Conifers range from familiar pines that grow in almost all parts of the world, to the towering redwoods and sequoias of the American West, to rare plumyews found only in remote Asian forests. these 600 or so species of evergreen trees and shrubs bear their seeds in cones and keep their needlelike leaves through all seasons. Although the conifers are greatly outnumbered by other kinds of plants in the world today, they are an ancient part of the plant kingdom. The Conifer Division explores the origins of these 310-million-year-old plants, as well as their unique physical features and roles in the environment. The Conifer Division also looks at the enormous cultural and economic importance of these plants and at the questions hanging over the fate of the world's last great conifer forests.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Classifying Life 7 Plant Kingdom Family Tree 16 Chapter 1 A World of Plants 19 Chapter 2 The Cone-Bearers 33 Chapter 3 Lives of Conifers 51 Chapter 4 People and Conifers 75 Glossary 85 Conifer Family Tree 88 Find Out More 90 Bibliography 92 Index 93