Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Vitis: Biology and Species

"This book is a fascinating journey into the viticultural world and biodiversity, jealously guarded by man starting from the Mediterranean, in the oceans, islands and continents. The authors narrate the symbiosis of man and Vitis, the most generous genus, in which rural and scientific knowledge are admirably reflected and fruitful technological innovations ripen. The reading invites, with a look at the past, to appreciate the inestimable values preserved in the wine-growing landscapes and, at the same time, look with confidence to the future, inspired by the search for harmony between man and nature."
Prof. Adamo Domenico Rombolà
Professor of Viticulture
University of Bologna
Italy

Chalcones and Their Synthetic Analogs

Chalcones is a collective name of natural and synthetic compounds with a 1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-one moiety. Natural chalcones are biogenetic precursors of the flavonoids in higher plants. They belong to one of the major classes of naturally occurring compounds with widespread distribution in different plant families. Natural and synthetic chalcones display a wide variety of pharmacological effects, including antibacterial, antiprotozoal, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory activities, cytotoxicity towards cancer cell-lines, antitumor, and antitumor-promoting, activities. The chalcone scaffold is one of the natural privileged structures, which possess geometry suitable for decoration with side chains, such that the resulting products bind to different target proteins. The present contribution summarizes an up-to-date summary of their synthetic methods, UV, IR and MS characterization, covalent and noncovalent interactions under cellular conditions, as well as antimalarial and anti-inflammatory actions of natural and synthetic derivatives. Synthesis and spectroscopic properties of not only chalcones but their conformationally restricted analogs are also discussed. Furthermore, synthetic methods and biological activities of C5-curcuminoids, a class of compounds with the related 3-aryl-2-propen-1-one moiety, are summarized. The respective chapters discuss the known structure-to-spectroscopic characteristic and structure-to-biological activity relationships as well.

Desertification: Past, Current and Future Trends

Desertification, which is generally regarded as a special case of land degradation, has been an issue of global concern for decades…It is clearly a highly topical issue and this contribution, edited by Victor Squires and Ali Ariapour, is both timeous and relevant to the debate. The book is comprised of 10 chapters, six of which are either authored or co-authored by the editors. Because of their background and experience, case studies from Iran and China have a stronger emphasis in this volume than is usually the case. However, the first chapter by John Oswald and Sarah Harris provides a very useful and balanced global overview of the desertification debate, which I would recommend as necessary reading for anyone wishing to undertake research in this field…READ MORE
M Timm Hoffman
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Cape Town
Cape Town
South Africa

Estimation Methods in the Romanian National Forest Inventory

"The increased recognition of the functions and ecosystem services provided by forests underlines the need for reliable and up-to-date information on forests. Producing quantitative, diversified, and trustable information on forest states and dynamics is the aim of the National Forest Inventories. Their methods are very specific, complex, and deserve a complete presentation as endeavoured in this book for the Romanian Forest Inventory.
This inventory, one of the last implemented in Europe, had to cope with the challenging context of the Carpathian forests. The development of the sampling design and estimation methods is built on the experience accumulated by older inventories and represents a fruitful collaboration coordinated by the European National Forest Inventory Network (ENFIN).
The detailed information on the sampling and the estimation methods provided by this book offers a deep insight on the statistical background of forest inventories and their implementation. It constitutes a solid basis for understanding the principles of forest survey. This book is addressed to a large audience: from inventory specialists to researchers who desire to gain insights on the methods used in forest surveys."
Dr. Klemens Schadauer
Debuty Director of BFW
ENFIN Chair

Plant Ontogeny: Studies, Analyses and Evolutionary Implications

“Dr. Diego Demarco has gathered in this book a large cast of researchers of recognized relevance in studies of plant morphogenesis. This book addresses different plant structures with an emphasis on ontogenetic processes. The various chapters cover topics ranging from case studies to texts with revisionary emphasis and allow us to realize the relevance of ontogeny for the understanding of plant structures or organs. The focus on the processes of development and morphogenesis gives the different chapters the proper interrelationship, which makes this work a reference in these aspects so little explored in the textbooks. Therefore, this book deserves attention not only for the peculiarity of its focus on morphogenesis but also for its potential as an educational resource, being relevant to both scientists and students.” - Dr. Élder Antônio Sousa Paiva, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

“This book is a very important contribution to plant morphology: original studies on ontogeny of flowers and secretory structures, on development of leaves and of specialized organs of parasitic plants, and on the diversity and development of arrangements of inflorescences, provided by prominent researchers, bringing new light to our knowledge of the structure, biology and evolution of several groups of vascular plants. The high quality of the book contents reinforces the persisting relevance of accurate anatomical analysis to botany.” - Dr. José Rubens Pirani, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

"Our increased understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of plants makes it possible to revisit the organismic world in all its beautiful details. This contribution is an excellent illustration of the importance of combining anatomical and developmental studies, as it is clear that we know so little about the structure of plants. The book is a welcome addition to our understanding of developmental processes in the morphology of plants. Although the writing of “Plant Ontogeny” appears as an almost entirely Brazilian enterprise, it highlights a welcome Renaissance in morphological studies that appears to take the lead mainly outside Europe." - Dr. Louis P. Ronse De Craene - Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK

For more information about this book, please click here.

Phaseolus vulgaris: Cultivars, Uses and Production

“Phaseolus vulgaris: Cultivars, Uses and Production" provides comprehensive information on bean breeding, production, nutrition, health, processing and utilization all in one place. This book brings light to the universal appeal of beans by acknowledging their traditional roots, affordability and important role in staple diets globally. The versatility and cultural significance of beans have caught the attention of many product innovators as beans find their way into product formulations and culinary creations during a time of heightened interest for plant-based products, environmental concerns and rising healthcare needs. A great effort to bring topics on beans from along the entire value chain for convenient access.” - Pulse Canada, the National association representing pulse growers in Canada

For more information about this book, please click here.