New to this Edition
|Several changes have been made to the third edition of Plants and Society. A new chapter has been added and another has been largely re-organized. New and updated information has been added to most of the chapters, while new and revised figures give much of the textbook a different look.
Chapter 22: The Algae is a new chapter that is devoted entirely to the biology and applied aspects of the algae. The discussion of the major algal groups and their characteristics has been expanded and information about the impact of algae as food, in industrial products, and as the source of toxins and harmful algal blooms has been updated. There are two new boxed essays in Chapter 22. “Drugs from the Sea” describes the promise of medicinal compounds from marine algae. “Killer Alga - The Story of A Deadly Invader” reports on how the seaweed Caulerpa is devastating marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea and threatening other coastal areas. Also, introductory sections about the algae and the non-flowering plants have been added to Chapter 1: Plants in Our Lives to reflect their increased coverage in later chapters.
Chapter 9: Diversity of Plant Life has been thoroughly re-organized. This chapter now emphasizes the plant kingdom from mosses to flowering plants, with special emphasis on the non-flowering plants. Sections on the cycads and ginkgo have been expanded to include more on the applied aspects of these plant groups. Figure 9.1 has been completely revised to reflect the current knowledge about the phylogeny of plants.
We have continued to spotlight botanical topics by adding a number of new boxed readings. The boxed essay “Biological Mimics” in Chapter 1 has been expanded to include the connection between the thorns of osage orange and barbed wire. Also in Chapter 1, the versatility and utility of botanicals is introduced in “Plant Chemicals from Perfume to Poison.” “Studying Ancient Tree Rings” in Chapter 3 explains how advances in dendrochronology have shed light on several historical events in colonial America. “Mad About Tulips” in Chapter 5 describes how a national obsession for a flower drove 17th century Holland to the brink of economic ruin. The exciting breakthroughs of the Human Genome Project are the subject of Chapter 7’s “Try These Genes on for Size.” There are two new readings on materials made from plants in Chapter 18. “A Tisket, A Tasket, There are All Types of Baskets” discusses the techniques and plants used in weaving baskets and “Good Vibrations” details how plants have been used in the making of music and musical instruments. “The New Wonder Drugs” in Chapter 25 has been greatly expanded to include a description of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
A new feature, Learning Online, can now be found at the end of every chapter. This list of chapter-related topics mimics an identical list on this new website accompanying the third edition of Plants and Society. The list on this website is linked to crucial information on each of these topics. These links are updated periodically through our database to help students stay on top of their research and study responsibilities.
New, Expanded, and Updated Information
The world of plants is constantly expanding and we have responded by adding and updating material in most of the chapters. In Chapter 6, the durian is introduced, an exotic tropical fruit known as much for its indescribable taste as well as its atrocious smell. The PhyloCode, a challenge to replace the Linnaean system of nomenclature, is discussed in Chapter 8. A number of plants have been introduced in the third edition. Jicama, Jeruslaem artichoke, and naranjilla are all underutilized crops that have been targeted for development and presented in Chapters 12, 14, and 15 respectively. The social implications of cocoa and chocolate, as a tool for social good used by the Quakers in the 1800s, and today, connected to the slave labor of children, is discussed in Chapter 16. Chapter 17 includes information on wasabi, the Japanese horseradish, one of the most difficult herbs to cultivate. Chapter 24 introduces quorn, a novel, high-protein meat substitute that is made from a fungus. The threat to human health from indoor fungi and toxic molds is discussed in Chapter 25. A new section on forest management has been added to Chapter 26.
Major advancements have occurred in plant biotechnology since the last edition and this has necessitated a major update of this material in Chapter 15. The promise and problem of genetically engineered crops such as StarLink corn and golden rice and the concept of molecular farming in which plants are genetically manipulated to produce pharmaceuticals are new sections that has been added to this chapter.
Many of the updates in the third edition center on the topic of health. In Chapter 6, the dangerous interaction between grapefruit juice and medications is explained. The most recent information concerning the health effects of dietary fiber, the resurgence of rickets, and nutrient guidelines are included in Chapter 10. Recently released research on the connection between coffee and Parkinson’s disease and the latest information about the health benefits of cocoa are presented in Chapter 16. In Chapter 19, saw palmetto is included as a valid herbal medication for some types of prostate problems but at the same time a provocative discussion on the drawbacks and dangers of herbal medications is also presented. In Chapters 19, 20, and 26 respectively, new information is included on the health effects of aspirin, marijuana, and alcohol.
With regard to environmental issues, the progress of the Kyoto Protocol to curb greenhouse gases and global warming is documented in Chapter 26.
Many of the figures in Chapter 4: Plant Physiology have been streamlined for clearer understanding of the metabolic pathways of photosynthesis and respiration. Also, a new table that summarizes and compares respiration and photosynthesis has been added to this chapter.
The third edition has an updated look with new unit and chapter photos as well as a new design for the chapter opening pages. Over 50 new or revised photographs, figures, and tables have been added to the third edition.