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The Ecology of Seeds

By: Michael Fenner and Ken Thompson

250 pages, 48 illus, 2 tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Feb 2005 | #147429 | ISBN: 0521653681
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $50/€46 approx
Hardback | Feb 2005 | #147428 | ISBN: 0521653118
Out of Print Details

About this book

How many seeds should a plant produce, and how big should they be? How often should a plant produce them? Why and how are seeds dispersed, and what are the implications for the diversity and composition of vegetation? These are just some of the questions tackled in this wide-ranging review of the role of seeds in the ecology of plants. The authors bring together information on the ecological aspects of seed biology, starting with a consideration of reproductive strategies in seed plants and progressing through the life cycle, covering seed maturation, dispersal, storage in the soil, dormancy, germination, seedling establishment, and regeneration in the field. The text encompasses a wide range of concepts of general relevance to plant ecology, reflecting the central role that the study of seed ecology has played in elucidating many fundamental aspects of plant community function.

'The Ecology of Seeds is an invaluable book and a must-have for all students and researchers concerned with seed ecology.' Basic and Applied Ecology '... a major strength of this book is the care that the authors take throughout to set their review in the context of current ecological thinking and debate.' Annals of Botany 'Its accessible style will make it useful to all those interested in plant ecology, whether amateur, student, or those seeking to start or already engaged in related research.' Biologist 'The editorial work of the book is of the highest standard ... I am sure that the science of ecology will benefit significantly from this book, which can be recommended to any researcher dealing with natural or semi-natural vegetation, and especially to plant ecologists, foresters or nature conservationists. For seed ecologists, Fenner and Thompson's book is a must.' Community Ecology 'A concise synthesis of seed ecology, this book makes an excellent undergraduate text. Extensive referencing and evaluation of current debates also makes it valuable for postgraduates and a welcome refresher for seasoned practitioners.' Journal of Experimental Agriculture


Preface; 1. Life histories, reproductive strategies and allocation; 2. Pre-dispersal hazards; 3. Seed dispersal; 4. Soil seed banks; 5. Seed dormancy; 6. Germination; 7. Post-dispersal hazards; 8. Seedling establishment; 9. Gaps, regeneration and diversity; References; Index.

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Michael Fenner is senior lecturer in ecology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton, UK. Ken Thompson is a research fellow and an honorary senior lecturer in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, UK.

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