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Greenhouse Ecosystems

Greenhouse Ecosystems
G. Stanhill and H.Z. Enoch
Amsterdam; New York: Elsevier
Publication Date: 

cloth, 423 p., $174.50

Greenhouse Ecosystems is an extensive treatment of greenhouses and their artificial environments. Sixteen chapters written by a number of international experts describe greenhouses and their history, geography and operational details. Cultivating plants out of season is an ancient and time-honored custom, and the first chapter describes techniques used in China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Greece and Italy to take care of plants in certain circumstances.

The introduction and use of glass greenhouses are described, with tables demonstrating their geographic spread over time and space. Chapter 2 on structures will be of great interest to architects and builders, with information on styles, sizes, design criteria, materials and ventilation. Chapters 3 and 4 examine issues related to microclimate modification.

The second section of this book treats the flora of greenhouses, such as edible and fruit crops, cut flowers, ornamental foliage and flowering pot plants. Information is provided on problems for these plants, such as diseases, insects and other harmful fauna. Tables provide a graphic description of diseases of major crops, scientific names of pests and other details. Control methods are analyzed for greenhouse pests and diseases. There is also a short chapter on the health of those who work in greenhouses.

The last section of the book looks at the flow of energy in greenhouses and ways to increase production and yield of greenhouse crops with the proper use of nutrients and other fundamental chemicals. Optimal dynamic management of the greenhouse climate concludes this technical section.

Each chapter includes extensive references for further details on each topic related to greenhouses. There are systematic lists of genera mentioned and subjects treated in the course of this book. Given Greenhouse Ecosystems' comprehensive and historical approach, it will appeal to researchers, students, designers, educators and horticulturists of all persuasions.

— Jean E. Bedger, Volunteer and Researcher, Library, School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.