping with modern coursecontent.
Beautifully written in a clear, concise and accessiblestyle.
Extensive colour plates, electron micrographs and line drawingsbring the world of plants vividly to life.
Uses carefully chosen examples of species in each group, sothat students are not overwhelmed with excessive information andspecies lists.
Discussion questions at the end of chapters encourages furtherreading and provides essay topics for teachers.
Clear classification charts and a full glossary provide usefulmaterial for revision.
Plant cell walls are complex, dynamic cellular structures essential for plant growth, development, physiology and adaptation. Plant Cell Walls provides an in depth and diverse view of the microanatomy, biosynthesis and molecular physiology of these cellular structures, both in the life of the plant and in their use for bioproducts and biofuels. Plant Cell Walls is a textbook for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, as well as a professional-level reference book. Over 400 drawings, micrographs, and photographs provide visual insight into the latest research, as well as the uses of plant cell walls in everyday life, and their applications in biotechnology. Illustrated panels concisely review research methods and tools; a list of key terms is given at the end of each chapter; and extensive references organized by concept headings provide readers with guidance for entry into plant cell wall literature. Cell wall material is of considerable importance to the biofuel, food, timber, and pulp and paper industries as well as being a major focus of research in plant growth and sustainability that are of central interest in present day agriculture and biotechnology. The production and use of plants for biofuel and bioproducts in a time of need for responsible global carbon use requires a deep understanding of the fundamental biology of plants and their cell walls. Such an understanding will lead to improved plant processes and materials, and help provide a sustainable resource for meeting the future bioenergy and bioproduct needs of humankind.
All life on earth occurs in natural assemblages called communities.Community ecology is the study of patterns and processes involvingthese collections of two or more species. Communities are typicallystudied using a diversity of techniques, including observations ofnatural history, statistical descriptions of natural patterns,laboratory and field experiments, and mathematical modelling.Community patterns arise from a complex assortment of processesincluding competition, predation, mutualism, indirect effects,habitat selection, which result in the most complex biologicalentities on earth – including iconic systems such as rainforests and coral reefs.

This book introduces the reader to a balanced coverage ofconcepts and theories central to community ecology, using examplesdrawn from terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems, andfocusing on  animal, plant, and microbial species. Thehistorical development of key concepts is described usingdescriptions of classic studies, while examples of exciting newdevelopments in recent studies are used to point toward futureadvances in our understanding of community organization.Throughout, there is an emphasis on the crucial interplay betweenobservations, experiments, and mathematical models.

This second updated edition is a valuable resource for advancedundergraduates, graduate students, and  establishedscientists  who seek a broad overview of community ecology.The book has developed from a course in community ecology that hasbeen taught by the author since 1983.

Figures and tables can be downloaded for free from ahref=""

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