Flora of North America: North of Mexico; Volume 1: Introduction

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9780195057133: Flora of North America: North of Mexico; Volume 1: Introduction
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To be published in 14 volumes over the next 12 years, this long-awaited synoptic compendium represents the first and only comprehensive taxonomic guide to the extraordinary diversity of plant life blanketing our continent north of Mexico--including Greenland and the St. Pierre and Miquelon islands. The collaborative effort of more than 30 major U.S. and Canadian botanical institutions, it revises and synthesizes literally thousands of floristic monographs and regional floras published over the last three centuries. But more than that, it distills the original herbarium, laboratory, and field work of hundreds of contributors--all of them leading botanists and taxonomic authorities who have joined forces to develop this century's premier tool for identifying, understanding, and conserving North America's priceless floristic heritage. Concise, easy to use, and beautifully bound and illustrated, Flora of North America is an indispensable working resource for botanists, conservationists, ecologists, agronomists, foresters, range and land managers, horticulturists,--anyone with a serious interest in the distribution, habitat, morphology, and survival of the wide-ranging plant life around us. Each of its taxonomic volumes brings together the full spectrum of critical botanical data, from basic descriptions to chromosome numbers. The entries also correct erroneous information, qualify misapplied variant names, and note known hybridizations. Findings derived from recent experimental work and from numerical taxonomy are incorporated, and to assure accuracy, these data have been extensively reviewed and tested by cooperating taxonomic specialists. Volume 1 consists of a series of introductory essays by nearly two dozen noted botanical authorities. Among the topics covered are the transformation of North American plant life since the end of the Mesozoic era some 70 million years ago; the influence of geographic, climatic, and soil factors; the impact of human cultivation; great naturalists and their contributions to botany and floristics since the age of Columbus; and approaches to plant classification, with particular attention to the evolutionarily unique pteridophytes and gymnosperms that are covered in Volume 2.

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The Editorial Committee of the Flora of North America (FNA) is responsible for the authoritative, multivolume work describing the native plants of North America.

Review:


"A massive ten-year effort, coordinated by the Missouri Botanical Gardens and involving the collaboration of American and Canadian botanical taxonomists and institutions, finally bears fruit with the simultaneous publication of the first two volumes of a projected 14-volume catalog....Although regional field guides and floras with local range maps and photographs will continue to flourish, these handsomely bound and typeset volumes identifying and detailing the complete continental flora north of Mexico will be the definitive work well into the next century. For large public and academic libraries." --Library Journal


"I highly recommend this new series for the serious gardener or amateur naturalist. ...I'll bet this would be great for the cross-country family vacation: Imagine the kids in the back of the wagon arguing over which species of pine was growing along the interstate. -- Tony Avent, The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC


"Likely to be regarded as a major event in botany. Its volumes provide more authoritative and useful treatments than do the regional accounts, which hitherto have been the only available source for scientists, conservationists, land managers, agriculturalists, foresters, prospectors for medicinal plants and amateur naturalists." --The New York Times


"I'm delighted with Volume 1....lively and informative essays....an encyclopedia of our present knowledge of the flora of our continent....beautifully illustrated with maps, charts, historic botanical drawings. Excellent photographs....contains a very useful summary of major plants used by North American native peoples....an up-to-the-moment compendium of our knowledge....for a number of years to come, this will be an important reference work for all American botanists." --Bulletin of the Native Plant Society of Oregon


"Should become a well-thumbed reference work not only for botanists but also average gardeners and amateur naturalists." --The Phoenix Gazette


"The first comprehensive description of the plants growing generally north of Mexico....represents the culmination of 11 years of work....a milestone." --College and Research Libraries News


"Concise, straightforward, and consistent in format from group to group." --Robert Ornduff, Science


"Clear, well-organized, and thoroughly referenced.... exceptional....an invaluable regional reference. Highly recommended." --Choice


"Beautifully bound, library quality work. For anyone who ever wanted a reference on the plants of North America, this is the book of our dreams....invaluable to researchers in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and biology, and promises to be the standard reference for environmental management." --Gaillardia, The Oklahoma Native Plant Society Newsletter


"What you get here is a lot more than what you see.... authoritative. This is a dictionary of plant species, the working vocabulary of plant biodiversity, as essential to its knowing, productive users as any big dictionary." --Scientific American


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