Seeds by Carolyn Fry, hardback published by Ivy Press. ISBN 9781782403241, price 19.99 available from www.quartoknows.com
This book is all about preserving seeds and ensuring that plant diversity is maintained for future generations. It highlights the importance of seeds at a time of biodiversity loss. Seeds are veritable time capsules. Seeds have developed through the years and adapted to environmental changes. Their development is traced and the science behind this phenomenon is explained. Contents include the Importance of Seeds to Humanity with eight sections devoted to the relationship between seed diversity and humans; How Plants Evolved with nine sections discussing this from algae, spore to angiosperms; How Seed Plants Produce explained in seven sections including fertilisation and pollination; Dispersal in nine sections; Germination in seven sections including how seed survives; Using Seeds to Ensure Humanity's Survival in eight sections plus a glossary and further reading. It is about breeding resilience, natural selection, seed science and Vavilov's legacy and more. There is a section on seeds from arid areas of the world. The writing is subdivided into bite-sized sections, often less than a column. Each of the six chapters has a seed profile: grass pea, Wollemi pine, yew, mongongo, wood anemone and Arabica coffee. The book is well illustrated on a scholarly level, the photographs are not dynamic. This book is of interest to those with scientific leanings.