The Geography of Phytochemical Races

  • Bruce A. Bohm

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVIII
  2. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 1-2
  3. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 3-123
  4. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 125-171
  5. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 173-216
  6. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 217-244
  7. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 245-284
  8. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 285-297
  9. Bruce A. Bohm
    Pages 299-299
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 301-337

About this book


This book provides an overview of geographic patterns in the distribution of plant secondary metabolites in natural populations. Examples include most common natural product classes: acetylenic derivatives; alkaloids; carotenoids; cyanogenic glycosides; flavonoids; terpenes of various sizes; as well as other structural types less easily categorized. By comparison, earlier reports in the literature on “chemical races” focused either on individual classes of compounds, on specific taxa, or on a particular geographic region.

Following an introduction that includes definitions of phytochemical and biogeographic ideas, information is presented in five loosely defined geographic trans-oceanic categories: examples within continents; after the ice; intercontinental disjunctions; oceanic islands; and polar disjunctions.

It has often been said that natural variation is the essence of evolution. It seems reasonable to suggest that this is as true with plant secondary metabolites as with any other feature that confers an advantage to one set of individuals over antiherbivore or antifungal activity of plants as they colonize new habitats, and thus meet new challenges; or subtle changes in floral pigmentation and patterning that would affect behavior of pollinators.


Flora biogeography chemical ecology natural product natural products phytochemical races plant chemistry

Authors and affiliations

  • Bruce A. Bohm
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaBritish ColumbiaCanada

Bibliographic information