Green Planet: How Plants Keep the Earth Alive [NOOK Book]

Overview


Plants are not just a pretty part of the landscape; they keep the entire planet, with all of its human and nonhuman inhabitants, alive. Stanley Rice documents the many ways in which plants do this by making oxygen, regulating the greenhouse effect, controlling floods, and producing all the food in the world. Plants also create natural habitats for all organisms in the world. With illustrations and clear writing for non-specialists, Green Planet helps general readers realize that if we are to rescue the Earth ...
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Green Planet: How Plants Keep the Earth Alive

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Overview


Plants are not just a pretty part of the landscape; they keep the entire planet, with all of its human and nonhuman inhabitants, alive. Stanley Rice documents the many ways in which plants do this by making oxygen, regulating the greenhouse effect, controlling floods, and producing all the food in the world. Plants also create natural habitats for all organisms in the world. With illustrations and clear writing for non-specialists, Green Planet helps general readers realize that if we are to rescue the Earth from environmental disaster, we must protect wild plants.

Beginning with an overview of how human civilization has altered the face of the Earth, particularly by the destruction of forests, the book details the startling consequences of these actions. Rice provides compelling reasons for government officials, economic leaders, and the public to support efforts to save threatened and endangered plants. Global campaigns to solve environmental problems with plants, such as the development of green roofs and the Green Belt Movement—a women's organization in Kenya that empowers communities worldwide to protect the environment—show readers that efforts to save wild plants can be successful and beneficial to the economic well-being of nations.

Through current scientific evidence, readers see that plants are vital to the ecological health of our planet and understand what can be done to lead to a better—and greener—future

Benefits of plants:

  • Help modulate greenhouse gases
  • Produce almost all oxygen in the air
  • Create cool shade that reduces energy costs
  • Prevent floods, droughts, and soil erosion
  • Produce all of the food in the world
  • Create and preserve soil
  • Create natural habitats
  • Heal the landscape after natural and human disasters
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
"The ecosystems of the planet that humans depend on for fresh air, water, and food are increasingly stressed. The fact that green plants are at the functional core of these ecosystems is not generally appreciated, and the point is clearly and concisely made in this book by Rice. This work is notable for its breadth of coverage of not only how plants directly affect humans but also of how plants affect the functioning of the ecosystems that humans need for a range of goods and services. Highly recommended."
Washington State University

"The title says it all. Green Planet does for plants what Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses does for our sensory experiences."

— Eldon H. Franz

Earth Justice
"An intriguing and deeply passionate account of how plants keep us all alive. Rice explores the numerous ways that plants sustain life in ways more surprising and captivating than anything you'll remember from school. Green Planet explains the nature of plants on a far deeper level. It's fascinating, and more interconnected to all the economic and ecological concerns of today than most recognize."
Eldon H. Franz
"The title says it all. Green Planet does for plants what Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses does for our sensory experiences."
Sir Ghillean Prance FRS
"If you are not convinced of the critical value of plants to people you will be after reading Stanley Rice's Green Planet. Rice's expertise, paired with his engaging style, awakens readers to the importance of the environmental services provided by plants."
Steward T. A. Pickett
"Stanley Rice writes with charm and clarity. Not since Corner's Life of Plants has there been a contestant for this role in the world of scientific publishing about plants for general readers."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813546537
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Stanley A. Rice is an associate professor of plant biology at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and is the author of the Encyclopedia of Evolution
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Introduction Remnants of Paradise 3

Ch. 1 An Injured Paradise 9

Ch. 2 Plants Put the Oxygen in the Air 28

Ch. 3 Greenhouse Earth: Plants Help to Keep the Earth from Overheating 41

Ch. 4 Shade: Trees Make Good Air Conditioners 81

Ch. 5 The Water Cycle: Plants Prevent Droughts and Floods 93

Ch. 6 Plants Feed the World 110

Ch. 7 Plants Create Soil 127

Ch. 8 Plants Create Habitats 138

Ch. 9 Plants Heal the Landscape 171

Ch. 10 How Agriculture Changed the World 196

Ch. 11 Why We Need Plant Diversity 211

Ch. 12 What Can We Do? 228

Notes 249

Bibliography 268

Index 287

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