cloth, 207 pp., $199.99
Unlike animals, plants are stationary organisms, remaining where they first began to grow as seedlings. They are motivated by different agents to grow in directions that will allow them to cope with environmental challenges. This ability to seek out better conditions through growth is called tropism. More than two centuries ago, the concept of tropism was proposed, initiating inquiry into one of nature’s mysteries that continues today. Editors Gilroy and Masson have collected essays on current research into plant tropism by prominent world scientists. The text contains an examination of the growth process in order to decipher the stimuli for changes. In particular, the study of plant responses to space flight has opened up new fields of investigation. Its goal is to understand tropism better in order to manipulate the processes within plants so that they can survive in hostile environments and ultimately sustain mankind in space.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden