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The Life of Plants in a Changing Environment

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Plants experience stress due to environmental changes, either in biotic or abiotic form, during their life cycle. Non-heritable modifications in morphological, physiological or biochemical characteristics tend to reduce or decrease growth and productivity, and sometimes lead to death. This book presents an exhaustive overview of the specific effects and modifications that could occur in this regard, and will serve to consolidate the ideas to promote standardization of plant adaptation to these changes in the environment. This book returns to the facts of both biotic and abiotic stress, detailing an essential aspect of plant life in the context of stress response. The text is a comprehensive, current reference that effectively addresses issues and concerns related to plant stress in natural environments. Although many reference books about abiotic stress and other environmental stresses have been published, they all exist in relative isolation from one another, covering only one specific topic. This book is, rather, a comprehensive review of all aspects of the responses of plants to changes in the environment.

270 pages, Paperback

Published January 1, 2022

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Rishikesh Upadhyay

4 books6 followers

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for H.R.R. Gorman.
Author 5 books3 followers
April 11, 2022
The theme of global warming and the effects of human manipulation of the environment intertwine every facet and chapter of this book. Upadhyay does a great job combining the work of many disparate authors into a comprehensive volume that, when read all together, paints a picture of desperate need for research and, as soon as feasible, human action and intervention.

His earlier book, The Secrets of Plants in the Environment, sets up a lot of the information presented here (especially regarding reactive oxygen species). If you're not as familiar with plant biology (or biology at all!), the biggest detriment of this book is that it is best enjoyed when read with a sufficient amount of background knowledge. It's a good thing, though, that Secrets provides much of the background you may need if you don't already have that information.

However, even if you don't have a good understanding of molecular biology or the various effects of different factors on plants, this book will still provide you with a kick to the gut: the environment is changing and, as a result, plants everywhere are at risk. Upadhyay goes through some of the more well-known elements of climate change, such as temperature and rain levels, but then goes into other human-generated environmental issues. Did you know that microplastics (tiny fragments of polymers, often even ones used in agriculture) can be found in an enormous range of soils, and that their effects on plants aren't yet well understood? I hadn't thought about how the American practice of using black plastic to cover the ground could potentially cause long-term effects on our plants!

Something I was interested in, as well, was the interaction of plants with heavy metals. During college, I had a technical writing course in which our group had to write a proposal in a field none of us were well-versed. We chose to work on a proposal for phytoremediation with heavy metals. Though nothing came of our 2010 classwork, I was astonished to see a lot of the same words in this paper. I felt way more knowledgeable when reading the chapters on how plants and metals interact, and I was thrilled to know that humans are working toward solving challenges in the environment.

This book felt incredibly well-researched, much like secrets, and it obviously took an enormous amount of effort to write. Though each of the chapters were written by different authors, there was a consistent tone throughout that I believe Upadhyay probably had a lot to do with. (Only one chapter stuck out for its tone: in Chapter 9, which was a fascinating chapter about magnetism and magnetic nanoparticles, the author clearly had a more author-focused approach than the other chapters). This book contained many great and interesting areas of plant research active today, and it's a great addition to Upadhyay's bibliography.
Profile Image for Paul.
487 reviews12 followers
April 13, 2022
First I would like to say that I was given a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. This is the second time I have come to the works of Mr. Upadhyay, the first time was with his book entitled The Secret of Plants in The Environment. It was a fascinating body of work from which I learned a great deal. This time around he has collated a great deal of detail about a much more pressing topic within the plant world. That of how humans are having a greatly adverse effect on the plant world at large. For me, the natural world is a wonder to behold and something that should be protected at all costs. Sadly it would seem that for many this is not such a big issue. And for others, all they can do is scream about where is the proof, everything that is happening is just a natural thing and will sort itself out. Well within these pages I would hope that you would find proof that what is taking place is anything but natural. And for those that spend a bit of time with it, you can better grasp what we are doing to our natural world.

As is the case again with Upadhyay's work we are delving into the world of academia. So be prepared to have to use your brain as this is not a light read aimed at amass market. It is however in my opinion a topic that is in more need of discussion than ever before. Climate change is happening whether we like it or not and as we see from each of the chapters in this book we as a species are only exacerbating the situation. Upadhyay has clearly spent a great deal of time researching the topic and has endeavored to get the most up-to-date and accurate information on each of the pressing issues. For me as someone who has little to no background in molecular biology. There were parts that most definitely seemed very daunting and as I made my way through at times I needed to go off and look up certain pieces of information to give myself a better understanding of what he was trying to get across. But for those who want to gain a genuine understanding of what is taking place on our planet, this will definitely help it will just require a bit more effort.

