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Reaching for the Sun
How Plants Work

2nd Edition

$51.00 (P)

  • Author: John King, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Date Published: February 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521736688

$ 51.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • From their ability to use energy from sunlight to make their own food, to combating attacks from diseases and predators, plants have evolved an amazing range of life-sustaining strategies. Written with the non-specialist in mind, John King's lively natural history explains how plants function, from how they gain energy and nutrition to how they grow, develop and ultimately die. New to this edition is a section devoted to plants and the environment, exploring how problems created by human activities, such as global warming, pollution of land, water and air, and increasing ocean acidity, are impacting on the lives of plants. King's narrative provides a simple, highly readable introduction, with boxes in each chapter offering additional or more advanced material for readers seeking more detail. He concludes that despite the challenges posed by growing environmental perils, plants will continue to dominate our planet.

    • A simple introduction to plant physiology, ideal for the non-specialist
    • Boxes include additional information to cater for the more advanced reader
    • New material on plants and the environment shows how human activities affect the lives of plants
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "... a simple, accessible introduction to the living plant."
    A.L. Jacobsen, Choice Magazine

    "Overall, this text is highly accessible and comprehensible for nonspecialists, yet still an engaging read for specialists with a good knowledge of the plant life cycle and plant physiology. This text is highly recommended for any citizen looking for a straightforward and thorough overview of plants and their lives. It is an excellent resource for a non-majors course or course on plant biology for non-plant science majors."
    Beronda L. Montgomery, Michigan State University for Plant Science Bulletin

    "Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was interesting and presented many examples of plant species and environments from around the world."
    Kathryn L. Buchanan for The Forestry Chronicle

    "Reachin for the Sun is a very entertaining read for a basic overview of plant physiology. Casual readers interested in an overview of how plants function in the environment will find it easy to understand and quite informative."
    Thomas Silva, Quarterly Review of Biology

    "... one of the best-written, general accounts of plant biology that I know... King is a great teacher. In fact, he is more than that; he is a great story-teller. And this is nowhere better demonstrated than in his explanation of how water can rise to the top of very tall trees, a description that is built up seemingly effortlessly, and that along the way integrates strands of biophysics, biochemistry, physiology and anatomy, all of which are beautifully woven together to produce a complete and satisfying whole. So, if you are looking for a book to stress the significance of modern plant science/fascination of botany on young minds (or even no-so-young ones), look no further than the 2nd edition of John King's Reaching for the Sun!
    Nigel Chaffey, Annals of Botany

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: February 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521736688
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Preface to the Second Edition
    Preface to the First Edition
    Part I. Plants and Energy:
    1. Photosynthesis: the leitmotiv of life
    2. Plant respiration: breathing without lungs
    Part II. Plant Nutrition:
    3. Plants are cool, but why?
    4. Nutrition for the healthy lifestyle
    5. Nitrogen, nitrogen, everywhere ...
    6. Transport of delights
    Part III. Growth and Development:
    7. Growth: the long and the short of it
    8. The time of their lives
    9. A dash of seasoning
    10. Dormancy: a matter of survival
    11. Color, fragrance, and flavor
    Part IV. Stress, Defense, and Decline:
    12. Stressful tranquility
    13. Chemical warfare
    14. Senescence and death
    Part V. Plants and the Environment:
    15. Elemental cycles
    16. The human touch
    Appendix. Genetic engineering in a rapidly changing world

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Plants and People
  • Author

    John King, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
    John King is Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a past President of the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists and in 2001 he was awarded their highest honour, the Gold Medal, 'in recognition of outstanding contributions to plant physiology in Canada'. The first edition of Reaching for the Sun (Cambridge University Press, 1997) was nominated for the Rhône-Poulenc (now Aventis) Prize for Science (General Category).

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