A 2017 Choice Magazine "Outstanding Academic Title"
Conifers are known to everyone as a conspicuous kind of evergreen trees or shrubs that feature prominently in gardens and parks as well as in many managed forests in the cool to cold temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Numerous books have been written about them and continue to appear, mostly with a bias towards these uses in Europe and North America. This second edition, revised and updated, of
A Handbook of the World's Conifers is departing from this traditional approach in that it includes all the world's 615 species of conifers, of which some 200 occur in the tropics. It gives as much information about these and the Southern Hemisphere conifers as about the better known species, drawing on research into the taxonomy, biology, ecology, distribution and uses by the author over nearly 35 years. The result is a truly encyclopedic work, a true handbook of all the world's conifers, richly illustrated by the author with his line drawings and photographs taken from the natural habitats of the species.
There has been a steady demand for the first edition of the conifer book PINES, which sold out in 2002. Therefore, a second edition, which is a modest update, was written. The book PINES was never an attempt at monograph in the taxonomic sense. Rather it was an overview with line drawings of the commonly known species of pines, giving concise but essential information on identification, distribution and ecology. Introductory texts explained botanical characteristics of pines and a chapter on classification, one on phylogeny and biogeography, and a glossary, index and short bibliography completed the book. This scope and structure have been maintained in the second edition. It was necessary to make several taxonomic changes, to add or omit a few species, present a new chapter on phylogeny and classification and amend or correct, even expand, some of the information given in the first edition, especially in the species accounts. Conservation aspects have been added to species accounts in a concise format, following IUCN evaluations. The author has maintained the original drawings and made amendments only to correct errors; drawings for additional species have been added in the same style. The book contains a total of 92 drawings and 103 distribution maps. With these amendments the information should have been updated to a satisfactory level, without altering the original format and scope.