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Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates: California, Chile, South Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean Basin [Hardcover]

Peter Dallman

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Book Description

6 Aug 1998
This book provides a beautifully illustrated overview of the landscapes, vegetation types, and plants of the five regions of the world that have a Mediterranean climate. This climate of mild, rainy winters and dry, warm summers is found in the Mediterranean Basin, the south-western part of Australia, the Cape region of South Africa, Central Chile, and California. The regions are widely separated and the flora of each is distinctive, having for the most part developed independently. Nevertheless, the plants share remarkably similar characteristics which allow them to survive in these unusual conditions. Peter Dallman's non-technical prose is complemented by numerous maps, tables, and figures, and the book is richly illustrated with photographs of landscapes, plants, and flowers to a very high standard. With its detailed information on some of the world's most resilient plant life, this book will service as an excellent naturalist's guide to these beautiful and unusual bioregions and as an invaluable reference for everyone interested in growing drought-resistant plants. For the growing number of travellers whose vacations focus on learning about and appreciating natural history, Dallman also includes a chapter on planning trips to the five 'Mediterranean' regions.

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About the Author

Peter Dallman is Professor of Paediatrics at the University of California. He is also Chairman of the Docent Council of The Strybing Arboretum and has travelled widely to study the plants of the Mediterranean regions. Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates will be published by California University Press in conjunction with the California Native Plant Society, and Oxford University Press will publish the book outside North America.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful, beautifully produced book 1 Jan 2001
By William Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
This book falls into a category somewhere between botany, climatology, and geography; it looks at several different types of "mediterranean climate" around the world, and describes the different vegetational types within each region, explaining (in a scholarly but accessible way) why these plant communities look the way they do.
It's beautifully produced, with both climate maps and full-color illustrations of plants and plant communities. I know of no other book that explains the relationship between geography and botanical ecology this elegantly; it's a lot of fun to browse, and I would recommend it *very* highly to armchair travellers with botanical inclinations.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" for horticulralists and gardeners. 3 Feb 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Peter Dallman's Plant Life In The World's Mediterranean Climates covers plants of California, Australia, South Africa and the Mediterranean, and will prove more accessible to general audiences studying plants. Here are photos, charts, and a host of details on plant communities and plant life common to this climate, with chapters providing both individual regional details and links between plants of each area. This is a highly recommended pick not just for specialty libraries, but for general collections.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of mediterranean climates 18 Sep 2005
By K. Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great. It has plenty of pictures, diagrams and drawings. Most of the pictures are not in color, however, which is its biggest downfall. It is not a detailed evaluation of mediterranean climates nor is it a good plant ID book, but provides an excellent overview for both the layman and scientist. It provides informatin on the plants that make the mediterranean climate unique and the typical plant communities that are found in them. It is great for someone who doesn't want to get bogged down with individual species and wants to see how all the parts fit together. I first checked this book out of my local library and felt it would be such a good reference book for work, play and travel that I had to have it. The book uses the most scientific and inclusive use of the term Mediterranean which means you are going to get descriptions of plant communities from San Diego to Sacramento to San Francisco. For those of us that prefer the more exclusive definitions it may come as a shock that San Francisco and Sacramento could be considered mediterranean so I'm warning you now. I am currently using this book to help plan a trip to Australia as a supplement to Lonely Planet's travel guides. This book has inspired me to visit all the world's mediterranean climates at some point in my life and I'm not even a plant lover.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Australian information needs expansion 7 Nov 2010
By Jess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The information about Australia's temperate climate needs a little bit of an expansion, for instance: Victoria and Tasmania; which are the most predominant temperate climate states of Australia (particularly Tasmania), as you will notice in the link below. Also New South Wales and a small portion of Queensland have temperate environments. New Zealand needs an entry, perhaps along with alot of other small island countries in the Southern hemisphere, however I'm not sure if they fall into a different climate classification.

On a positive note, I found the book extremely modern, containing the latest environmental and biological scientific data i.e. contrast of vegetation communities shown by 2d illustrations; excellent plant structure images from scanned electron micrographs. Along with excellent photography of landscapes, plant communities and individual plants with close ups of flowers. Most pictures are in colour, with excellent diagrams of plants from a botanical point of view, which could do with illustrative references for the ametuer botanist, like myself.

There is also climatology maps on the regions discussed within the book and alot more. This is a valuable book for the amateur, all students and those within a related professional field.

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Author's Credentials 20 Sep 2004
By Eleanor J. Bade - Published on Amazon.com
Peter Dallman, a retired pediatric doctor and docent at Strybing Aboretum in San Francisco, California, spent many years

studying plants and traveling the world to see them where they grow in the Mediterranean climate areas of the world. Prof. Robert Ornduff, the late director of the Univ. of California Botanical Garden, encouraged him to write about these

plants and his travels. The result is a book giving the reader the best armchair picture of the vegetation of a very special part of the world.
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