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Profile of an Adaptive Radiation


  • Date Published: April 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521430319

£ 124.00

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About the Authors
  • This book, first published in 2000, presents a synthesis of the extensive information available on the biology of Bromeliacea, a largely neotropical family of about 2700 described species. Reproductive and vegetative structure and related physiology, ecology and evolution are emphasized, rather than floristics and taxonomy. Guiding questions include: why is this family inordinately successful in arboreal (epiphytic) and other typically stressful habitats and also so important to extensive fauna beyond pollinators and frugivores in the forest canopy? Extraordinary and sometimes novel mechanisms that mediate water balance, tolerance for high and low exposures, and mutualisms with ants have received much study and allow interesting comparisons among plant taxa and help explain why members of this taxon exhibit more adaptive and ecological variety than most other families of flowering plants. This volume concentrates on function and underlying mechanisms, thus will round out a literature that otherwise mostly ignores basic biology in favour of taxonomy and horticulture.

    • One of the most comprehensive treatments of the comparative biology of a group of higher plants
    • Allows the non-specialist to become familiar with one of the most important plant families in Tropical America
    • Especially attractive to biologists interested in the adaptive biology of land plants
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Within the book you can find not just fascinating stories of adaptation but unusual facts such as the role played by members of the family in Star Trek, Sean Connery's character in Medicine Man and which species Henry Ford used to stuff the seats of his early cars!' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society

    '… an essential piece of literature. It is useful not only as a library reference, a standard text for a course on bromeliads, but for every bromeliad enthusiast, biologist or taxonomist who needs more information on the family.' J. R. Grant, Plant Systematics and Evolution

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2000
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521430319
    • length: 710 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 47 mm
    • weight: 1.23kg
    • contains: 114 b/w illus. 56 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Vegetative structure
    3. Reproductive structure
    4. Carbon and water balance
    5. Mineral nutrition
    6. Reproduction and life history with H. Luther and B. Bennett
    7. Ecology
    8. Relationships with fauna
    9. History and evolution with G. Brown and R. Terry
    10. Neoregelia subgenus Hylaeicum I. Ramírez
    11. Cryptanthus I. Ramírez
    12. Tillandsia and Racinaea W. Till
    13. Tillandsioideae W. Till
    14. Ethnobotany of Bromeliaceae B. Bennett
    15. Endangered Bromeliacea, M. Dimmitt

  • Author

    David H. Benzing, Oberlin College, Ohio

    With contributions by

    B. Bennett

    G. Brown

    M. Dimmitt

    H. Luther

    I. Ramirez

    R. Terry

    W. Till

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