The World Atlas of Trees and Forests: Exploring Earth’s Forest Ecosystems

Princeton Univ. Sept. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780691226743. $55. NAT HIST
This beautiful introduction to the sister sciences of trees as individual plants (dendrology) and as forest ecosystems uses photos, diagrams, and maps extensively and to complementary effect. Not an atlas in the cartographic sense—most maps are global charts of the extent of different types of forests—it nonetheless guides the reader’s exploration. Initial chapters focus on the science of trees and forests: what makes a plant a tree, and what natural forces determine how they grow, spread, and change over time and space? Then each classification of forest, determined largely by water, wind, light and soil conditions, is considered in separate chapters, which juxtaposes forests across continents when evolution or climate create similar conditions around the world. The past and future of forests are also considered, including pressures brought by human civilization and development. Extensive cross-referencing makes it is an easy book to browse without a linear reading order. A short but useful glossary, lists of additional readings and websites, and an index conclude the volume.
VERDICT A visually pleasing volume to browse for anyone curious about the hidden forces that determine the location, appearance, and functioning of forests in their backyard or around the globe.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing