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Record: oai:ARNO:525049

AuthorR.W.J.M. van der Ham
JournalBlumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants
AbstractThe aim of this book is stated as “to introduce the minute and mysterious world of pollen to as many readers as possible” and “to re-establish the morphological study of pollen taking into account newly accumulated phylogenetic information”. It provides introductory accounts on ontogeny, pollen morphology, pollination, pollen physiology, genetics of pollen, airborne pollen and pollinosis, and pollen analysis. Technically speaking it is a well-produced book, being bound in hard covers and neatly printed on good paper. Moreover, it is overwhelmingly illustrated. However, when looking and reading carefully through the book one gets a bit disappointed.
Let us first consider the illustrations, which take up at least three quarters of the book. In general, the line drawings are clear and instructive. I doubt however, whether in fig. 1.7 (microsporogenesis) the vegetative and generative nuclei are correctly indicated. As to the photographs, one can not deny them being attractive at first sight. 92 full-page S(canning) E(lectron) M(icroscope) plates with micrographs of pollen grains, mainly from Japanese plants, form a kind of apocalyps at the end of the chapter on pollen morphology. Still, apart from revealing that “minute and mysterious world of pollen”, they are not functional, as in the text reference is made to only one of the approximately 175 micrographs. In all other cases the reader must guess at “the beautiful art work of nature”. Many of the micrographs have too high contrasts or show excessively magnified details (often a view of the whole pollen grain is lacking). And what about the plate on p. 60? The two polyads shown are actually identical, which is obscured however, by presenting one of them in a smaller size, turning it upside down, and cutting off some of the grains!
Document typearticle
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