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Science and the Garden: The Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice, 3rd Edition

David S. Ingram (Editor), Daphne Vince-Prue (Editor), Peter J. Gregory (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-77839-5
392 pages
October 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Science and the Garden: The Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice, 3rd Edition (1118778391) cover image

Description

Most conventional gardening books concentrate on how and when to carry out horticultural tasks such as pruning, seed sowing and taking cuttings. Science and the Garden, Third Edition is unique in explaining in straightforward terms some of the science that underlies these practices. It is principally a book of 'Why' Why are plants green? Why do some plants only flower in the autumn? Why do lateral buds begin to grow when the terminal bud is removed by pruning? Why are some plants successful as weeds? Why does climate variability and change mean change for gardeners? But it also goes on to deal with the 'How', providing rationale behind the practical advice.

The coverage is wide-ranging and comprehensive and includes: the diversity, structure, functioning and reproduction of garden plants; nomenclature and classification; genetics and plant breeding; soil properties and soil management; environmental factors affecting growth and development; methods of propagation; size and form; colour, scent and sound; climate; environmental change; protected cultivation; pest, disease and weed diversity and control; post-harvest management and storage; garden ecology and conservation; sustainable horticulture; gardens and human health and wellbeing; and gardens for science.

This expanded and fully updated Third Edition of Science and the Garden includes two completely new chapters on important topics:

  • Climate and Other Environmental Changes
  • Health, Wellbeing and Socio-cultural Benefits

Many of the other chapters have been completely re-written or extensively revised and expanded, often with new authors and/or illustrators, and the remainder have all been carefully updated and re-edited. Published in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society, reproduced in full colour throughout, carefully edited and beautifully produced, this new edition remains a key text for students of horticulture and will also appeal to amateur and professional gardeners wishing to know more about the fascinating science behind the plants and practices that are the everyday currency of gardening.

