This encyclopaedic reference provides information about the scientific principles, the classification, and the members of the plant kingdom.
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Written by subject authorities, this encyclopedia provides approximately 380 articles on botany and related sciences. About half of the articles were updated and revised from other Salem publications, among them Magill's Survey of Science: Life Science (1991), Magill's Survey of Science: Life Science, Supplement (1998), Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues (2000), and Earth Science (2001). The rest were written specifically for this encyclopedia. The easy-to-understand, alphabetically arranged, signed entries are written at a level appropriate for high-school and undergraduate students as well as the general reader. Averaging several pages in length, discussions begin with an overview of the topic and end with an annotated bibliography of books and articles. All bibliographies, even those attached to articles taken from previous sets, are new. Examples of topics covered include Acid precipitation, Carbon cycle, Deforestation, Estrogens from plants, Fruit crops, Ginkgos, Medicinal plants, Rubber, Soil, Stems, Taiga, and Zygomycetes.
Black-and-white line drawings, photographs, charts, tables, sidebars, and maps augment the text. About 200 pages of useful supplemental materials are provided, including one-paragraph biographies of important botanists, a plant classification overview, a 35-page glossary, a time line of important advances in plant science, common-to-scientific plant names, scientific-to-common plant names, Web sites, and an annotated bibliography. A well-constructed 50-page index provides subject access to the set.
Two other recent encyclopedias on the topic, Macmillan's Plant Sciences (2001) and Grolier's Plants and Plant Life (2001), are designed to meet the needs of middle-school students and up. Salem's entry on the plant science shelves is recommended for high-school, public, and undergraduate libraries in need of a general encyclopedia of plant science. RBB
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Grade 10 Up-Designed to reinforce and expand material covered in high school or college-level botany texts, this encyclopedia provides in-depth information for any study related to plants, archaea, bacteria, algae, or fungi, from molecular-level processes to planet-wide economic or environmental issues. The 379 signed articles, about half of which are republished with revisions and updated bibliographies from several of the publisher's earlier reference books, are arranged into a single alphabet, from "Acid Precipitation" to "Zygomycetes," and average three to five, densely informative pages each. Every selection ends with an annotated booklist-enhanced by lengthier lists of books and Web sites in volume four-and a blizzard of see-also references. The final volume also contains capsule biographies of 134 scientists; charts matching hundreds of common names to scientific ones, and vice versa; an outline of classification; a comprehensive index; and other useful features. Considering the otherwise high quality of this encyclopedia, the visual material is disappointing, consisting of a skimpy selection of murky black-and-white photos, many of which are just filler, combined with a sprinkling of tables and charts-including a pie chart of land biomes with percentages that do not match those in the accompanying article. Still, whether pursuing particular facts or broad topics, serious students will find no more specific, systematic, accessible resource on reference shelves.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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