Marsh Ecology Book of the Year Award

2009 - Beverly Glover for "Understanding Flowers and Flowering"




The underlying thesis of this book is that to fully understand plant development (and why flowers differ in shape, structure and colour), it is necessary to understand why it is advantageous for them to look like they do. Conversely, in order to fully understand plant ecology, it is necessary to appreciate how floral structures have adapted and evolved. Uniquely, this book addresses flowers and flowering from both a molecular genetic perspective (considering flower induction, development and self-incompatibility) and an ecological perspective (looking at the selective pressures placed on plants by pollinators, and the consequences for animal-plant co-evolution).

Understanding Flowers and Flowering first considers the evolution of flowers and the history of research into their development. This is followed by a detailed description of the processes which lead to flower production in model plants. The book then examines how flowers differ in shape, structure and colour, and how these differences are generated. Finally it assesses the role of these various aspects of floral biology in attracting pollinators and ensuring successful reproduction.

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