Winner of the 2022 Marsh Book of the Year AwardA long-awaited volume in the New Naturalist series examining the trees of Britain.
Trees are immensely valuable. They give shape to our lives with wood, the material that makes our homes, our books, our belongings; they nourish us with the air we breathe and the fruits we eat; and they sustain us, with their shade and the comfort of their presence. They are also fascinating - they are the biggest and oldest living organisms on the planet and are essential components of many of the landscapes of Britain. Trees have been vital in determining the ecology of our planet as well as the development of human cultures and communities, yet how much do we really understand about them?
How do trees live? How do they fit into their environments? Why are they so important to ecosystems on earth, and to us? And what does the future hold for trees? Can they solve the problems of climate change by absorbing enough carbon dioxide, and would we run out of oxygen if all the world's trees disappeared? Do trees really talk to each other? There is much to learn about these silent giants.
Ecologist Peter Thomas explores all these questions and many more, delving into the often hidden life of trees, using examples from around the world, from common trees to the unusual and bizarre. This comprehensive introduction to all aspects of tree biology and ecology presents the latest scientific and botanical discoveries and explores the wonders and mysteries of trees.
About the Author
Peter Thomas is an Emeritus Reader at Keele University and an Associate of Harvard Forest at Harvard University, USA. He is also the curator of the National Collection of ornamental cherries at Keele. His research and teaching are centred around anything to do with trees and this has taken him to all continents where trees grow, and has covered numerous topics from where in the ground water is absorbed by roots to seed production, to understanding tree longevity. His long suffering family, and now grandchildren, are well used to holidays and long detours to see particular trees. Peter is also the author of many scientific papers, monographs and books on trees, woodland ecology and forest fires.