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Originally published in 1993, this second edition of a successful textbook describes and explains in a refreshingly clear way the origin and evolution of plants as revealed by the fossil record and summarises paleobotanical information relevant to our understanding of the relationships between the major plant groups, extant and extinct. As in the first edition, the text is profusely illustrated with line illustrations and half-tones. For those students with little knowledge of plant structure and morphology there is a brief resume of those features of extant plants that will be needed to gain a better understanding of the fossil record. Summarising charts are also used to help students visualise the interpretative material.
Preface; Preface to First Edition; 1. Introduction; 2. Plant fossils: preservation, preparation and age determination; 3. The fossil record: systematics, reconstruction and nomenclature; 4. Life in the Precambian; 5. Diversification of the Fungi; 6. Diversification among the algae and related plants; 7. How the land turned green: speculation; 8. How the land turned green: Bryophyta; 9. How the land turned green: vascular plants, primitive types; 10. The evolution of microphylls and adaxial sporangia; 11. The isoetalean clade; 12. Paleoecology of the Pennsylvanian coal swamps; 13. More diversity in the Devonian: Trimerophytopsida; 14. The origin of the Sphenopsida; 15. Unique and extinct: the Upper Paleozoic sphenophylls; 16. The origin of the horsetails; 17. Putative ferns of the Paleozoic; 18. The emergence of the Marattiales and Ophioglossales; 19. Filicales of the Carboniferous; 20. The emergence of the modern Filicales, Salviniales and Marsileales; 21. Free-sporing plants with gymnospermous secondary wood; 22. Gymnosperm reproduction: early evolution; 23. Paleozoic gymnosperms with fernlike leaves; 24. Cycads: origins and relationships; 25. The enigmatic cycadeoids; 26. More innovation and diversification among gymnosperms; 27. The record of a living fossil: Ginkgo; 28. The first coniferophytes; 29. The diversification of conifers and taxads; 30. The origin and early evolution of angiosperms; 31. Angiosperms: diversification, radiation, and modernisation; 32. Major evolutionary events and trends: in retrospect; Index.
Review of the hardback: 'This textbook is well written and well researched. In all, it is a pleasure to own.' Nature Review of the hardback: 'I recommend it as an excellent text and as a valuable reference work for those in related fields.' American Scientist Review of the hardback: 'I have seldom read a textbook with such enthusiasm and I shall recommend it to students and staff alike.' The Scientist