By David H. Benzing

Often turning out to be a ways above the floor, "air crops" (or epiphytes) defy a lot of our universal perceptions approximately vegetation. the bulk use their roots just for attachment within the crowns of bigger, frequently woody plants-or to things reminiscent of rocks and buildings-and derive moisture and food from the ambience and via accumulating falling particles. simply the mistletoes are real parasites. Epiphytes will not be anomalies and there are nearly 28,000 species-about 10 percentage of the better or vascular plants-that develop this fashion. Many well known houseplants, together with various aroids, bromeliads, ferns, and orchids, rank one of the such a lot wide-spread examples. In Air Plants, David H. Benzing takes a reader on a travel of the various taxonomic teams to which the epiphytes belong and explains in nontechnical language the anatomical and physiological diversifications that let those crops to preserve water, thrive with no the good thing about soil, and have interaction in strange relationships with animals resembling frogs and ants.

Benzing's finished account covers themes together with ecology, evolution, photosynthesis and water relatives, mineral foodstuff, replica, and the character of the wooded area cover as habitat for the free-living and parasitic epiphytes. It additionally will pay distinctive realization to special phenomena corresponding to adaptive trade-offs and leaf economics. Drawing at the author's deep event with epiphytes and the newest medical examine, this e-book is offered to readers unexpected with technical botany; it contains a lavish representation software, references, a word list, and tables.

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