Carnivorous plants have fascinated botanists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, physiologists, developmental biologists, anatomists, horticulturalists, and the general public for centuries. Charles Darwin was the first scientist to demonstrate experimentally that some plants could actually attract, kill, digest, and absorb nutrients from insect prey; his book Insectivorous Plants (1875) remains a widely-cited classic. Since then, many movies and plays, short stories, novels, coffee-table picture books, and popular books on the cultivation of carnivorous plants have been produced. However, all of these widely read products depend on accurate scientific information, and most of them have repeated and recycled data from just three comprehensive, but now long out of date, scientific monographs. The field has evolved and changed dramatically in the nearly 30 years since the last of these books was published, and thousands of scientific papers on carnivorous plants have appeared in the academic journal literature. In response, Ellison and Adamec have assembled the world’s leading experts to provide a truly modern synthesis. They examine every aspect of physiology, biochemistry, genomics, ecology, and evolution of these remarkable plants, culminating in a description of the serious threats they now face from over-collection, poaching, habitat loss, and climatic change which directly threaten their habitats and continued persistence in them.
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