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Page 92 ï~~92 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 44 BOOK REVIEWS MICHIGAN TREES: A GUIDE TO THE TREES OF THE GREAT LAKES REGION, revised and updated. By Burton V. Barnes and Warren H. Wagner, Jr.t 2004. x + 448 pages. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI (http://www.press.umich.edu). Hardcover ISBN 0-472-11352-6, $50; paperback ISBN 0-472-08921-8, $19.95. For many years, folks in Michigan and the surrounding region have been fortunate to have a highly useful guide to their trees. The original Michigan Trees by Charles Herbert Otis appeared in 1913. In 1981, Burton Barnes and Herb Wagner provided a completely new version; their book has now been updated and revised for the new millennium. As with the original edition, this updating was designed to be accessible to a wide clientele, from high school students to professional foresters and ecologists. The authors have succeeded admirably in bringing the science of dendrology to a diverse array of users. The bulk of the book is concerned with the identification of tree species. After all, if you don't know the name of the tree at hand, you're not going to learn much else about it. The format of this section makes it very easy of use, with a full two-page spread devoted to each species. On the verso, an extremely thorough description is provided, with a paragraph each devoted to size and form, bark, leaves, twigs, winter buds, wood, flowers, fruit (pollen cones and seed cones in the case of conifers), distribution, habitats, miscellaneous notes, chromosome numbers (if known), and a brief account of similar species not otherwise treated in the book. On the facing recto is a detailed drawing illustrating all major structures of the species, with a bulleted list of key characters and tips for distinguishing closely related species. The genera and families to which the species belong are also covered by introductory notes and descriptions. Within this section, the species have been arranged so as to place related ones together. Among the angiosperms, this is accomplished by arranging the species phylogenetically. While the 1981 edition followed the classification of Cronquist (1968), the present edition embraces that of Judd et al. (2002). The most obvious expression of this change is that the families are now grouped by their orders rather than subclasses. Within the families, species are arranged alphabetically, "except where there are obvious subgeneric groups," e.g., white vs. black oaks. One could identify an unknown tree by simply leafing through the book, looking at the accurate line drawings and reading the comprehensive descriptions. However, it is far more efficient to use the dichotomous keys found therein. The descriptive section begins with keys to the genera, in both summer and winter condition. Each genus with multiple species is then provided with keys to its species, again in both summer and winter condition. Between the keys and the illustrated descriptions, one can make determinations of unknowns with a great degree of confidence. But Michigan Trees is far more than just an identification guide. It is really a detailed exposition on the natural history and overall biology of trees; it could very nearly serve as a primer for the study of dendrology. The introduction to the descriptive portion is an encyclopedic and well illustrated account of tree structure (supplemented by an excellent glossary at the back of the book), explaining clearly the features elaborated under the various subheadings of the species descriptions. For example, not only are various sorts of leaf shapes and leaf margins illustrated and described, as one might ex
Page 93 ï~~2005 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 93 pect in any identification guide. Tree-specific features such as shade vs. sun leaves and neoformed vs. late leaves likewise are explained carefully. This explanatory section, which could easily have been very dry and business-like, contains a wealth of interesting and useful information about trees. For example, the discussion of wood characters is augmented by a section on the "Historical Importance and Uses" of various woods, while the section on size and form includes information on Michigan's "Big Tree" champions. The descriptive section also contained ample notes on pollination biology, species rare in the state, hybridization of tree species, and even why the leaves turn color in autumn. A separate section toward the end of the book (new to this edition) explains the derivation and meaning of scientific names of trees. The section on "Ecosystems and Communities of Michigan" is an incredibly detailed account of the various factors that govern tree growth and distribution in the state: climate, geology, physiography, soils, ecological associations, human activities, etc. This section could easily serve as a stand-alone summary of the physical geography and vegetation of the state. An addition to this edition is a section entitled "Regeneration Strategies of Forest trees: Why Do Trees Grow Where They Do?" This expands on the discussion of ecosystems and communities by looking specifically at factors that govern establishment and growth of trees on a particular site. The verdict? I cannot say it more plainly: anyone in Michigan or surrounding states who is interested in trees in any way, shape, or form must have a copy of this exemplary book. It is the single best account of tree biology in this region that I have seen. LITERATURE CITED Cronquist, A. 1968. The Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. Judd, W., C. S. Campbell, E. A. Kellogg, P. F. Stevens, and M. J. Donoghue. 2002. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach, ed. 2. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland MA. Thomas G. Lammers Department of Biology and Microbiology University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI 54901 email@example.com Barnes, Burton V. and Warren H. Wagner, Jr.t 2004. Michigan Trees: A guide to the Trees of the Great Lakes Region, Revised and Updated. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI, www.press.umich.edu. 448 pp. ISBN 0-472-08921-8. Paperback. $19.95. Cloth available for $50.00. The botanical world lost one of its valuable members in January of 2000 when Warren H. Wagner, Jr. passed away. He was one of the two original authors of the first edition of Michigan Trees, published in 1981, which contained the descriptive text, keys, illustrations, and helpful information that we have all come to enjoy, and it is to Warren H. Wagner, Jr. that this edition is dedicated. The newly Revised and Updated edition, by Burton V. Barnes, has arrived on bookstore shelves, and in Internet storehouses, as another valuable book worthy of adding to both the professional and amateur library. "It's all different, yet it's all the same." There are a number of noteworthy differ