Hawaiian Plant Life: Vegetation and Flora
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336pp. November 2014
Hawaiian Plant Life: Vegetation and Flora
Author: Gustafson, Robert J.; Herbst, Derral R.; Rundel, Philip W.;
Winner of the 2015 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award of Excellence in Natural Science and Honorable Mention for Excellence in Illustrative or Photographic Books




Hawaiian Plant Life has been written with both the layperson and professional interested in Hawai‘i’s natural history and flora in mind. In addition to significant text describing landforms and vegetation, the evolution of Hawaiian flora, and the conservation of native species, the book includes almost 875 color photographs illustrating nearly two-thirds of native Hawaiian plant species as well as a concise description of each genus and species shown. The work can be used either as a stand-alone reference or as a companion to the two-volume Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai‘i.

Learning more about threatened and endangered plants is essential to conserving them, and there is no more endangered flora in the world today than that of the Hawaiian Islands. Striking species complexes such as the silverswords and the remarkable lobeliads represent unique stories of adaptive radiation that make the Hawai‘i a living laboratory for evolution. Public appreciation for Hawaiian biodiversity requires outreach and education that will determine the future conservation of this rich heritage, and Hawaiian Plant Life has been designed to help fill that need.

870 color illustrations
"Hawaiian Plant Life is a pleasure to read for anyone interested in Hawaiian natural history, with up-to-date summaries of the geology, climate, plant communities, and evolutionary studies of the native Hawaiian flora. . . . Short descriptions and photographs of individual species of flowering plants (Chapter 4) and ferns and fern allies (Chapter 5) make up the majority of the book. The superb photographs of Bob Gustafson make it a pleasure to thumb through these two chapters, whether to support identification through other sources with the brief description and the photograph, or solely for the beauty of the plants." —Ecological Restoration, 33:4 (December 2015)

"[T]his work combines thoroughly researched, up-to-date taxonomic information with high-quality color photographs throughout. . . . This reviewer was impressed with the comprehensive nature of the work, the excellent organization, and the balance achieved between providing in-depth information for more advanced audiences and accessible content for amateurs. A native plant checklist, glossary, and extensive reference list of taxonomic studies support the text. Highly recommended. —CHOICE, 52:11 (July 2015)
Author: Gustafson, Robert J.; Herbst, Derral R.; Rundel, Philip W.;
Robert J. Gustafson retired as plant collections manager at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.

Derral R. Herbst has worked as a botanist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and the University of Hawai‘i.

Philip W. Rundel is Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and director of the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at UCLA.



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