For me, I think some of the more shocking elements talked about how microplastics have wormed their way into the plant world. It is gobsmacking to realize that through our carelessness we are starting to completely destroy one of the very things we require for continued existence. But it spreads much further than that. Seeing how not only the cast-off of our daily lives but also into the world of industry and for that matter, every other aspect of human existence leaches down and causes stunted growth and deformities in the plant world. This is definitely one of those books that give you the ammunition to fight within any argument about what is taking place. To often as I made my way through I felt like we were the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water. Just happy that we were getting some nice warm weather and living without any regard for what was causing all this. There are however at least some people out there trying to get us the relevant information. It is hard to say just how much of an impact this book will have out in the great wide world, But for me I know I feel a little happier that someone is out there trying.
Profile Image for Christena.
212 reviews52 followers
January 1, 2023
The Life of Plants in a Changing Environment is well-researched and written compilation of research papers. The papers deal with plants and environmental factors that can place stressors on them. Plants are the primary producers of ecosystems. Protecting them should be a top priority.

As the authors relate plants are sessile in nature. Meaning plants are stationary and they cannot move when environmental stress comes upon them. They are stuck. This has increased over the years due to human activity.

The book explains a variety of what plants experience from heavy metal toxicity, and drought, to plastics to nanotechnology.

Abiotic stress is an experience also discussed. Did you know that abiotic stressors affect crop yields and productivity more and more, from decreased seed germination, reduced growth, and wilting to even death?

Heavy metals are harder to break down. This book explains how plants defend themselves against these heavy metals using different mechanisms.

One paper touches on what plants go through when they are flooded and how micro/nano plastics affect soil composition and plant characteristics. A little-known fact is that plastics were first used in agriculture in 1948.

All the graphics are well-designed and stand-alone.

This book is enlightening for botanists to gardeners to read to help you understand that plants experience way more than we can ever imagine.
Profile Image for Jennie Rosenblum.
1,010 reviews31 followers
April 1, 2022
I learned a lot when I read The Secret of Plants in the Environment, so of course, I could not wait to see what I could learn in this second book. With the news constantly filled with reports of our changing environment, a natural curiosity about what could happen to the plants that sustain us has been forefront in my mind. Once again I was challenged in a great way from the first page. I did not realize that plants have an immune system. They are also affected by stress. It might not be human stress, but things like too much water or poor soil have an adverse effect.

Another chapter I found incredible educating as well as useful was on the impact of plastics. This is such a huge issue for the entire world and impacts plants, one of the environmental foundation blocks.

Each section is broken into specific issues and ends with a great wrap up conclusion that further helped this non-scientist understand the highly advanced information.

This book is enhanced by diagrams and a plethora of source materials.
Profile Image for Jane Aguiar.
2 reviews
June 1, 2022
The environment is changing rapidly and this is having a detrimental effect on plants.The surrounding environment is becoming unbalanced and in that we humans are also creating a threat to plants.

They do not acquire an immune system and are not able to move like animals. They gain tolerance of these unfavourable conditions through the accumulation of bioactive metabolites. Plants adapt to their changing environment and stressful conditions with the help of secondary metabolites (SM),

In this book author have mentioned the importance of secondary metabolites to various industries:

For example:-
1. Simmondsia Chinensis: (Jojoba) commonly called goat nut, pignut, wild hazel, coffeeberry etc.
Secondary metabolites : Liquid wax and Jojoba wax
Use: wound healing, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory activity.

2. Catharanthus roseus G: Madagascar periwinkle commonly known as Cape periwinkle/Pink periwinkle/graveyard plant etc
Secondary metabolites: Vinblastine
Use: Diabetes

Prolonged effect of stress due to the scarcity of water decreases leaf size, stomatal openings and water potential;delays fruiting and flowering, reduces the size of fruits etc.

Further authors have explained how the effect of light, temperature, heavy metals, drought, salinity etc develops some compounds in plant species which are acidic, phenolic, alkaloid etc.

This book presents an exhaustive overview of the specific effects and modifications that could offer in this regard, and will serve to consolidate the ideas to promote standardization of plant adaptation to these changes in the environment. It details an essential aspect of plant life. The text of this book is in current context which sheds light on the issues and concerns related to plant stress in the natural environment.

