Trees Their natural history

Peter Thomas, 1957-

Book - 2000

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Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press 2000.
Physical Description
ix, 289 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p. 269-270) and index.
Main Author
Peter Thomas, 1957- (-)
Review by Choice Reviews

Trees is fascinating on several different levels. First, while plant physiologists and morphologists continue to study many of the topics included in the book, botany as a whole has shifted toward larger scale topics in ecology or smaller scale work in biochemistry and genetics. Thomas (Keele Univ., UK) does not exclude these topics but focuses on the structural form at the more traditional organism level. Second, a brief look at the table of contents might lead readers to believe that they will need resilience to endure a tedious book. Such is not the case. Thomas has the wonderful ability to mix in the odd but interesting fact to illustrate key ideas, all while maintaining a readable style. Finally, Thomas has structured the book to reinforce major points without appearing redundant. After an introductory chapter, the next four chapters discuss components of the tree: leaves, the trunk, roots, and flowers, fruits, and seeds. The last four chapters follow the tree from germination to senescence and death. The book is accessible to readers who have a modest background in botany or biology and valuable to those with more advanced training. Trees is highly recommended, a fundamental book for all university libraries. Undergraduates through professionals. Copyright 2000 American Library Association

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The only modern text presenting information on all aspects of tree biology and ecology.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Trees are vital to the healthy functioning of the global ecosystem and unparalleled in the range of materials they provide for human use. This volume is a comprehensive introduction to the natural history of trees, with information on all aspects of tree biology and ecology in easy-to-read and concise language. Peter Thomas uncovers fascinating insights into these ubiquitous plants, addressing in an illuminating way questions such as how trees are designed, how they grow and reproduce, and why they eventually die. Written for a nontechnical audience, the book is nonetheless rigorous in its treatment and a valuable source of reference for beginning students as well as interested lay readers.