Reaching for the Sun: How Plants Work / Edition 2

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Green plants are all around us. We are totally dependent on them for food; we cultivate them for our pleasure; and we have used them in a vast number of ways down the centuries. But have you ever wondered how plants work? Where do trees get the material to make wood? How does a bulb 'know' to sprout in the spring? Why are flowers different colours? This book answers these questions in a charming and accessible way. This is not just a book for keen gardeners and naturalists. This is a book for anyone who wants to understand why the earth is green.

Humans are totally dependent on plants for food; we cultivate them for pleasure; and we use them to our advantage in a vast number of ways. This book offers a wealth of information about plants, including how they satisfy their nutritional growth, development, and death, and how they react to the daily and seasonal variations and stresses in their environments.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"... a simple, accessible introduction to the living plant."
A.L. Jacobsen, Choice Magazine

"Overall, this text is highly accessible and comprehensible for nonspecialists, yet still an engaging read for specialists with a good knowledge of the plant life cycle and plant physiology. This text is highly recommended for any citizen looking for a straightforward and thorough overview of plants and their lives. It is an excellent resource for a non-majors course or course on plant biology for non-plant science majors."
Beronda L. Montgomery, Michigan State University for Plant Science Bulletin

"Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was interesting and presented many examples of plant species and environments from around the world."
Kathryn L. Buchanan for The Forestry Chronicle

"Reachin for the Sun is a very entertaining read for a basic overview of plant physiology. Casual readers interested in an overview of how plants function in the environment will find it easy to understand and quite informative."
Thomas Silva, Quarterly Review of Biology

"... one of the best-written, general accounts of plant biology that I know... King is a great teacher. In fact, he is more than that; he is a great story-teller. And this is nowhere better demonstrated than in his explanation of how water can rise to the top of very tall trees, a description that is built up seemingly effortlessly, and that along the way integrates strands of biophysics, biochemistry, physiology and anatomy, all of which are beautifully woven together to produce a complete and satisfying whole. So, if you are looking for a book to stress the significance of modern plant science/fascination of botany on young minds (or even no-so-young ones), look no further than the 2nd edition of John King's Reaching for the Sun!
Nigel Chaffey, Annals of Botany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521518048
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/6/2011
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John King is Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a past President of the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists and in 2001 he was awarded their highest honour, the Gold Medal, 'in recognition of outstanding contributions to plant physiology in Canada'. The first edition of Reaching for the Sun (Cambridge University Press, 1997) was nominated for the Rhône-Poulenc (now Aventis) Prize for Science (General Category).

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Table of Contents

1 Plants are cool, but why? 1
2 Photosynthesis: the leitmotiv of life 13
3 Respiration: breathing without lungs 27
4 Nitrogen, nitrogen, everywhere 39
5 Nutrition for the healthy lifestyle 53
6 Transport of delights 65
7 Growth: the long and the short of it 75
8 The time of their lives 89
9 A dash of seasoning 101
10 Dormancy: a matter of survival 115
11 Stressful tranquility 127
12 The colorful world of plants 141
13 Fragrance and flavor 153
14 Chemical warfare 165
15 Not in my backyard! 179
16 Cornu copiae: the horn of plenty 191
17 Getting dead 203
Epilogue 215
Bibliography 217
Index 221
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