The Diversity and Evolution of Plants: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Diversity and Evolution of Plants

1st Edition

By Lorentz C. Pearson

CRC Press

656 pages

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Paperback: 9780849324833
pub: 1995-03-23

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This exciting new textbook examines the concepts of evolution as the underlying cause of the rich diversity of life on earth-and our danger of losing that rich diversity. Written as a college textbook, The Diversity and Evolution of Plants introduces the great variety of life during past ages, manifested by the fossil record, using a new natural classification system. It begins in the Proterozoic Era, when bacteria and bluegreen algae first appeared, and continues through the explosions of new marine forms in the Helikian and Hadrynian Periods, land plants in the Devonian, and flowering plants in the Cretaceous. Following an introduction, the three subkingdoms of plants are discussed. Each chapter covers one of the eleven divisions of plants and begins with an interesting vignette of a plant typical of that division. A section on each of the classes within the division follows. Each section describes where the groups of plants are found and their distinguishing features. Discussions in each section include phylogeny and classification, general morphology, and physiology, ecological significance, economic uses, and potential for research. Suggested readings and student exercises are found at the end of each chapter.


"There can be no other word to describe this book than the term 'encyclopaedic.' Its 640 pages, 86 tables and 182 well-chosen illustrations provide a veritable mine of information and from an interdisciplinary point of view. It can, without any reservation, be recommended for its unexcelled presentation of material valuable for environmental conservation specialists…"

Richard Evans Schultes, Botanical Museum of Harvard University in Journal of Ethnobiology

"…a carefully structured and well-presented textbook that makes a special effort to provide students with starting poits for additional studies…because of its very readable style, this book will interest students to really think about plant evolution in a broad sense rather than simply learn facts."

-Northeastern Naturalist

Table of Contents


Introduction: Origin and Evolution of Plants

Plant Diversity and Classification

Plant Diversity in Time and Space

The Red Line

Procaryotes or Fission Plants

Red Seaweeds

Terrestrial Fungi: Molds and Mushrooms

Lichens and Other Symbiotic Plants

The Brown Line

Fire Plants and Cryptophytes

Slime Molds

The Ubiquitous Algae: Diatoms and Other Chrysophytes

Flagellated Fungi

Kelps and Other Brown Seaweeds

The Green Line


The Pond "Mosses," Siphonophytes, and Stoneworts

Mosses and Liverworts

The Fern Allies and Origin of the Vascular Plants


Plants with Seeds: The Gymnosperms

Plants with Seeds: The Flowering Plants




Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General