A major new undergraduate textbook on plant evoution This is a broad but provocative examination of the evolution of plants from the earliest forms of life to the development of our present flora. Taking a fresh, modern approach to a subject often treated very stuffily, the book incorporates many recent studies on the morphological evolution of plants, enlivens the subject with current research on ancient D.N.A. and other biomolecular markers, and places plant evolution in the context of climate change and mass extinction. It is written to be accessible to undergraduates, so, for example, geological time is discussed in terms of 'millions of years ago' as well as by the names of the ages, and English equivalents of plant names are prefered, e.g. seed plants (instead of gymnosperms), flowering plants (instead of angiosperms). * Links up the trends/patterns seen in the fossil flora from the earliest green algae through to the present day. * Covers the whole geological timescale, but focuses the chapters on periods when major evolutionary changes occurred. * Special Biome Maps indicate the general trends in changing global plant distribution through time.
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Kathy Willis is at School of Geography, University of Oxford. Jenny McElwain is at Assistant Curator, Paleobotany, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.Review:
`This book incorporates many recent studies on the morphological evolution of plants, enlivens the subject with current research on ancient DNA and other biomolecular markers, and places plant evolution in the context of climate change and mass extinction.' CAB International 2003
`the recently published book by Willis and McElwain is a breath of fresh air. There is no doubt about it, this is an important work. Without being blinded by new methodologies, the ideas expressed shine out for their reforming chracteristics.' Global Ecology and Biogeography 2003
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