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Trees are familiar components of many landscapes and 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 how they work? This updated and revised edition provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of tree biology and ecology and presents the state-of-the-art discoveries in this area. The wonders and mysteries of trees are explored throughout Trees: Their Natural History and questions such as why leaves turn spectacular colours in the autumn, how water reaches the top of the tallest trees, or why the study of genetics has caused so many name changes in trees are all brilliantly answered. Written with a non-technical approach, Trees: Their Natural History will be a valuable source of reference for students and those with a less formal interest in this fascinating group of plants.
1. An overview
2. Leaves: the food producers
3. Trunk and branches: more than a connecting drainpipe
4. Roots: the hidden tree
5. Towards the next generation: flowers, fruits and seeds
6. The growing tree
7. The shape of trees
8. The next generation: new trees from old
9. Age, health, damage and death: living in a hostile world
10. Trees and us
Peter Thomas is senior lecturer in botanical and environmental science at Keele University, UK with 30 years of experience in ecological aspects of trees and forest ecology in the UK, North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Russia and Australasia. He has written two other books for Cambridge University Press: Ecology of Woodlands and Forests (with John Packham, 2007) and Fire in the Forest (with Robert S. McAlpine, 2010).
Praise from the previous edition:
"Never less than interesting, it is written in non-technical language that is consistently illuminating [...]"
- New Scientist
"[...] an excellent book [...] The author has used an easy-to-read style with occasional quirky asides to keep the readers' attention [...]"
- Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
"So, if trees have always fascinated you and if you have any trees in your guardianship, read this book. Even a quick skimming of its pages will enlighten you and make you curious to know more."
- Sue Roe, Gardens Illustrated
"[...] [the author's] enthusiasm and love of trees is apparent on every page [...] it has become my 'tree bible'. I hope it will become yours!"
- The Dendrologist