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Plants and People: Origin and Development of Human–Plant Science Relationships

Traces the evolution of the relationship between plants and people from prehistory through the early twenty-first century
Focuses on domestication of plants and the rise of agriculture
Increases awareness on the production of food and about the contributions of biotechnology in feeding the world population
Examines the relationship between population and food supply with special reference to the ideas of Thomas Malthus

By: Christopher Cumo (Author)

227 pages, 50 b/w photos and b/w illustrations

Productivity Press

Paperback | Oct 2015 | #227294 | ISBN-13: 9781498707084
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $64/€60 approx

About this book

An exploration of the relationship between plants and people from early agriculture to modern-day applications of biotechnology in crop production, Plants and People: Origin and Development of Human–Plant Science Relationships covers the development of agricultural sciences from Roman times through the development of agricultural experiment stations in the United States to the rise of agri-business. It underscores the symbiotic relationship and mutuality that define the intertwined histories of plants and people. It does not merely present the latest science but puts the sciences themselves in the context of history.

Plants and People provides the science, chronology, and history that undergird the relationships between humans and plants. It discusses plant anatomy, physiology, and reproduction; evolution of plants and people; early uses of plants; the rise of agriculture in both Old and New Worlds; creation of land grant universities and agricultural experiment stations; the Green Revolution; plant biotechnology; and the future of plant sciences in feeding the growing human population.

The agricultural sciences were not a product of the nineteenth century but of the careful observation and advice of Roman writers who lived some 2000 years ago. Plants and People reveals the malleability of the sciences, the people who practice them, and the plants that are the focus of scientific research. The author is careful to distinguish between basic and applied science while recognizing that the agricultural sciences pursue both. He also challenges the traditional notion that basic research necessarily yields practical results. Plants and People demonstrates how plants and the agricultural sciences have shaped the everyday world we inhabit.


Contents

The Biology of Plants
- The Rise of the Sciences
- Plant Biology: The Cell
- The Plant Goes Underground
- Stem
- Leaves
- Flowers
- Anatomy of Flowers
- Dicots and Monocots
- Fruits
- Seeds
- Water
- Photosynthesis
- References
 
Evolution of Plants and People
- Toward Natural Selection
- Punctuated Equilibrium: A Modification of Darwinism
- Evolution of Plants
- Earliest Life
- Toward the First Plants
- Rapid Evolution of Terrestrial Plants
- Evolution of Roots
- Variety of Land Plants
- Pathways of Evolution
- First Forests
- Evolution of Seed Plants
- Rise of Flowering Plants
- Flowering Plants at the End of the Cretaceous Period
- Rise of the Grasses
- Tropical Rainforests
- Evolution of Plants in Perspective
- Human Evolution
- Australopithecines
- Homo habilis
- Homo erectus
- Toward a Variety of Humans
- H. heidelbergensis
- Neanderthals
- H. sapiens
- Homo floresiensis
- Mitochondrial Eve
- Out of Africa
- References

Early Uses of Plants
- Overview
- Role of Plants in Human Evolution
- Woman, the Gatherer
- Plants and Human Evolution
- Edible Plants in the Americas
- Partial and Tentative Movement toward Agriculture within the Context of Hunting and Foraging
- References

The Neolithic Revolution
- Overview
- Southwestern Asia
- Europe, Egypt, and North Africa
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- East Asia
- Southeast Asia
- The Pacific Islands
- South Asia
- The Americas
- References

Rise of Empiricism in Antiquity: An Overview
- Greco Roman Agricultural Writers
- Place of Agriculture in the Greco Roman World
- Empiricism and the First Stirrings of the Plant Sciences in the West
- Soil Depletion and Its Remedies
- Plowing, Weeding, and Planting
- The Olive Tree, Other Fruit Trees, and Grapevine
- Grains and Other Crops
- References

The Columbian Exchange
- From the Old World
- Soybean
- Rice
- From the New World
- References

The Rise of the Land Grant Complex
- Overview
- Movement toward Federal Funding of the Agricultural Sciences
- The Land Grant Colleges
- Toward the State Agricultural Experiment Stations
- A Variety of Plant Sciences at Public and Private Institutions
- References

The Hybrid Corn Revolution
- Overview
- Improvement of Corn through Breeding
- Rise of the European Corn Borer
- The European Corn Borer Spreads to the Gateway to the Corn Belt
- Spread of Hybrid Corn in the Corn Belt
- Hybrid Corn in the Developing World
- References

The Green Revolution
- Geopolitics and the Green Revolution
- Overview of Science and the Green Revolution
- Achievements of the Green Revolution
- Response to Criticism
- Toward the Future: The Agencies that Made Possible the Green Revolution
- References

Plant Biotechnology
- Overview
- Basics
- Techniques for Plant Transformation
- Biotechnology of Herbicide Resistance
- Biotechnology and Insect-Resistant Crops
- Biotechnology and the Search for Resistant to Plant Diseases
- Biotechnology and Abiotic Stress
- Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and Its Present State
- References

The Malthusian Crisis
- An Essay on the Principle of Population
- Population Problem
- Trends in Food Production
- Problems of Plentitude
- References

Bibliography


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