1st Edition

Plants and People Origin and Development of Human--Plant Science Relationships

By Christopher Cumo Copyright 2016
    288 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    288 Pages
    by CRC Press

    An exploration of the relationship between plants and people from early agriculture to modern-day applications of biotechnology in crop production, Plants and People: Origin and Development of Human–Plant Science Relationships covers the development of agricultural sciences from Roman times through the development of agricultural experiment stations in the United States to the rise of agri-business. It underscores the symbiotic relationship and mutuality that define the intertwined histories of plants and people. It does not merely present the latest science but puts the sciences themselves in the context of history.

    The book provides the science, chronology, and history that undergird the relationships between humans and plants. It discusses plant anatomy, physiology, and reproduction; evolution of plants and people; early uses of plants; the rise of agriculture in both Old and New Worlds; creation of land grant universities and agricultural experiment stations; the Green Revolution; plant biotechnology; and the future of plant sciences in feeding the growing human population.

    The agricultural sciences were not a product of the nineteenth century but of the careful observation and advice of Roman writers who lived some 2000 years ago. This book reveals the malleability of the sciences, the people who practice them, and the plants that are the focus of scientific research. The author is careful to distinguish between basic and applied science while recognizing that the agricultural sciences pursue both. He also challenges the traditional notion that basic research necessarily yields practical results. The book demonstrates how plants and the agricultural sciences have shaped the everyday world we inhabit.

    The Biology of Plants
    The Rise of the Sciences
    Plant Biology: The Cell
    The Plant Goes Underground
    Anatomy of Flowers
    Dicots and Monocots

    Evolution of Plants and People
    Toward Natural Selection
    Punctuated Equilibrium: A Modification of Darwinism
    Evolution of Plants
    Earliest Life
    Toward the First Plants
    Rapid Evolution of Terrestrial Plants
    Evolution of Roots
    Variety of Land Plants
    Pathways of Evolution
    First Forests
    Evolution of Seed Plants
    Rise of Flowering Plants
    Flowering Plants at the End of the Cretaceous Period
    Rise of the Grasses
    Tropical Rainforests
    Evolution of Plants in Perspective
    Human Evolution
    Homo habilis
    Homo erectus
    Toward a Variety of Humans
    H. heidelbergensis
    H. sapiens
    Homo floresiensis
    Mitochondrial Eve
    Out of Africa

    Early Uses of Plants
    Role of Plants in Human Evolution
    Woman, the Gatherer
    Plants and Human Evolution
    Edible Plants in the Americas
    Partial and Tentative Movement toward Agriculture within the Context of Hunting and Foraging

    The Neolithic Revolution
    Southwestern Asia
    Europe, Egypt, and North Africa
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    East Asia
    Southeast Asia
    The Pacific Islands
    South Asia
    The Americas

    Rise of Empiricism in Antiquity: An Overview
    Greco Roman Agricultural Writers
    Place of Agriculture in the Greco Roman World
    Empiricism and the First Stirrings of the Plant Sciences in the West
    Soil Depletion and Its Remedies
    Plowing, Weeding, and Planting
    The Olive Tree, Other Fruit Trees, and Grapevine
    Grains and Other Crops

    The Columbian Exchange
    From the Old World
    From the New World

    The Rise of the Land Grant Complex
    Movement toward Federal Funding of the Agricultural Sciences
    The Land Grant Colleges
    Toward the State Agricultural Experiment Stations
    A Variety of Plant Sciences at Public and Private Institutions

    The Hybrid Corn Revolution
    Improvement of Corn through Breeding
    Rise of the European Corn Borer
    The European Corn Borer Spreads to the Gateway to the Corn Belt
    Spread of Hybrid Corn in the Corn Belt
    Hybrid Corn in the Developing World

    The Green Revolution
    Geopolitics and the Green Revolution
    Overview of Science and the Green Revolution
    Achievements of the Green Revolution
    Response to Criticism
    Toward the Future: The Agencies that Made Possible the Green Revolution

    Plant Biotechnology
    Techniques for Plant Transformation
    Biotechnology of Herbicide Resistance
    Biotechnology and Insect-Resistant Crops
    Biotechnology and the Search for Resistant to Plant Diseases
    Biotechnology and Abiotic Stress
    Public Acceptance of Plant Biotechnology and Its Present State

    The Malthusian Crisis
    An Essay on the Principle of Population
    Population Problem
    Trends in Food Production
    Problems of Plentitude



    Christopher Cumo