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Justus Ludewig von Uslar, and the First Book on Allelopathy

Biography / Memoir

By: RJ Willis


Hardback | Dec 2004 | #152759 | ISBN: 1402027524
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NHBS Price: £99.99 $132/€112 approx

About this book

Allelopathy is a fascinating and perplexing topic that concerns the chemical interactions of plants. It has profound implications in agriculture and forestry where species are grown artificially in mixture, with no evolutionary history of co-existence. The topic of allelopathy is widely credited as commencing in 1937, when the term `allelopathy' was coined by Molisch. However, the concept of allelopathy has been recorded since Greek and Roman times, became extremely controversial in the first half of the 19th century, and remains so today.

This book concerns a virtually unknown treatise by Justus Ludewig von Uslar, published in 1844, which emerges as the first book entirely devoted to the concept of allelopathy. The book provides the historical background to allelopathic knowledge, from antiquity to c. 1840. It also provides for the first time a biography of Justus Ludewig von Uslar, who is best known as the first Consul-General for Hannover in Mexico, and Director of the Mexican Company, a British venture mining company. In many ways von Uslar epitomises the tradition of the gentleman scientist of the 19th century. The book then offers a full translation into English of von Uslar's rare treatise, which foreshadows many ideas current in allelopathic research.


The Historical Background to Allelopathy: from Antiquity to c. 1840.- Justus Ludewig von Uslar (1780-1862) A Brief Biography.- Die Bodenvergiftung durch die Wurzel-Ausscheidungen der Pflanzen als vorzuglichster Grund fur die Pflanzen-Wechsel-Wirthschaft: About the Book and Translator?s Note.- Introduction.- Importance and Use of Crop Rotation.- Nature Clearly Hints toward an Alternation of Plants.- Earlier Opinions on Crop Rotation.- The Importance of Investigating and Learning about the True Reasons for the Necessity of Crop Rotation.- The Law of Nature which makes Crop Rotation Necessary.- A Short History of the Theory on the Poisoning of Soil through Plant Excrement, and consequently the Necessity for the Alternation of Crops.- Some Words on the Nutrition of Plants.- The Secretions of Plants.- Is the Plant Excrement Accepted, without direct observations, but then according to analogies, as exist in nature?- What does the Plant Excrement consist of?- How does the Elimination of Plant Excreta happen?- The Effects of Plant Excreta.- Sympathy of Plant Species.- Antipathies of Plant Species.- Indifference in Plant Species.- How does the Plant Excreta of Different Plant Species cause them to be either Sympathetic, or Antipathetic or Indifferent?- On the Means which Nature uses in order to Neutralise the Detrimental Effects of Plant Excreta, even though they are useful and necessary in the large economy.- Support of Nature in the Case of Decomposition of Plant Excrements through Cultivation.- Indications for the Practice of Crop Rotation.- Resume and Table of Contents.- Index.

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