Reaching for the Sun - How plants work (2nd ed)

John King 
CUP  January 2011  

Hardback  310 pp  ISBN 9780521518048      £60.00

Softcover  310 pp  ISBN 9780521736688      £25.00
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, this 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.

This book provides a simple, highly readable introduction, with boxes in each chapter offering additional or more advanced material for readers seeking more detail. It concludes that despite the challenges posed by growing environmental perils, plants will continue to dominate our planet.


Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition

Part I. Plants and Energy:

  • Photosynthesis: the leitmotiv of life
  • Plant respiration: breathing without lungs
  • References

Part II. Plant Nutrition:

  • Plants are cool, but why?
  • Nutrition for the healthy lifestyle
  • Nitrogen, nitrogen, everywhere ...
  • Transport of delights
  • References

Part III. Growth and Development:

  • Growth: the long and the short of it
  • The time of their lives
  • A dash of seasoning
  • Dormancy: a matter of survival
  • Color, fragrance, and flavor
  • References

Part IV. Stress, Defense, and Decline:

  • Stressful tranquility
  • Chemical warfare
  • Senescence and death
  • References

Part V. Plants and the Environment:

  • Elemental cycles
  • The human touch
  • Genetic engineering in a rapidly changing world


To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
environmental science : genetically modified organisms : genetics : nitrogen cycle : photosynthesis : plant genetics : plant nutrition : plant pathology : plant physiology

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