Flora of North America: North of Mexico Volume 1: Introduction

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Overview

To be published in 14 volumes over the next 12 years, this long-awaited synoptic compendium represents the first and only comprehensive taxonomic guide to the extraordinary diversity of plant life blanketing our continent north of Mexico—including Greenland and the St. Pierre and Miquelon islands. The collaborative effort of more than 30 major U.S. and Canadian botanical institutions, it revises and synthesizes literally thousands of floristic monographs and regional floras published over the last three centuries. But more than that, it distills the original herbarium, laboratory, and field work of hundreds of contributors—all of them leading botanists and taxonomic authorities who have joined forces to develop this century's premier tool for identifying, understanding, and conserving North America's priceless floristic heritage. Concise, easy to use, and beautifully bound and illustrated, Flora of North America is an indispensable working resource for botanists, conservationists, ecologists, agronomists, foresters, range and land managers, horticulturists,—anyone with a serious interest in the distribution, habitat, morphology, and survival of the wide-ranging plant life around us. Each of its taxonomic volumes brings together the full spectrum of critical botanical data, from basic descriptions to chromosome numbers. The entries also correct erroneous information, qualify misapplied variant names, and note known hybridizations. Findings derived from recent experimental work and from numerical taxonomy are incorporated, and to assure accuracy, these data have been extensively reviewed and tested by cooperating taxonomic specialists. Volume 1 consists of a series of introductory essays by nearly two dozen noted botanical authorities. Among the topics covered are the transformation of North American plant life since the end of the Mesozoic era some 70 million years ago; the influence of geographic, climatic, and soil factors; the impact of human cultivation; great naturalists and their contributions to botany and floristics since the age of Columbus; and approaches to plant classification, with particular attention to the evolutionarily unique pteridophytes and gymnosperms that are covered in Volume 2.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The first volume of the ambitious Flora of North America contains a series of introductory essays. Written by some two dozen botanical authorities, the essays discuss climate, geology, the history of vegetation and its current status, expeditions and research, overall classification, and how to use the book. In all, 14 volumes of the Flora will be published over 12 years. The Flora of North America project is a collaborative, bi-national effort of 30 botanical institutions and hundreds of botanists to compile the first comprehensive description of all the plants growing spontaneously in the US, Canada, and Greenland. The Missouri Botanical Garden serves as the organizational center for the project. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195057133
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/4/1993
  • Series: Flora of North America Series , #1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 11.22 (w) x 8.63 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword, Theodore M. Barkley
Introduction: History of the Flora of North America Project, Nancy R. Morin and Richard W. Spellenberg
PART I: Physical Setting
1. Climate and Physiography, Luc Brouillet and R. David Whetstone
2. Soils, Donald Steila
PART II: Vegetation and Climates of the Past
3. History of the Vegetation: Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) and Tertiary, Alan Graham
4. Paleoclimates, Paleovegetation, and Paleofloras during the Late Quaternary, Paul A. Delcourt and Hazel R. Delcourt
PART III: Contemporary Vegetation and Phytogeography
5. Vegetation, Michael Barbour and Norman Christensen
6. Phytogeography, Robert F. Thorne
PART IV: Humankind and the Flora
7. Taxonomic Botany and Floristics, James Reveal and James Pringle
8. Weeds, Ronald Stuckey and Theodore Barkley
9. Ethnobotany and Economic Botany, Charles B. Heiser Jr.
10. Plant Conservation, George Yatskievych and Richard Spellenberg
PART V: Classifications and Classification Systems
11. Concepts of Species and Genera, G. Ledyard Stebbins
12. Pteridophytes, Warren H. Wagner Jr. and Alan R. Smith
13. Gymnosperms, James Eckenwalder
14. A Commentary on the General System of Classification of Flowering Plants, Arthur Cronquist
15. Flowering Plant Families: An Overview, James Reveal
Literature Cited Index

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