The Cactaceae family, with about 1,600 species, is cultivated worldwide for fruits, forage, fodder, and even as a vegetable. Cacti are recognized for their attractive flowers, special stem shapes, and ability to tolerate drought. Because of their efficient use of water and other adaptations, biological and agronomic interest in cacti has soared. These plants also have much to teach us about biodiversity and conservation.
This book, compiled by a well-known cactus biologist, includes chapters by 35 contributors from around the world on topics ranging from evolution to biotechnology. It compiles information on cactus biology, ecology, and uses in one place. The first half of the book provides an overview of cactus biology and morphology, and discusses the environmental and conservation issues that affect the plants, including a discussion of the evolution of the family which pays particular attention to new genetic and molecular approaches. The second half of the book focuses on the practical concerns of cultivating cacti, such as pest control and diseases, horticultural and forage applications, and techniques for agronomy. Other chapters cover the different markets for cacti and products that are made from them.
This book is new from the publisher.