About this book
This handbook is intended as an introductory guide to students at all levels on the principles and practice of plant growth analysis. Many have found this quantitative approach to be useful in the description and interpretation of the performance of whole plant systems grown under natural, semi-natural or controlled conditions. Most of the methods described require only simple experimental data and facilities. For the classical approach, GCSE biology and mathematics (or their equivalents) are the only theoretical backgrounds required. For the functional approach, a little calculus and statistical theory is needed. All of the topics regarding the quantitative basis of productivity recently introduced to the Biology A-level syllabus by the Joint Matriculation Board are covered. The booklet replaces my elementary Plant Growth Analysis (1978, London: Edward Arnold) which is now out of print. The presentation is very basic indeed; the opening pages give only essential outlines of the main issues. They are followed by brief, standardized accounts of each growth-analytical concept taken in turn. The illustrations deal more with the properties of well-grown material than with the effects of specific environmental changes, even though that is where much of the subject's interest lies. However, detailed references to the relevant parts of more com prehensive works appear throughout, and a later section on 'Inter relations' adds perspective. Some 'Questions and answers' may also help to show what topics will arise if the subject is pursued further.
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