Synopses & Reviews
As in other areas of conservation, the crucial question concerning plant biodiversity isn't whether to conserve but how best to conserve diversity at the different levels of biological organization--the gene, the species and the community. Conservation biology is faced with several controversial issues, such as the dichotomy between the preservation of individual species versus a broader focus on the environment, the relative importance to give to endangered species, the design and management of reserves, and the drive for increasing agricultural productivity through plant improvement versus the drive to maintain traditional peasant varieties in cultivation. These and other issues are dealt with here by emphasizing and exploring the underlying scientific principles. The conservation of whole communities emerges as the paramount strategy for maintaining the evolutionary potential of plant life.
"This book would be excellent as an introductory text in an advanced course, or good background for already practicing biologists....[I]f you are taking on the conservation of a plant community and all it entails, then Frankel et al.'s book will get you very well started." James P. Bennett, Natural Areas Journal"This book fills a useful role in bringing a more rounded, scientifically based perspective to the conservation biology of plants....we learned a great deal from this book and would recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in conservation biology." Bulletin of the Torrey Botany Club"...will inform and guide all concerned with conservation biology....It would serve well as a text for courses focusing on plant conservation or biodiversity. It is essential reading for designers and managers of reserves, crop geneticists, scientists who study threatened and endangered plants, and students of conservation biology." Christopher S. Campbell, Ecology"The authors of the present volume clearly outline thier conceptual framework for the conservation of plant biodiversity....The strength of this book is that for each general topic...the authors provide a summary of both the underlying theoretical issues, and practical applications. The book is therefore of value to anyone interested inplant ecology or population genetics whether or not thier emphasis is on conservation." A. Jonathan Shaw, The Bryologist"The book's major strengths lie in the discussion of genetic aspects of conservation, and in the inclusion of both domesticated/useful species and wild spefcies as targets for conservation. There are superb reviews of the dterminants of genetic variation withinspecies, of the genetic aspects of crop evolution, of the importance of wild species as resources for the genetic "improvement" of crops, and of the mechanisms and processes of population genetics....The most valuable aspect of this book, is its thought-provoking assertions about the purpose and practice of conservation....broad, substantive content make this book ideal for a graduate seminar or adanced discussion group, where some background in ecology and genetics might be required or supplemented by other readings....I predict it will stimulate debate and clarificationof thinking among researchers and conservationists as well." Laura F. Hhuenneke, Ecoscience"I plan to keep my copy within easy reach so that I can use it as a shortcut to quickly delve into the botanical side of conservation biology." Robert B. Blair, The Quarterly Review of Biology"The Conservation of Plant Biodiversity provides a useful introduction to the field of plant conservation, particularly ex-situ conservation of plant genetic resources." Bruce A. Stein, Systematic Botany"[I]nteresting, and presents information well regarding the conservation of plant biodiversity from the gene to species level. We recommend the book to those interested in crops and their relatives." Economic Botany
Discusses the various options for conserving plants at the level of the gene, species and community.
This book highlights the different levels ofbiological organisation at which conservation is being addressed - the gene, the species and the community. It investigates two major areas of concern: 1. the conservation of plants of use to humans (crops, forest trees and other plants of foreseeable use) and 2. conservation of wild species in their ecological setting. The Conservation of Plant Biodiversity will become required reading for all those interested in conservation and the environment.
The crucial question concerning plant biodiversity isn't whether to conserve but how best to conserve diversity at the different levels of biological organization. This issue, as well as other controversial ones concerning species preservation, is explored within this study.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 260-289) and index.
Table of Contents
Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. The biological system of conservation; Part II. Diversity and Conservation of Plant Genes: 2. The genetic diversity of wild plants; 3. The genetic diversity of cultivated plants; 4. The conservation of cultivated plants; Part III. Conservation of Plant Species: 5. Plant species conservation and population biology; 6. The conservation in situ of useful or endangered wild species; 7. Ex situ conservation of threatened and endangered plants; Part IV. Conservation of Plant Communities: 8. Community structure and species interactions; 9. Choosing plant community reserves; 10. Managing plant community reserves; 11. Conclusions; References; Index.