I honestly think that this book gives us a comprehensive overview of the changes that are taking place in the environment, the specific and different types of problems and the response of plants to them. It is excellent for higher studies and research studies. Each chapter is written by different authors and their contribution is commendable.
Profile Image for Kritika .
136 reviews12 followers
July 16, 2022
I am not a huge fan of non-fiction books but this book about plants, biotic and abiotic and how they respond to stimuli and various changing environments, to be honest just blew me away with all the facts and figures mentioned in the entirety of this book.

Our environment is changing day by day and the aftereffects of it not only change one’s lifestyle but in turn, change the way we live, and in this book, we learn the effects it specifically has on the plants. The description all about the plants is quite informative and I must say very well researched in terms of facts that I did not know that they ever existed in the first place. Global Warming is one of the major factors which contributes to the deteriorating of the plants' life and changing the circumstances thereafter.

Upadhyay has done a great job in researching the topic and then penning down his thoughts and the facts, in a lucid narration and making it easy for the readers to understand the context and can relate that how our actions sometimes harm plants' life in turn. “The Life of Plants in a Changing Environment”, will take the readers on a journey of the biology of the plants and their molecular aspects of it. There are points, where one would have to go and dig up the information to understand a better part of the book.

The mind-boggling aspect of the book was the microplastics for me. It is high time people need to realize their deeds and that our actions have severe damage to the plant’s life. This is one of those books, which gives you quite the information and one should take their sweet time to grasp the knowledge and think about how plants life can be un-harmed and be able to lessen their stress, yes, that’s right! Plants get stressed too just like humans.

Sounds interesting right? Why don’t you go and read this book for yourself and I would love to hear your thoughts on this one hell of a book. Would eagerly be looking forward to Rishikesh’s next book.
Profile Image for The Book Dragon's Hoard by A.V..
444 reviews10 followers
March 22, 2023
This is a collection of scientific papers on plants and how they are affected by human activity and the subsequent changes in the environment. It was eye-opening for me to see just how much of an impact we have and how seriously that is affecting plants and it's fascinating to me to see how scientists are working to find answers to the problems of the future. It is through studies like these we will be able to find out how to support plants through times of increased drought, exposure to higher levels of heavy metals, and the impact of mobile phones among other things. It is clear from my reading of this book that our human impact on the environment is great indeed and it is having a noticeable detrimental effect on plants, the very source of our livelihood. We need plants, and we need to wake up and start focusing on what we can do to protect them in the environment we are changing so fast there is little hope the plants we most rely on for oxygen, air and even clothing will be able to adapt. It is up to us to lessen our impact while also seeking ways to support plant life on our planet to survive these changes.

The authors and scientists who have come together to collaborate on this book are at the forefront of this movement to help plants by understanding what elements affect their growth and productivity as well as how those effects are shown in the plants themselves.

Although this is a heavy read, it is a collection of scientific papers after all, it is written well enough that I could follow, even though I am not in any way an expert in the topic.
Profile Image for Carrie Scharf.
Author 7 books8 followers
December 20, 2022
The Life of Plants in a Changing Environment is a well-writen, well thought out book written by several
well educated writers including a few with Phd's. If you are interested in the effects of climate change, pollution, and
stress on plants, or if this in your field of study, then this book is for you.

I found this book interesting as I love to grow my tiny garden but when my plants do not grow
well or produce when or how I think they should, I am often left scratching my head. "Plants
respond to these stresses in a variety of ways...Prolonged stress due to the unavailability of water decreases leaf size, stomatal openings, and water potential; delays fruiting and flowering; restricts plant productivity and growth; suppresses root growth; and reduces the viability, number, and size of seeds (Xu et al., 2016). Exposure to high and low light intensity reduces physiological processes and unfavourably influences the development and growth of plants."

This book is an extensive list of very important and relevant concerns that is worth our time and attention.
Profile Image for Diship Sharma .
18 reviews11 followers
January 26, 2023
The book explains a variety of what plants experience from heavy metal toxicity, and drought, to plastics to nanotechnology..

Numerous figures and tables appear in this book to facilitate comprehension of the presented material. This book also includes a comprehensive index, a list of illustrations, and a list of acronyms used to further increase the accessibility of the information presented.
All the chapters have been written by experts with extensive experience in their fields of expertise.

I love gardening and I take good care of my plants. After knowing so much of information about plants I can be more watchful towards my gardening
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