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Cacti: Biology and Uses Hardcover – July 10, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (July 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520231570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520231573
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,632,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is nothing in the world like this book. It should be in every library and on the bookshelves of all those interested in cacti. The book will be an important resource for plant physiology, agronomy, and horticulture classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level."-Bruce Smith, Brigham Young University

From the Inside Flap

"There is nothing in the world like this book. It should be in every library and on the bookshelves of all those interested in cacti. The book will be an important resource for plant physiology, agronomy, and horticulture classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level."—Bruce Smith, Brigham Young University

"Cacti: Biology and Uses is a landmark publication of one of the world's most unique group of plants. Park Nobel, a leading authority on succulent plants, has assembled a collection of contributions that spans a wide range of issues extending from basic systematics, anatomy, physiology and ecology to considerations of conservation and human uses of this diverse group of plants. This nicely-produced and well-illustrated volume provides a resource that will be of great use to a wide range of scientists, practitioners, and enthusiasts of this plant group."—Harold Mooney, Paul S. Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology, Stanford University

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Frat Çng on December 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an advanced book, with plenty of black and white photos, but no color photos. This book consists of fifteen review chapters written by established experts and new contributors. The book description states that Cacti: Biology and Uses is the first book of its kind to compile information on cactus biology, ecology and uses.
Because this book covers a wide variety of topics, such as biology, morphology, conservation, pollination, and pest control, the writing is quite advanced in several different subject areas. For example, a physiologist may totally understand the chapter on shoot anatomy and morphology (Chapter 2), but may have less understanding of the chapter about breeding and biotechnology (Chapter 15). In Chapter 10 alone (Cactus Pear Fruit Production) a reader finds economic content with a supply and demand analysis and agronomic content with fertilizer and irrigation information. This seems to validate the book's description as a compilation of cacti information.
As previously mentioned, Cacti: Biology and Uses does not have any color photos, but it does have many, quality black and white photos, as well as many tables and figures. A basic table of contents is printed in the front, and then, each chapter begins with a more detailed table of contents. Each chapter ends with a conclusion and an extensive list of literature cited. An index, with some "See" and "See also" references, is provided in the back.
This is a high quality book who are interested in the biology, ecology or uses of a unique family of plants.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deranda on October 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a good book. Great information of cacti, how they grow, ect. Also has a great practical uses section. Some of the language in the first seven chapters or so is a bit technical for non-botanist folk (like me!)- but with a little bit of work the book is very understandable. Overall the book provides a great view of where Cacti stand as an edible food crop on both local and world wide scales, and presents some of the difficulties with marketing this drought resistant (yet tasty) crop. For anyone interested in sustainable agriculture in the Southwest or desert countries it is a great source of background information.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chose this reading so that I could design a research project on opuntia ficus indica. I liked the information that comes from around the world, it was however repetitive about some information.
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More About the Author

My scientific career began with a Bachelor's of Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 1961. Entering graduate school at the California Institute of Technology, my interests ranged from solid state physics to astrophysics to biophysics. After a Masters Degree, I transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, to pursue a Ph.D. in Biophysics, which I received in 1965. My research at that time focused on chloroplasts, the subcellular organelle responsible for photosynthesis. After a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral year at the University of Tokyo followed by another such year at King's College of the University of London, I settled into the University of California, Los Angeles. I have been there ever since (currently as a Distinguished Professor of Biology Emeritus in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)(psnobel@biology.ucla.edu.

A pivotal switch in career occurred during a Guggenheim Fellowship at the Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra in 1973/74. Stimulated by questions from students in a plant ecophysiology course, I moved toward environmental research on air boundary layers for rigid structures that did not flap in the wind. What better specimens than agaves and cacti of deserts! What began as a study of heat transfer across their air boundary layers progressed to everything entering or leaving such plants. Indeed, modeling and computer studies soon involved questions dealing with how desert plants cope with their extreme environment. Using agaves and cacti as taxa of interest, I thus shifted toward ecology, including responses of the roots. Also, I transferred approaches based on physics and engineering to plants with agronomic importance, such as Agave tequilana of tequila fame and various cacti cultivated for fruits and fodder in many regions of the world.

Besides nearly 400 research articles, I have written or edited 15 books. Beginning in 1970, I published a book entitled Plant Cell Physiology: A Physicochemical Approach (W.H. Freeman). As I became more interested in environmental biology, the scope broadened to include whole plants and plant communities. The seventh book in this series is Physicochemical and Environmental Plant Physiology, 4th ed., published in 2009 by Academic Press/Elsevier. I am also engaged in a series of books on agaves and cacti. The first was The Cactus Primer with Arthur Gibson as senior author (Harvard University Press, 1986, reissued in 2009), followed soon by Environmental Biology of Agaves and Cacti (Cambridge University Press, 1988, reissued in 2003). Next came Remarkable Agaves and Cacti (Oxford University Press, 1994) and then the edited book Cacti: Biology and Uses (University of California Press, 2002). I have just finished a book entitled "DESERT WISDOM/AGAVES and CACTI: CO2, Water, Climate Change" to appear early in 2010.

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