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Table of Contents

Preface to third edition, xiii

Preface to second edition, xiv

Preface to first edition, xv

1 Diversity in the plant world, 1

Summary, 1

Introduction, 1

Creating order out of disorder, 1

Colonisation of the land, 4

Communities and the diversity of life forms, 6

Conclusion, 12

Further reading, 13

Authors and affiliations, 13

2 The plant body: structure and function, 14

Summary 14

Introduction, 14

Energy flow in the biosphere: photosynthesis and respiration, 14

The light reaction of photosynthesis, 14

The dark reaction of photosynthesis, 14

C-3, C-4 and CAM plants, 14

Respiration, 16

Photorespiration, 16

Global significance of photosynthesis, 16

The leaf: into the labyrinth, 17

The manufacturing centre, 17

Cells, 17

Water relations of cells, 17

Layout of the leaf, 17

Controlling gas and water exchange, 17

Protection against harmful radiation, 19

Palisade tissues: the sites of photosynthesis, 21

The transport system, 21

Movement of water, minerals and hormones in the xylem, 21

Transport of carbohydrates and hormones in the phloem, 22

Producing new xylem and phloem: the cambium, 24

The bundle sheath, 24

Connecting with the stem, 25

Leaf fall, 25

Leaf patterns: phyllotaxy, 26

Variations on a theme, 26

The stem: reach for the sky, 27

The growing point, 27

Forming new leaves, 28

A tower of strength, 28

Secondary thickening: the formation of wood and bark, 29

Bark, 30

Stem modifications, 31

The root: mining for minerals and water, 32

The structure and growth of the root, 32

Storage roots and other modifications, 33

Nitrogen fixation, 34

Mycorrhizas, 34

Conclusion, 35

Further reading, 36

Authors and affiliations, 36

3 Reproduction: Securing the future, 37

Summary, 37

Introduction, 37

Vegetative reproduction, 37

Sexual reproduction, 38

Cones and flowers, 38

Alternation of generations, 41

Floral diagrams and formulae, 41

Seeds and fruits, 42

Other fruits, 42

Conclusion, 44

Further reading, 44

Authors and affiliations, 44

4 Naming plants, 45

Summary, 45

Introduction, 45

Latin botanical names, 45

Taxonomy: order in diversity, 47

New developments, 47

Cultivated plant taxonomy, 48

Distinctiveness, 49

Uniformity, 49

Stability, 49

Why plants change their names, 49

Taxonomic changes, 49

Nomenclatural changes, 50

Misidentification, 50

The quest for stability and linking information systems, 50

Botanical plant name stability, 51

Cultivated plant name stability, 51

How to identify a plant, 52

Conclusion, 53

Further reading, 53

Authors and affiliations, 54

5 Selecting and breeding plants, 55

Summary, 55

Introduction: adaptation and design, 55

Genes, 56

Gene regulation, 58

Chromosomes, 59

DNA replication, 60

Genomes, 61

Gamete formation, 61

Recombination, 62

Allelic variation, 62

Mutation, 62

Transposons, 62

Somatic and germ line mutations, 64

Chimeras, 64

Heterozygosity and homozygosity, 67

Dominant and recessive alleles, 67

Breeding systems, 68

Breeding inbred lines, 69

Breeding open-pollinated populations, 69

Clonal propagation, 70

F1 hybrid breeding, 70

Wide hybridisation, 71

Somatic variation, 71

Somatic hybridisation, 71

Recombinant DNA technology, 72

Marker-assisted breeding, 72

Genome sequencing, 72

Genetic modification, 73

Conclusion, 74

Further reading, 74

Authors and affiliations, 74

6 Summary, 75

Introduction, 75

Why do plants need soil?, 75

What do plants want from the soil?, 75

How soils are formed, 75

Physical properties of soils, 76

Chemical properties of soils, 79

Biological properties of soils, 80

Roots and soils, 82

Conclusion, 85

Further reading, 85

Authors and affiliations, 85

7 Soil cultivation and fertility, 86

Summary, 86

Cultivating the soil, 86

Managing soil nutrients, 88

Sources of the major plant nutrients, 89

Fertilisers, 91

Manures, 93

Composts, 93

Managing soil pH, 94

Managing water, 96

Soil-less growing media, 98

Conclusion, 101

Further reading, 101

Authors and affiliations, 101

8 The plant environment: Light and water, 102

Summary, 102

Introduction, 102

Light and photosynthesis, 102

The measurement of light, 103

Controlling gas exchange, 104

Effect of the environment on photosynthesis, 105

The effects of shade, 105

Water, 108

How water loss from the leaf is controlled, 109

The mechanisms of stomatal opening and closure, 109

Water stress, 109

The problem of drought, 110

Physical structures that help to conserve water, 111

Biochemical pathways that help conserve water, 113

C-4 plants, 113

Crassulacean acid metabolism, 114

Salinity, 115

Too much water, 115

Aquatic plants, 117

Watering in the garden, 117

Choosing plants for particular conditions, 117

Conclusion, 117

Further reading, 118

Authors and affiliations, 119

9 Plants and seasons, 120

Summary, 120

Introduction, 120

Day-length, 120

Mechanisms for the control of flowering by day-length, 124

Detection of day-length by the leaf, 127

Chemical nature of the flowering signal, 128

Plant hormones and flowering, 129

Formation of storage organs in response to day-length, 131

