Well-illustrated look at the array of form and habitat in the plant kingdom, and the ways in which our lives are inextricably linked with this fascinating world. Includes: the origin of photosynthetic organisms; growth and differentiation; interaction with the environment; reproduction and dispersal; phylogeny; adaptation to habitat; plant uses; history of botanical study.
Plants are so much part of our environment that we often take them for granted, yet beautiful, fascinating and useful plants are everywhere, from isolated moss colonies on stone walls to vast complex communities within tropical rainforests. How did this array of form and habitat come about, and how do we humans interact with the plant kingdom? This unique new textbook provides a refreshing and stimulating consideration of these questions and throws light in a new way on the complexity, ecology, evolution and development of plants and our relationship with them. Illustrated throughout with numerous line diagrams and beautiful colour photographs, the book provides a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating lives that plants lead and the way in which our lives are inextricably linked to theirs. It will be particularly useful to students seeking a more ecological and process-oriented approach than is available in other plant science textbooks.
Contents: Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Process, form, and pattern; 2. The genesis of form; 3. Endless forms?; 4. Sex, multiplication, and dispersal; 5. Ordering the paths of diversity; 6. The lives of plants; 7. The fruits of the Earth; 8. Knowing plants; Glossary; References.