The Anatomy of Palms: Arecaceae - Palmae

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OUP Oxford, Feb 24, 2011 - Science - 276 pages
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Palms are an economically important group of plants and support major agronomic and horticultural industries, quite apart from their regional use in the cultures of many tropical countries as sources of food, fibre, and building materials. Although easily recognized and limited by a lack of secondary growth, they range widely in size, life form, and habitat. The Anatomy of Palms provides an extensive survey of the structure and vegetative anatomy of members of the palm family (Arecaceae or Palmae) and uses the most recent molecular phylogenetic treatment of the family as the basis for interpreting the systematic and ecological significance of anatomical characters. The first section (Palm Structure) starts with a description of the often distinctive anatomical techniques used, followed by the principles of palm development, a series of chapters on the microscopic anatomy of all the main organs, and finally an analysis of how these structures might have evolved. The second section (Systematic Anatomy) documents the systematic anatomical variation found in the subfamilies, tribes, and subtribes. The internal structure of all vegetative organs is reviewed, although lamina anatomy is emphasized. In those cases where genera are anatomically distinctive, they are described in detail. The intrinsic novelty of this approach is the innovative synthesis of the latest structural information for all genera of palms, set in a contemporary molecular phylogenetic context.

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About the author (2011)


P. Barry Tomlinson is a Graduate (BSc and PhD) of the University of Leeds, with graduate study at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has subsequently held appointments in Singapore, West Africa, and South Florida (Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden) before moving to Harvard University. Teaching activity has been based on a broad research understanding of many tropical groups.

James Horn studied botany at Cornell University (BS), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MS), and Duke University (PhD). Since then has been Research Associate at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Smithsonian Institution and carried out systematic and phylogenetic studies of Arecaceae, Dilleniaceae and Euphorbia.

Jack Fisher studied botany at Cornell University (BS and MS) and University of California, Davis (PhD). He has subsequently been Research Scientist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden studying structure, development, and function of tropical plants for 37 years. His other appointments include Visiting lecturer at University of California (Berkeley), Harvard University, University of Guelph (Canada), National University of Singapore, and Institute of Ecology (Xalapa, Mexico).

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