Day-length and the control of leaf-fall and dormancy, 133

Temperature, 134

Vernalisation, 135

The advantages of vernalisation for a plant, 136

Effective temperatures for vernalisation, 136

Devernalisation, 136

Direct effects of temperature on flowering, 136

Damage caused by sub-zero temperatures, 136

Breaking winter dormancy, 137

Increasing temperatures, 138

Conclusion, 138

Further reading, 138

Authors and affiliations, 138

10 Growing plants from seed, 139

Summary, 139

Introduction, 139

Seed production and germination, 139

Recalcitrant seeds, 140

Seed storage, 141

Dormancy, 142

Physiological dormancy, 142

Morphological dormancy, 142

Physical dormancy, 143

Germination, 144

Alternating temperatures and light, 144

Phytochrome, 145

Nitrate and smoke, 145

Some practical considerations, 146

Collecting seeds, and F1 hybrids, 147

Further reading, 148

Authors and affiliations, 148

11 Vegetative propagation, 149

Summary, 149

Introduction, 149

Characteristics of vegetative propagation and its value to gardeners, 149

How plants regenerate, 150

Practical propagation, 154

Softwood cuttings, 154

Hardwood cuttings, 156

Evergreen cuttings, 157

Leaf cuttings, 157

Root cuttings, 158

Layering, 159

Division, 160

Other organs, 161

Grafting and budding, 161

Micropropagation, 163

Conclusion, 164

Further reading, 165

Authors and affiliations, 165

12 Size and form, 166

Summary, 166

Introduction, 166

How size is controlled, 166

Endogenous factors, 166

External factors controlling size, 167

How form is controlled, 168

External factors, 168

Form and size can be manipulated by the gardener, 169

Pruning, 169

Special training methods, 170

Special forms, 171

Conclusions, 173

Further reading, 173

Authors and affiliations, 174

13 Colour, scent and sound in the garden, 175

Summary, 175

Introduction, 175

Colour in plants, 175

The perception of colour, 175

Plant pigments, 176

Pigments as attractants, 177

Variegation, 178

Chimeras, 178

Transposons, 178

Pattern genes, 178

Viruses, 178

Tulipomania, 179

Environmental factors influencing colour, 179

Seasonal changes, 180

The use of colour in the garden, 180

Scent and flavour, 181

Scent wheels, 184

Sound, 185

The nature, perception and appreciation of sound, 185

Sounds for pleasure, 186

Conclusion, 190

Further reading, 190

Authors and affiliations, 190

14 Climate and weather, 191

Summary, 191

Introduction, 191

Temperature, 192

Heat, 192

Cold, 193

Hardiness, 194

Growing season, 194

Soil temperature, 196

Precipitation, 197

Impacts of rainfall, snow and hail, 197

Seasonality of precipitation, 197

Extremes of rainfall, 197

Humidity, 198

Wind, 198

Nature and causes, 199

Effects of wind, 199

Pressure, 199

Light, 200

Day-length, 200

Angle of the sun, 200

Light intensity, 201

Sunshine hours, 202

Seasonality, 202

Climate, 203

Difference between climate and weather, 203

Global climatic zones, 204

UK climate influences, 204

Conclusion, 205

Further reading, 205

Authors and affiliations, 205

15 Climate and other environmental changes, 206

Summary, 206

Global environmental change, 206

Changes in atmospheric composition, 206

Climate change and climate variation, 208

Changes in nutrient cycles, 211

Other environmental changes, 212

Conclusions, 213

Further reading, 213

Authors and affiliations, 213

16 Protected cultivation, 214

Summary, 214

Why protect plants?, 214

What are the benefits?, 214

Temperature, 215

Development, 215

Stem growth, 216

Cold tolerance, 217

Principles of protection, 217

Energy transfer, 217

The importance of light, 217

Cladding materials, 218

Glass, 218

Film plastics, 218

Bubble plastic sheets, 219

Polycarbonate sheets, 219

Types of protection, 219

Mulches, 219

Horticultural fleeces and meshes, 219

Cloches and cold frames, 219

Tunnels, 220

Greenhouses, 220

Systems to be added, 222

Heating systems, 222

Ventilation, 222

Energy saving, 222

Carbon dioxide (CO2), 223

Lighting, 224

Irrigation, 224

Control systems, 225

Biological control, 225

Mechanisation, 225

Special cases, 225

Plant growth regulators, 226

Does protection have disadvantages?, 226

Crops grown under protection, 227

Chrysanthemum, 227

Cucumber, 228

Lettuce, leafy salads and other salad vegetables, 229

Poinsettia, 229

Strawberry, 230

Tomato, 231

Pot plants, 233

Conclusions, 233

Further reading, 233

Authors and affiliations, 233

17 The diversity of the undesirables, 234

Summary, 234

Introduction, 234

Pests, 234

Nematodes (eelworms), 234

Molluscs: slugs and snails, 234

Mites, 234

Insects, 234

Birds and mammals, 235

Diseases, 235

Opportunists, 237

Necrotrophs: destructive parasites, 237

Biotrophs: non-destructive parasites, 237

Hemibiotrophs, 237

Symptoms caused by the different types of pathogenic microorganisms, 237

Weeds, 239

Annual weeds, 239

Perennial weeds, 239

Weed origins, 239

Useful weeds, 240

Intraspecific diversity, 241

New pests and diseases, 242

Deciding whether an organism is a problem, 243

When is a pest a pest?, 243

The importance of weather, 244

