8. The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics.
Verlag Josef Markgraf, Weikersheim in cooperation with CTA, Wageningen; ISBN 3-8236-1169-0, 1991, 552 p.
This book is the translation of the well known original German edition: "Die Kulturpflanzen der Tropen und Subtropen".
The original German edition of this book was based on the lectures of the senior author (S.R.) at Göttingen University and on the documentation on tropical crops collected by G.E.
The number of plants which are cultivated in the tropics and subtropics is very large. About 2,500 species have been named, excluding ornamental and forest plants; this number includes the cultivated plants of the temperate zone, and some close relatives of the species cultivated.
The wealth of plants is far from being fully exploited and harbours genetic resources on a much larger scale than today used. More than 1,000 plants are discussed in this pocket manual.
World trade, the drive for exports, and the transition to rational production procedures are nowadays the causes of rapidly progressing changes in plant cultivation in the tropics and subtropics.
The main concerns of the authors in this book are to comprehend these changes, to exclude obsolete plants, to indicate new developments, and to consider the economic importance of each plant.
With regard to the scientific nomenclature of plants, the authors endeavoured to use the names which are valid according to the International Code. Where plants are still frequently cited in the literature under a name which is no longer valid, the most synonym has been given and if necessary, two synonyms.
It seemed desirable to give the common names of plants also in several of the world's most important languages, because the scientific names of the plants are not always given in the foreign literatures.
Botanical particulars (morphology, anatomy, physiology) have been limited to the features which are important for the agronomist. It has been impossible to present the multitude of agricultural methods and possibilities. The book is limited to emphasizing the most basically important and generally valid aspects.
Detailed advice about fertilizers has been omitted because of the extraordinary differences in soil types found in the tropics and subtropics.
Diseases and pests have been reviewed in as much as they cause severe damage and are of more than regional importance.
The book is organized in the following way:
Each chapter begins with an introduction to the particular properties of the plant group, giving an overview on the economics, production trends, nutritional aspects, chemistry, and technological features. The major crops are treated in detail. With regard to these, the authors sought to cover all essential points: production, botany, breeding, ecophysiology, cultivation practices, diseases and pests, processing and utilization.
The numerous minor or only locally important crops were collected in the tables; these give the valid botanical name of each plant, a selection of its vernacular names, and indicate its distribution, economic importance and uses. The drawings help to identify the plants and depict important morphological peculiarities. The diagrams illustrating the production during the last ten years are intended to offer visual information on the relative importance of a crop and on current trends.
As a key to available information, a large number of references to all the species included has been given. In selecting the quotations the authors aimed at covering all aspects of production and utilization, and all regions of the tropics and subtropics. All information on the plants dealt with in this book is available off-line from a continuously updated data bank for cultivated plants and relevant literature.
The book will be of use to undergraduates, graduates and practioners involved in plant sciences or other looking to extend their general awareness of this exciting area.
Clearly written in a precise form and well illustrated, with an extensive bibliography, this book is an excellent source of information.
The book is therefore highly recommended to all interested in tropical agriculture.
1098 92 - 4/141
Review, software system, package, starter data-files, handbook, plant growth, growth prediction, plant species, soils, climates, lesser-known crops, trees
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