an orchard invisible a natural history of seeds

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An Orchard Invisible

Author : Jonathan Silvertown
ISBN : 9780226757803
Genre : Science
File Size : 22. 26 MB
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The story of seeds, in a nutshell, is a tale of evolution. From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty-five-pound double coconut borne by the coco de mer tree, seeds are a perpetual reminder of the complexity and diversity of life on earth. With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown presents the oft-ignored seed with the natural history it deserves, one nearly as varied and surprising as the earth’s flora itself. Beginning with the evolution of the first seed plant from fernlike ancestors more than 360 million years ago, Silvertown carries his tale through epochs and around the globe. In a clear and engaging style, he delves into the science of seeds: How and why do some lie dormant for years on end? How did seeds evolve? The wide variety of uses that humans have developed for seeds of all sorts also receives a fascinating look, studded with examples, including foods, oils, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. An able guide with an eye for the unusual, Silvertown is happy to take readers on unexpected—but always interesting—tangents, from Lyme disease to human color vision to the Salem witch trials. But he never lets us forget that the driving force behind the story of seeds—its theme, even—is evolution, with its irrepressible habit of stumbling upon new solutions to the challenges of life. "I have great faith in a seed," Thoreau wrote. "Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders." Written with a scientist’s knowledge and a gardener’s delight, An Orchard Invisible offers those wonders in a package that will be irresistible to science buffs and green thumbs alike.

Seeing Seeds

Author : Teri Dunn Chace
ISBN : 9781604697131
Genre : Photography
File Size : 83. 40 MB
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“Llewellyn’s images reflect a depth of detail that until now, only the best botanical illustrators could approach.” —The Washington Post A centuries-old saying goes, “Great oaks from little acorns grow.” But as this dazzling book reveals, there is much more to a seed than the plant it will someday become: seeds, seedheads, pods, and fruits have their own astounding beauty that rivals, and sometimes even surpasses, the beauty of flowers. Bitter melon seeds resemble a handful of rubies. Poppy pods could be art nouveau salt shakers. And butterfly vine seeds look exactly like those delicate insects captured in mid-flight. Seeds also come with fascinating stories. Jewels of Opar got its name from a fabled city in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan stories. Lotus seeds sent into orbit by Chinese scientists came back to earth mysteriously altered. And fava beans—beloved of foodies—have a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality: they can cause the debilitating condition known as favism in some individuals and at the same time combat the microorganism that causes malaria. In these stunning pages you’ll gain an understanding of how seeds are formed and dispersed, why they look the way they do, and how they fit into the environment. Seeing Seeds will take you to strange and wonderful places. When you return, it’s safe to say that you’ll never look at a seed the same way again.

The Profit Of The Earth

Author : Courtney Fullilove
ISBN : 9780226454863
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 34. 75 MB
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While there is enormous public interest in biodiversity, food sourcing, and sustainable agriculture, romantic attachments to heirloom seeds and family farms have provoked misleading fantasies of an unrecoverable agrarian past. The reality, as Courtney Fullilove shows, is that seeds are inherently political objects transformed by the ways they are gathered, preserved, distributed, regenerated, and improved. In The Profit of the Earth, Fullilove unearths the history of American agricultural development and of seeds as tools and talismans put in its service. Organized into three thematic parts, The Profit of the Earth is a narrative history of the collection, circulation, and preservation of seeds. Fullilove begins with the political economy of agricultural improvement, recovering the efforts of the US Patent Office and the nascent US Department of Agriculture to import seeds and cuttings for free distribution to American farmers. She then turns to immigrant agricultural knowledge, exploring how public and private institutions attempting to boost midwestern wheat yields drew on the resources of willing and unwilling settlers. Last, she explores the impact of these cereal monocultures on biocultural diversity, chronicling a fin-de-siècle Ohio pharmacist’s attempt to source Purple Coneflower from the diminishing prairie. Through these captivating narratives of improvisation, appropriation, and loss, Fullilove explores contradictions between ideologies of property rights and common use that persist in national and international development—ultimately challenging readers to rethink fantasies of global agriculture’s past and future.

Encyclopedia Of Environmental Change

Author : John A Matthews
ISBN : 9781446264881
Genre : Nature
File Size : 85. 8 MB
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Accessibly written by a team of international authors, the Encyclopedia of Environmental Change provides a gateway to the complex facts, concepts, techniques, methodology and philosophy of environmental change. This three-volume set illustrates and examines topics within this dynamic and rapidly changing interdisciplinary field. The encyclopedia includes all of the following aspects of environmental change: Diverse evidence of environmental change, including climate change and changes on land and in the oceans Underlying natural and anthropogenic causes and mechanisms Wide-ranging local, regional and global impacts from the polar regions to the tropics Responses of geo-ecosystems and human-environmental systems in the face of past, present and future environmental change Approaches, methodologies and techniques used for reconstructing, dating, monitoring, modelling, projecting and predicting change Social, economic and political dimensions of environmental issues, environmental conservation and management and environmental policy Over 4,000 entries explore the following key themes and more: Conservation Demographic change Environmental management Environmental policy Environmental security Food security Glaciation Green Revolution Human impact on environment Industrialization Landuse change Military impacts on environment Mining and mining impacts Nuclear energy Pollution Renewable resources Solar energy Sustainability Tourism Trade Water resources Water security Wildlife conservation The comprehensive coverage of terminology includes layers of entries ranging from one-line definitions to short essays, making this an invaluable companion for any student of physical geography, environmental geography or environmental sciences.

Discoveries In The Garden

Author : James B. Nardi
ISBN : 9780226531830
Genre : Gardening
File Size : 80. 21 MB
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Every square inch of soil is rich with energy and life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the garden. At the tips of our trowels, a sun-driven world of microbes, insects, roots, and stems awaits—and it is a world no one knows better than James Nardi. A charming guide to all things green and growing, Nardi is as at home in prairies, forests, and wetlands as he is in the vegetable patch. And with Discoveries in the Garden, he shows us that these spaces aren’t as different as we might think, that nature flourishes in our backyards, schoolyards, and even indoors. To find it, we’ve only got to get down into the dirt. Leading us through the garden gate, Nardi reveals the extraordinary daily lives and life cycles of a quick-growing, widely available, and very accommodating group of study subjects: garden plants. Through close observations and simple experiments we all can replicate at home, we learn the hidden stories behind how these plants grow, flower, set seeds, and produce fruits, as well as the vital role dead and decomposing plants play in nourishing the soil. From pollinators to parasites, plant calisthenics to the wisdom of weeds, Nardi’s tale also introduces us to our fellow animal and microbial gardeners, the community of creatures both macro- and microscopic with whom we share our raised beds. Featuring a copse of original, informative illustrations that are as lush as the garden plants themselves, Discoveries in the Garden is an enlightening romp through the natural history, science, beauty, and wonder of these essential green places.

Library Journal

Author :
ISBN : UCSC:32106017988848
Genre : Libraries
File Size : 48. 29 MB
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Official Meeting Program

Author : Ecological Society of America. Meeting
ISBN : STANFORD:36105132965562
Genre : Ecology
File Size : 90. 28 MB
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Choice

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ISBN : UCSC:32106017987774
Genre : Best books
File Size : 75. 13 MB
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The British National Bibliography

Author : Arthur James Wells
ISBN : STANFORD:36105211722678
Genre : English literature
File Size : 42. 91 MB
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New Scientist

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ISBN : UCSD:31822036334795
Genre : Science
File Size : 56. 61 MB
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