Making Eden Review ☆ eBook PDF or Kindle ePUB

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Making EdenFrom water and conuered the continents to dominate the planet is fundamental to our own existenceIn Making Eden David Beerling reveals the hidden history of Earth's sun shot greenery and considers its future prospects as we farm the planet to feed the world Describing the early plant pioneers and their close symbiotic relationship with fungi he examines the central role plants play in both ecosystems and the regulatio. This is a fairly comprehensive survey of what we know about plant evolution when plants first started growing on land when leaves stomata roots seeds and flowers first developed Beerling also shows that without plants Earth would not be the Eden that it is today Interesting but some may find the genomic aspects too technical This book is something of a preuel to Beerling's previous book The Emerald Planet How Plants Changed Earth's History

David Beerling Ú 7 Summary

Over 7 billion people depend on plants for healthy productive secure lives but few of us stop to consider the origin of the plant kingdom that turned the world green and made our lives possible And as the human population continues to escalate our survival depends on how we treat the plant kingdom and the soils that sustain it Understanding the evolutionary history of our land floras the story of how plant life emerged. I'll be honest up front I found parts of Making Eden hard work to read But the effort was than rewarded David Beerling makes a good case that botany is unfairly seen as the Cinderella of biology it simply doesn't get the same attention as the animal side I realised how true this was when I saw a diagram of a 'timeline of evolution of life on Earth' the other day Out of about 30 entries arguably three of them applied to plants And yet as Beerling makes clear without plant life the land would still be barren and the seas far less varied No plants no animalsAs someone with a very limited background in biology I learned a lot here The sophistication of some plant mechanisms are remarkable Beerling dedicates a chapter for example to what he describes as 'gas valves' the stomata that open and close on the underside of leaves allowing carbon dioxide in The apparent downside is that they let moisture out but as Beerling describes this is what allows for example trees to lift water up through their trunks in what are kind of upside down fountains It makes remarkable readingSimilarly I was fascinated by the discussion of a special kind of evolutionary jump that could have been responsible for major changes in evolutionary development rather than natural selection as a result of the impact of individual mutations In these jumps whole genomes were duplicated allowing one set of genes to carry on their jobs while the copies could change taking on different roles before the two genomes merged back together There is apparently still some uncertainty about this but Beerling tells us that 'evidence is mounting' And there was plenty on where plants came from in the first place deducing the role of ancient genes the interaction between plants and symbiotic fungi the contributions plants have made over history to climate change and the environmental crisis we currently face I loved the suggestion that one contribution to mitigating growing carbon dioxide levels could be to give crops access to crushed basalt which would encourage the plants to capture and store of the carbon than usualSome of these chapters such as the climate change and environmental ones were straight forward readable popular science I found with some of the others I had to do a little light skipping when Beerling got too technical or delved into unnecessary detail In the genetic based chapters this came across in the abundance of technical terms I was reminded of Richard Feynman's infamous remark in Surely You Are Joking Mr Feynman when naming cat muscles during a talk and the other students told him they knew all that 'Oh you do Then no wonder I can catch up with you so fast after you've had four years of biology They had wasted all their time memorising stuff like that when it could be looked up in fifteen minutes'Picking a page at random in the Genomes Decoded chapter I find at least 10 technical terms some of which are mentioned here but then never used again It just makes the brain rattle a little In other parts Beerling describes in elegant detail how a particular distinction about a fossilised plant could be deduced but there is so much detail I found my eyes drifting onwards to move things on a littleDon't get me wrong I am really glad I read this book I have learned a lot and many parts were simply fascinating I just wouldn't want to give the impression it's an easy read where instead it takes some work but rewards the reader richly

Summary Making Eden

Making Eden Review ☆ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ï Over 7 billion people depend on plants for healthy productive secure lives but few of us stop to consider the origin of the plant kingdom that turned the world green and made our lives possible And as the human population continues to escalate our survival depends on how we treat the N of climate As threats to plant biodiversity mount today Beerling discusses the resultant implications for food security and climate change and how these can be avoided Drawing on the latest exciting scientific findings including Beerling's own field work in the UK North America and New Zealand and his experimental research programmes over the past decade this is an exciting new take on how plants greened the continen. I don't know who this book is for It makes the fatal mistake of flip flopping between highly technical and condescendingly lay Sometimes technical jargon that even I have never heard of shock is thrown around without any introduction or explanation right in the middle of a sentence that basically tells us like we didn't already know that plants turn sunlight into sugar You don't saaayIf you want to hear lots of Latin plant family names go read The Tree by Colin Tudge insteadIf you want to really understand how plants transformed a barren planet well they produce free oxygen and water vapor while seuestration CO2 directly and indirectly through rock weathering There I saved you having to even read this book You're welcome