A Natural History of Conifers
A compelling account of the extraordinary relatives of ordinary garden conifers.
Leading expert Aljos Farjon provides a compelling narrative that observes conifers from the standpoint of the curious naturalist. It starts with the basic question of what conifers are and continues to explore their evolution, taxonomy, ecology, distribution, human uses, and issues of conservation. As the story unfolds many popular misconceptions are dispelled, such as the false notion that all conifers have cones. The extraordinary diversity of conifers begins to dawn as Farjon describes the diminutive creeping shrub Microcachrys tetragona, whose strange seed cones resemble raspberries, and the prehistoric-looking Araucaria meulleri.
The taxonomic diversity of conifers is huge and Farjon goes on to relate how, over the course of 300 million years, these trees and shrubs have adapted to survive geological upheavals, climatic extremes, and formidable competition from flowering plants. All who seek to learn more about the early history of life on our planet will cherish this book.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Foreword by William G Chaloner
introduction to Conifers
What Are Conifers?
The Image Problem with Christmas Trees and Hedges
Diversity Upheld Against the Odds
Will We Know All of Them?
The systematics of Conifers
Climbing the Giants
A Coniferous Island in the Tropics
Riding the Continents
The Success of Dispersal
Relicts to Be Discovered
Encircling the Great Eternal Ocean
Conifers and People
Who Is Related to Whom?
The Fragmented Tree of Life or Phylogeny Without a Past
More Genera Fewer Species
The Winnowing Task of the Monographer
A Classification Attempted Once Again
Conifers of the Past
All or Nothing About Ancestors
The Earliest Conifers
The Age of Conifers
Decline to the Present
The ecology of Conifers
Conquering Armies and Vast Empires
The Fortresses of Poverty
Outlive Your Neighbour and Take His Property
Imitating the Almighty Angiosperms
Facing the Enemy
The Woods of the World and Their Uses
Clothing My Estate
Conifers In and Out of Fashion
The Other Uses of Conifers
Conifers and Conservation
Extinction Is Forever
Why Conifers in Nature Are Important
A Pine in a Cage
The Conifers that Grow on Nickel
Evaluation of Threats to Species
Appendix A Classification of Extant Conifer Families to the Genus Level
Abies Agathis ancestor angiosperms Araucaria Araucaria araucana Araucariaceae areas Australia biodiversity birds Botanic botanists bracts branches Caledonia Cephalotaxaceae Chamaecyparis chapter characters China clade cladistic climate coast conifer cone conifer families conifer forest conifer species continents Cretaceous cultivars Cupressaceae cycads Dacrydium dinosaurs dispersal distribution diversity dwarf ecosystem epiphytes Europe evolution evolutionary evolved extant conifers extinction Farjon fers flora foliage fossil fossil record Gardens genera genus giant Gondwana grow growth gymnosperms habitat heathland island Juniperus Jurassic known Larix leaves mountains natural North America northern Norway spruce occur Ocean ovules Pacific Permian phylogenetic Pinaceae pine Pinus plants Podocarpaceae Podocarpus pollen cones Pseudolarix rainforest relict resin rock s s s Scots pine seed cones seedlings Sequoia Sequoiadendron shoot shrubs soil South Southern Hemisphere species of conifers specimens taxa Taxaceae taxonomic taxonomists Taxus Thuja tion trees Triassic tropical trunk ultramafic vegetation western Wollemi wood Zealand