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Trees provide us with a variety of ecosystem services. They produce fruit, give firewood, offer medicinal, environmental benefits and inspire poetry and legends. They are considered sacred in many religions and cultures. Botany, history, mythology and folklore have all provided us with a comprehensive study of what trees have meant to humans throughout the ages. Many mythologies around the world have the concept of the 'World tree' – a great tree that acts as 'Axis mundi' supporting and healing the cosmos, providing the link between the heavens, earth and the underworld.
Trees have been given deep and sacred meanings throughout the ages, appearing in many areas relating to immortality and fertility. Yet like many plants, across the world, they are threatened directly through indiscriminate logging or through their habitat loss.
Trees of the World has been written and designed with the non-specialist reader in mind. It is subdivided into five parts for the five continents and highlights their contributions to the world's tree lore.
737 Colour photographs illustrate 296 examples of striking trees from around the world.
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Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, PhD is presently the Managing Director of the Centre for Phytotherapy Research (CEPHYR). She has authored several books on Medicinal Plants and on the flora of Mauritius and Africa. In 2010, she also co-authored the African Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
Elected Fellow to the African, lslamic Academies of Science and the Linnean Society of London, she has received several international scientific prizes namely the l'Oreal-Unesco Prize for Women in Science (2007), the Special “Woman Professionals in Science” Prize of the CTA/NEPAD/RU FORUM/AG RA/ATPS/FARA (2009); the African Union ‘Woman in Science‘ Prize (2009). In 2013, she received the Honorary Doctorate from the Universite Pierre Marie Curie (Sorbonne Universites).
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