When to control pests, 244

When is a disease a problem?, 244

Weed problems, 245

Poisonous and irritant plants, 246

Conclusion, 247

Further reading, 247

Authors and affiliations, 247

18 Controlling the undesirables, 248

Summary, 248

Introduction, 248

Keeping out the undesirables, 248

The role of the UK government, 248

The role of the horticultural industry, 249

The role of gardeners, 250

Know your enemy, 252

Control, 253

Cultural practices (‘good gardening’), 253

Physical methods, 255

Host resistance or tolerance, 256

Biological control, 257

Chemical control, 259

Conclusions, 261

Further reading and sources of information, 261

Books, 261

Websites, 261

Authors and affiliations, 261

19 Maturation, ripening and storage, 262

Summary, 262

Introduction, 262

Changes in metabolism and ethylene synthesis, 262

Respiration and water loss, 262

Ethylene, 263

Maturation and ripening, 264

Seeds, 264

Fruits, 265

Vegetables, 265

Cut flowers, 266

Pre-harvest influences on storage quality, 266

Diseases and disorders, 266

Climatic factors, 267

Field factors, 268

Varietal factors, 268

Harvesting, handling and preparation for storage, 269

Time of harvest, 269

Handling, 269

Post-harvest treatments, 270

The storage environment, 271

Fresh produce, 271

Low-temperature storage methods, 271

Controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, 272

Seeds, 273

Trends in commercial storage, 274

Non-commercial storage, 275

Seeds, 275

Soft fruits, 275

Stone fruits, 275

Pome fruits, 275

Vegetables, 276

Cut flowers, 276

Conclusion, 276

Further reading, 276

Authors and affiliations, 277

20 Garden ecology, 278

Summary, 278

Ecology and ecosystems, 278

Ecology: open and closed systems, 278

Food webs, 278

Nutrient and carbon cycling, 279

Cycling at the global scale, 280

Habitats, 282

Climate and soil tolerance, 282

Natural processes and human land management, 283

Slow-growing and fast-growing plants, 284

Competition and herbivory, 286

Habitat creation, 286

Biodiversity, 288

Why are there so many plants?, 288

Diversity and stability, 289

Ecological succession and the balance of nature, 289

Unstable dynamics, 290

Conclusions, 290

Further reading, 291

Authors and affiliations, 291

21 Garden wildlife and conservation, 292

Summary, 292

Natives and aliens, 292

Gardens and native flora, 292

Native species and the Southwood hypothesis, 293

Invasive plants and animals, 294

Gardens and the wider environment, 295

Wildlife in gardens, 295

Ecosystem services, 296

Conservation in gardens, 296

Conservation of wild plants, 296

Conservation of cultivars, 297

Conclusions, 298

Websites and further reading, 298

Websites, 298

Books, 298

Authors and affiliations, 298

22 Low-input and low-impact gardening, 299

Summary, 299

Introduction, 299

Conservation of resources in the garden, 299

Soil nutrients and organic matter, 299

Water management, 300

Recycling other materials, 302

Wildlife, 302

Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, 304

The problem of peat, 305

Environmental footprint of lawns, 305

Cash benefit of low-intensity garden management, 306

Conclusions, 306

Further reading, 306

Websites, 306

Books, 306

Authors and affiliations, 306

23 Health, well-being and socio-cultural benefits, 307

Summary, 307

Gardens and ecosystem service provision, 307

Why garden?, 307

Gardens and green therapy, 309

Restorative landscapes, 313

Horticultural therapy, 314

Health risks, 315

Crime and antisocial behaviour, 316

Social and educational opportunities, 316

Children and green space, 317

Encouraging a balanced diet, 317

Gardening and attitudes to the wider environment, 318

Conclusions, 319

Further reading, 319

Author and affiliations, 319

24 Gardens for science, 320

Summary, 320

Introduction, 320

Botanic gardens, 320

European origins and development in the United Kingdom, 320

Collections, 322

Research, 324

Conservation, education and training, 325

The gardens of horticultural societies, 325

Private and small commercial gardens, 325

Universities and independent research institutes, 326

Conclusion, 328

Further reading, 328

Authors and affiliations, 328

Glossary, 329

Index, 355

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Author Information

Professor David Ingram, Formerly Regius Keeper, the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, RHS Professor of Horticulture and Master, St Catharine's College, Cambridge; now Honorary Professor in the Universities of Edinburgh (Science, Technology & Innovation Studies) and Lancaster (Environment Centre), UK.

Dr Daphne Vince-Prue, Formerly Reader in Botany, University of Reading, Scientific Advisor to the Agricultural Research Council and Head, Physiology and Chemistry Department, Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, UK.

Professor Peter Gregory, Formerly Director and Chief Executive, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Dundee and Chief Executive, East Malling Research; now Professor of Global Food Security, University of Reading, UK.

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