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The tribe Gossypieae is an especially valuable subject for such a study because it comprises an entire gamut of plants ranging from those that are exceedingly rare (on the verge of extinction) to those that have been eminently successful in adaptational terms. The tribe includes the cultivated cottons, which have had a long history of domestication and can shed light on patterns of crop evolution and, to some extent, human prehistory. It also includes plants that are less intensively used by man (often for their fibers or as ornamentals) and still others that are not used at all or whose uses have not yet been discovered. Thus we find, in this single group of plants, the complete range of possible interaction of plants with man.
This book examines the place and value of broad natural history studies as a means of gaining a deeper knowledge of the biological world and man’s place therein.
Published by Texas A&M University Press