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Manual of Leaf Architecture

Published in Association with the New York Botanical Garden The Manual of Leaf Architecture is an essential reference for describing, comparing, and classifying the leaves of flowering plants. This manual, illustrated with dozens of line drawings and more than 300 photographs of prepared stained leaves, provides a framework with comparative examples allowing consistent and detailed description of both modern and fossil leaves. This one-of-a-kind resource will be invaluable to a broad range of people who work with plants, from paleobotanists to systematists to tropical ecologists. The Manual allows for the description and identification of plants independently of their flowers, offering especially useful assistance in the case of fossil leaves (usually found in isolation) and tropical plants, whose flowering cycles can be brief and irregular, and whose fruits and flowers may be difficult to access. It provides long-needed guidelines for characterizing the organization, shape, venation, and margins of the leaves of flowering plants. Beginning with a set of illustrated definitions of leaf characters, this manual proceeds to define and illustrate the variations on each of these characters. The system presented here is based on a widely tested scheme but has been significantly expanded and refined through the detailed examination of thousands of living and fossil leaves.
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"This manual is an essential tool for leaf architecture studies ... providing valuable information for systematics, conservation, ecology, and such groundbreaking paleoecological research as estimating past climates using fossil leaves... In addition to the detailed and precise leaf character definitions that form the main body of the manual, the book includes examples of fully described leaves. voucher data for the leaf images, and instructions for clearing leaves. The volume is profusely illustrated with cleared leaf images and line drawings, and it is well referenced and indexed."-Choice, November 2009 "This guide is a major contribution, and it will revolutionize the study of leaves in many (increasingly interrelated) fields of biology. Because it truly encompasses the diversity of dicot leaves, this guide will be of use to paleobiologists, systematists, anatomists, functional ecologists, ecophysiologists, and researchers of biological networks generally. No previous work to my knowledge provides this level of diagnostic characterization of leaf morphological features. The presentation of concepts for the description of the leaf venation is also a major advance. I am not exaggerating when I say that for those of us who study leaves, this guide is analogous to the first manual on human anatomy, and this guide means to us what that manual must have meant for medical researchers! With this guide, researchers can begin new careers determining the evolution, functional significance, and ecological correlation of the diversity of leaf architectures, as here are set out a large number of leaf traits in one place, clearly and accessibly, and the descriptions are consistent, easily applied, and rigorous."-Lawren Sack, University of California, Los Angeles "Since the earliest days of scientific botany, subtle variation in leaf form has been both informative and confusing for specialists and nonspecialists alike. The Manual of Leaf Architecture places comparative studies of living and fossil leaves on a new and more secure footing. It will be indispensable for anyone using the leaves of living or fossil plants in their morpho-developmental, systematic, or ecological research."-Professor Sir Peter Crane FRS, John and Marion Sullivan University Professor, University of Chicago "This book is a clear, well illustrated, logically rigorous, and eminently practical distillation of the authors' vast collective experience in devising more powerful and objective methods for the identification of fossil angiosperm leaves. Not only will it be a boon for paleobotanists working on fossil leaves, but it should also stimulate greater appreciation of the utility of leaf characters in reconstruction of the phylogeny and evolution of living angiosperms and field identification of plants in both temperate and tropical regions."-James A. Doyle, University of California, Davis

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