This is an extremely interesting and useful book for anyone working with or needing knowledge of photosynthesis in algae and other aquatic plants. The emphasis on biophysics in the first few chapters sheds a whole new light on the processes of photosynthesis at the most basic level. The information is general and does not give extensive citations to current scientific work, but rather focuses on the historical research leading to current understanding of photosynthesis. My one criticism so far is with the number of errors, typographical and other, in some of the graphs and figures, making it quite hard to figure out just what is what. Hopefully there will be a revised edition which will correct these.
This definitive text on aquatic photosynthesis reads like a good novel. It takes the reader on a scientific adventure through the fundamentals of light absorption and the biophysics of the light reactions all the way to the biogeochemistry and evolution. Interspersed throughout the book are particularly interesting anecdotes about everything from the molecular clock to hole burning. A scientific tour de force!
I am a fisheries major, so my interests do not lie in the plant realm, at all. The course I am enrolled in is the ecology of algae, and it doesn't follow along with the book very well, but that's not really the problem. Falkowski's writing is full of so much jargon, it is very difficult to follow. It was written more for a graduate level, which this course is in part, but way too many big words are planted into each individual idea, making it a tough book to learn from. However, this said, the data and graphs used are relevant and seem to be concise for the concepts, and mistakes seem to be at a minimum. I just feel it isn't very approachable for an undergraduate, unless they have the time to go back and google terms and piece it together for conceptual understanding.