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    Inanimate Life

    (1 review)

    George M. Briggs

    Copyright Year:

    ISBN 13: 9781942341826

    Publisher: Milne Open Textbooks

    Language: English

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    CC BY-SA


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    Reviewed by Tory Blackwell, Instructor, Clackamas Community College on 6/27/22

    The book covers a range of different areas related to non-animal life. It tends to focus on what and not as much on why or mechanisms that explain the functions/properties seen. read more

    Table of Contents

    • Chapter 1: Organisms
    • Chapter 2: Taxonomy and Phylogeny
    • Chapter 3: Boundaries
    • Chapter 4: Organism form: composition, size, and shape
    • Chapter 5: Cellular Structure in Inanimate Life
    • Chapter 6: Organ, Tissue, and Cellular Structure of Plants
    • Chapter 7: Producing Form: Development
    • Chapter 8: Vascular plant anatomy: primary growth
    • Chapter 9: Secondary growth
    • Chapter 10: Vascular Plant Form
    • Chapter 11: Reproduction and sex
    • Chapter 12: Fungal sex and fungal groups
    • Chapter 13: Sex and reproduction in non-seed plants
    • Chapter 14: The Development of Seeds
    • Chapter 15: Sex and Reproduction in Seed Plants
    • Chapter 16: Reproduction: development and physiology
    • Chapter 17: Sex, evolution, and the biological species concept
    • Chapter 18: Matter, Energy and Organisms
    • Chapter 19: Cellular Respiration
    • Chapter 20: Photosynthesis
    • Chapter 21: Metabolic diversity
    • Chapter 22: Nutrition and nutrients
    • Chapter 23: Soils
    • Chapter 24: Material movement and diffusion’s multiple roles in plant biology
    • Chapter 25: Plant growth—patterns, limitations and models
    • Chapter 26: Interactions Involving Conditions
    • Chapter 27: Biotic Interactions
    • Chapter 28: Agriculture
    • Chapter 29: Weeds and weed control
    • Chapter 30: Threats to agriculture: insects and pathogens
    • Chapter 31: Propagating plants and developing new plants
    • Organisms

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    About the Book

    Inanimate Life is an open textbook covering a very traditional biological topic, botany, in a non-traditional way. Rather than a phylogenetic approach, going group by group, the book considers what defines organisms and examines four general areas of their biology: structure (their composition and how it comes to be), reproduction (including sex), energy and material needs, and their interactions with conditions and with other organisms.  Although much of the text is devoted to vascular plants, the book comparatively considers ‘EBA = everything but animals’ (hence the title): plants, photosynthetic organisms that are not plants (‘algae’, as well as some bacteria and archaebacteria), fungi, and ‘fungal-like’ organisms. The book includes brief ‘fact sheets’ of over fifty organisms/groups that biologists should be aware of, ranging from the very familiar (corn, yeast) to the unfamiliar (bracket fungi, late-blight of potato).  These groups reflect the diversity of inanimate life.

    About the Contributors


    George M. Briggs. The author grew up in coastal Maine and received a BA in Biology from Dartmouth College before attending Utah State University, where he received an M.S. degree in ecology, studying alpine sedge dominated communities, and a PhD degree in plant physiology, studying the effect of root pruning on the water relations of sunflower.  He has taught at Middlebury College, the University of Montana, the Cranberry Lake Biological Station and SUNY, College of Geneseo, from which he retired in 2021.

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