A knowledge of how plants have responded to environmental change in the past is our principal source of evidence for predicting how they might respond to the new environments of the future and a knowledge of past climates may enable us to assess more clearly the human contribution to the climatic changes of the future. This book aims to present the results of investigations into the history of the world's plant cover over the last 65 million years, not the methods by which these results have been achieved, and to document a selection of published accounts, both general and specific, for further reading. The book is organized into four main sections, dealing successively with the tenet that modern plant distributions and communities have been moulded by long-term environmental change, the nature of global environmental change over the last 65 million years, the ways in which plants and plant communities have responded to environmental change, and the global history of forest, dryland and coldland communities over the last 65 million years. The final chapter considers the future.
I would use Plant Community History as a textbook in a course on Cenozoic vegetation history, ... [a] welcome and important addition to the literature of natural history. - TREE; Tallis has made a thorough and far reaching analysis of a very extensive volume of literature to put this book togetherm but at the same time has integrated the history of the earth's vegetation in a scholarly yet readable manner. - Biologist; I shall certainly recommend this book to any undergraduates showing more than a passing interest in palaeonecology and, of course, to postgraduate students... - New Phytologist
The reality of long-term change; diversity - the global plant cover; diversity - global climate; environmental change - the tertiary period; environmental change - the Pleistocene ice age; environmental change - the Holocene; the development of diversity; plant migration; the forested world of the tertiary; forests in decline; the resurgence of forest; forests under threat; dryland communities; coldland communities; past, present and future.