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A Natural History of Conifers (Anglais) Relié – 21 avril 2008

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4,7 étoiles sur 5 12 commentaires provenant des USA

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Description du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Conifers are the most diverse, interesting, beautiful trees in the world, so why is it that our gardens are home to so few species? Part of the reason lies in their economic importance which, by focusing attention on relatively few species, has limited our understanding of one of the most remarkable plant groups on earth. Leading expert Aljos Farjon provides a broader perspective with this compelling narrative that observes conifers from the standpoint of the curious naturalist. It starts with the basic question of what conifers are and continues to explore their evolution, taxonomy, ecology, distribution, human uses, and issues of conservation. As the story unfolds many popular misconceptions are dispelled, such as the notion that all conifers have cones (untrue), and the extraordinary diversity of conifers begins to dawn as Farjon describes the diminutive creeping shrub Microcachrys tetragona, whose strange seed cones resemble raspberries, and the prehistoric-looking Araucaria meulleri. The taxonomic diversity of conifers is huge and Farjon goes on to relate how, over the course of three 300 million years, these trees and shrubs have adapted to survive geological upheavals, climatic extremes, and formidable competition from flowering plants. Scarcely less remarkable is his explanation of how conifers, with only 627 species, grew to occupy every continent on earth ranging from the high latitudes to the tropics. This illuminating review will fascinate plant lovers who wish to discover the extraordinary relatives of ordinary garden conifers, natural historians, who will relish seeing conifers reviewed in a broad context, and all who seek to learn more about the early history of life on our planet.

Biographie de l'auteur

Aljos Farjon worked as a Senior Scientific Officer for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1996, where he headed the Temperate Section of its Herbarium before his retirement at 60 in 2006; he is now an Honorary Research Associate with Kew. He has published 10 books and more than 120 papers mainly but not exclusively on conifers. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and has served on its Council, holds longtime membership in the International Association for Plant Taxonomy, and is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society's Conifer Registration Advisory Committee. He is also Chair since 1995 of the Conifer Specialist Group of IUCN The world Conservation Union. In 1997 he received the prestigious Engler Medal in silver from IAPT and in 2006 he was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society. He lives in Middlesex, England.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 GREAT Book On The Biology Of Conifers 4 août 2016
Par P. Pollock - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I came into possession of this book in the strangest way ... but I'm so glad I did! I asked a botanist for a book that would help me with tree systematics (identifucation) and this book was recommended. It was a little strange to make the purchase, because i was really looking for info on oak and birch trees. And secondly, it just so happened ... that i had found some very unique conifer trees on the tops of the southern Andes mountains, and i really wanted to identify them. So what the heck, i bought the book. What a pleasure, when it arrived!! Author Aljos Farjon has done a terrific job of describing conifer trees, how they have evolved and changed over time, and how the various aspects of their biology ... produce the tree that is standing in front of you today. Furthermore, the book is very readable, and the color plates are high quality. i was encouraged to discover that I could identify which Family 'my tree' in the Andes belonged to ... it didnt take long at all. This book is Highly Recommended if you have an interest in conifers, tree identification, tree biology ... or you just love trees. Big thanks to the author!
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 I wanted to like this book more than I did. 11 janvier 2009
Par James Philipp - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book fills a gap in the popular literature on conifers: there's really a strong need for a comprehensive review of the natural history of conifers. But if that's what you are looking for, you will be disappointed here. Still, this volume has some strengths.

Some of the high points of this text: (1) There a many photos of species where it is difficult to find good photographs; most notably of the Southern hemisphere species. It is almost worth keeping the book on my shelves just for the "tree porn". (2) Again, it is really the Southern species where this book really provides new details. If you are looking for a work that discusses the new finds in Indo-China or New Caledonia this is a book not to be missed.

Where I was disappointed: (1) Most notably, this book is in dire need of editorial coherence. It reads mostly like a collection of magazine articles that have been very lightly reshaped into a thematic structure. This book really would have benefited from a more disciplined analytic structure. (2) I really wanted to see more sustained discussion of the evolutionary linkages of the conifers--especially in reference to Northern hemisphere species. There's bits and pieces here (even chapters with titles that look like they will provide the sustained analysis that I'm looking for) but the discussions are just so scattered as to be frustrating.

In short, this is the type of book that you can open up at almost any point and start reading--and that's not necessarily a good thing. Again, I really wanted to like this book more than I did.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 paleobotanic 9 janvier 2010
Par Green Man - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I bought this book through my interest in paleobotany.I have read Beck's classic on gymnosperm evolution so this did not add much from this point of view nor fossil wise.But I was fascinated by the use of pylogeny and morphology as against pure genetic studies which rule the day elsewhere.In conifers they just have not worked as yet!And perhaps this is a good thing.More and more botanists are criticising the laborotory pundits who don't even know what the plant they are studying the genes of looks like!Field work like that of the author is very impressive and was in days gone by ,de riguer!So much can be gleaned from the simple contact with the plants.Touch and observation are far from obsolete.
I would like to have known a bit more about araucariaceae in the nothern hemisphere continent of Laurasia.We are not told that it was a species close to Araucaria heterophylla that occured in this area.Any others?Wollemia,Agathis?
But otherwise an excellent book written with and from great passion!
A few spelling mistakes though which is most unlike this publisher.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 10 décembre 2016
Par Reading Roo - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
THE book on conifers!
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 7 juin 2014
Par Dr J Swarbrick - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
An excellent book for the botanist interested in conifers and their relationships with other organisms - interesting and well written by a most knowledgeable author.
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