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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Good Reads  Botany  Vascular Plants  Trees & Shrubs

Trees

Monograph New SPECIAL OFFER
Series: New Naturalist Series Volume: 145
By: Peter A Thomas(Author)
502 pages, 247 colour photos and colour illustrations, 14 tables
Publisher: HarperCollins
NHBS
Ecologist Peter Thomas covers all aspects of tree biology and ecology in this revelatory New Naturalist volume.
Trees
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  • Trees ISBN: 9780008304539 Paperback Apr 2022 In stock
    £27.99 £34.99
    #252421
  • Trees ISBN: 9780008304515 Hardback Apr 2022 In stock
    £52.99 £64.99
    #252420
Selected version: £27.99
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About this book

A long-awaited volume in the New Naturalist series examining the trees of Britain.

Trees are immensely valuable. They give shape to our lives with wood, the material that makes our homes, our books, our belongings; they nourish us with the air we breathe and the fruits we eat; and they sustain us, with their shade and the comfort of their presence. They are also fascinating – they are the biggest and oldest living organisms on the planet and are essential components of many of the landscapes of Britain. Trees have been vital in determining the ecology of our planet as well as the development of human cultures and communities, yet how much do we really understand about them?

How do trees live? How do they fit into their environments? Why are they so important to ecosystems on earth, and to us? And what does the future hold for trees? Can they solve the problems of climate change by absorbing enough carbon dioxide, and would we run out of oxygen if all the world’s trees disappeared? Do trees really talk to each other? There is much to learn about these silent giants.

Ecologist Peter Thomas explores all these questions and many more, delving into the often hidden life of trees, using examples from around the world, from common trees to the unusual and bizarre. This comprehensive introduction to all aspects of tree biology and ecology presents the latest scientific and botanical discoveries and explores the wonders and mysteries of trees.

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Trees are essential
    By Keith 20 May 2022 Written for Paperback
    As a birdwatcher, I tend to pay too little attention to trees. I definitely need to rethink this as I am often thinking that a bird is hiding behind leaves that are preventing me from getting a better view. In fact, many large trees have at least 200,000 leaves, and these create a canopy light-capturing area of many square kilometres, in fact at least 350 square kilometres according to this book! Trees are hugely important to the planet and have been with us for around 350 million years. Amazingly, the oldest-known tree is a Bristlecone Pine in California which is almost 5000 years old. It is still in pretty good shape!

    The author, Dr Peter Thomas, is Emeritus Reader in Plant Ecology at Keele University in the UK. His experience in Europe and North America is extensive, and he did his PhD in Canada studying the regeneration of trees after forest fires. He has managed to weave together a lot of information in around 500 pages. In fact, the book is slightly wider than most New Naturalists and has a feel of quality about it – based on slightly thicker paper than some.

    After setting the tree scene, Dr Thomas looks at the value of trees and the way they help to shape our lives in so many ways – wood to build with, paper to create books, and the way that trees maintain the air we breathe and some of the food we eat. He looks at the tree’s year from spring to autumn, and the seeds and fruits in addition to leaves. Winter is a chapter that stands apart from others, particularly as a riskier period for trees with the potential for storm damage. As I’ve shown, they can live a long time, and he gives interesting examples of the extremes in both age, size and shape. Pests and pathogens get a chapter of their own and is an important one given that too many trees are being affected by disease these days. The changing climate around the world has changed the landscape for trees many times, and now for ourselves, we can see how some UK trees are just not going to do well in a warmer climate. Finally, Dr Thomas looks at the future for our trees. He is optimistic so long as people plan carefully and consider the options. Right now we have more trees than at any time in the last 250 years, but many are not the right ones to support wildlife.
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Biography

Peter Thomas is an Emeritus Reader at Keele University and an Associate of Harvard Forest at Harvard University, USA. He is also the curator of the National Collection of ornamental cherries at Keele. His research and teaching are centred around anything to do with trees and this has taken him to all continents where trees grow and have covered numerous topics from where in the ground water is absorbed by roots to seed production, to understanding tree longevity. His long-suffering family, and now grandchildren, are well used to holidays and long detours to see particular trees. Peter is also the author of many scientific papers, monographs and books on trees, woodland ecology and forest fires.

Monograph New SPECIAL OFFER
Series: New Naturalist Series Volume: 145
By: Peter A Thomas(Author)
502 pages, 247 colour photos and colour illustrations, 14 tables
Publisher: HarperCollins
NHBS
Ecologist Peter Thomas covers all aspects of tree biology and ecology in this revelatory New Naturalist volume.
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