The book is divided into three main sections. The first, introductory section sets out the necessary background of evolutionary and taxonomic theory and introduces a classification of living plants based on the ways in which they have evolved. The second part investigates how the challenges of life in the water and on land have led to the evolution of the major taxonomic groups of the plants, and describes the key adaptations that have contributed to the success of each group. The final section shows how the contrasting environments of the world′s major climatic zones have led to the evolution of such different floras as those of tropical rainforests, prairies and deserts. This section introduces a fascinating range of plants with ingenious and often bizarre methods of survival and reproduction.
Plant Life is an essential elementary text for undergraduate students and should prove a breath of fresh air for jaded botanists used to the traditional taxonomic grind through the plant kingdom.
1. Evolution and Plant Diversity.
2. The Evolutionary History of Plant Life.
3. Life Afloat.
4. Life on the Rocks.
5. Life on the Ground.
6. Life above the Ground.
7. Life from Seeds.
8. Life in the Wet Tropics.
9. Life in Seasonal Climates.
10. Life on the Edge.
11. Life back in the Water.
Appendix: A Classification of Plants.
"This is an enjoyable book for its novel and refreshing approach to plant diversity."30 November 2001, Michael Black, Times Higher Education Supplement
"The authors have made an interesting attempt to present the information in a fresh and more easily digested manner by departing from the traditional approach. The book is introductory and it is unfair to want more; indeed, it should be a mark of its success if it encourages students to find out more. I am sure that the book will find a place as a text in schools and at introductory level in universities. I shall be recommending it to my students." M Ingrouille, Annals of Botany, May 2002