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Raven biology of plants, 8th edn. Evert R.F., Eichhorn S.E. 2013. W.H. Freeman/Palgrave Macmillan. £56.99 (hardback). pp. 900. 


I first found Raven et al.

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"s Biology of plants (hereafter described as BoP) in its 6th edition, publiburned in 1999, once designing a second-year undergraduate ‘botany’ course. Whether it was bereason this was the initially book I"d secured as a cost-free ‘Instructor review copy’ of a textbook (among the few ‘perks’ of being a university lecturer … ), I can"t be sure, but it"s been a continuous companion, and also on my recommfinished reading list for my plant biology courses (with suitable updating to 2005"s 7th edition), ever considering that. Why? Since it was – and also still is! – an excellent, all-purpose, basic plant biology (botany type of in all however name) text, which has plentiful coloured diagrams, photos and also photomicrographs, an extensive glossary (26 two-columned pages), a substantial index (64 three-columned pages!), suggestions of better analysis (many kind of of which are dated post-2005 as befits this ‘a lot of considerable revision in its history’) by chapter, a very readable – therefore pedagogic? – style, and covers all the basics, from advancement, taxonomic overcheck out of Kingdom Plantae (plus bacteria, archaea, virprovides, fungi and algae), ultraframework, anatomy, physiology and also biochemisattempt, ecology (although those last 2 chapters are now just accessible online), and even plant–human being relationships (both as a separate 22-web page chapter and as 15 short esstates throughout the book"s approx. 900 pages). Alengthy via the extensive updating, Peter Raven"s name has disshowed up from the listing of authors. It is not clear to me why this has actually taken place, yet this 8th edition is dedicated to the much-lauded gentleman (a Time magazine ‘Hero for the Planet’; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_H._Raven) and who is now honoured in BoP"s updated title, Raven Biology of Plants. And BoP retains its distinctive impressionistic cover – van Gogh"s 1890 ‘Field of Poppies’ this time – which provides it stand also out from the various other books on the shelf!

Does such a wonderful book have actually any type of competitors? Yes, tbelow is a large, competitive sector for undergraduate textbooks and plant biology is no exception. However before, the textbook closest in style and coverage to BoP – that I recognize of – is the approx. 700-web page tome Mauseth"s Botany (2014), currently in its 5th edition. I choose ‘Mauseth’ (and it"s not simply because it"s entitled botany!), but tfinish to turn to BoP initially and supplement information from that source with material from other messages – such as Mauseth"s. And you will must supplement BoP through other sources. If you desire more on the plant physiology side of points, then you will probably require the likes of specialist messages such as Taiz and Zeiger (2010). If you are after even more of the molecular biology measurement, then Smith et al. (2010) or Jones et al.

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(2013) will aid. To delve deeper right into the structural–developpsychological side of plants, texts like Beck (2010) will certainly be required. For more on those all-vital plants-and-human being facets of botany kind of, then inuseful are Levetin and also McMahon (2012) and also Mauseth (2013), and so on The suggest is not that you don"t need any type of various other message than BoP, because you do!, yet BoP is a wonderful starting point for the basics of plant biology. Ssuggest ‘mix-and-match’ BoP with your favourite, more specialist various other texts to get the preferred last outcome as suits your particular audience.

So, in concluichild, I do not think you have the right to beat Raven Biology of Plants as a good all-round, detailed arrival to botany (oh, albest then! plant biology).

An aside: the over comments refer to the so-referred to as International Edition – ‘for usage exterior the USA and Canada’ – of BoP, 8th edition. I"ve frequently wondered what might be different in this edition compared to the USA one, and also scrutinising Amazon"s UK website I think I might have uncovered the answer. The non-Internationwide Edition is presented retailing at around £120, however a reviewer (http://amzn.to/1jxOoOa) claims that both editions have actually the very same content. So, probably the International Edition must be recalled the ‘Austerity’ Edition. In any type of event, it is nice to understand that the Americans are helping out the cash-strapped botany students of Europe and non-USA/Canada!