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These advances are presented in 20 chapters, authored by an international group of 47 researchers. The book is structured in two sections, one dealing with systematics, genetics, genetic manipulation, and biotic interactions of Populus, the second with the physiology of growth and productivity and of stress response. Introductory overviews by the section editors help the reader to integrate the diverse topics. A concluding chapter of poplar culture offers perspectives on the application of traditional and novel concepts in different parts of the world.

The minimum prerequisites for such understanding are (1) the continued existence of near-natural populations in their native habitat, ideally uncontaminated by exotic germ plasm, and (2) a rich source of genetic diversity with which to experiment. Both demand vigorous efforts in conservation and in gene-resource management. Poplar as a model tree: Populus is also rapidly becoming a model organism for the study of tree biology. The rationale for its adoption as a model, the Page 5 materials used for the purpose, and early results obtained from such studies, are described in Chapters 4, 5, and 8 and in much of Part II of this book.

Have different arrangements of the female flowers. ) have seeds with a coma of cottony hairs on parietal placentas in thin-walled capsules. Individual flowers of both catkin types are subtended by thin bracteoles that fall as the catkins elongate during flowering. ), whose bracts are either persistent or fall only with Page 11 Table 1. Sections of Populus and their morphological taxonomic characteristics. Section Abaso Turanga Leucoides Aigeiros Tacamahaca Populus swamp poplars cottonwoods, black poplar balsam poplars aspens, white poplars Carpels 2 3 2-4 2-4 2-4 2 Seeds 5-15 20-40 4-12 4-25 2-30 2-15 Disks deciduous persistent laciniate persistent deciduous laciniate irregular persistent lobed regular persistent entire regular persistent entire regular persistent entire or dentate oblique Stamens 15-40 apiculate 25-30 apiculate 15-35 apiculate 12-60 emarginate 10-50 emarginate 5-25 truncate Bracts narrow not ciliate narrow not ciliate broad not ciliate broad not ciliate broad not ciliate broad ciliate Leaves unifacial unifacial bifacial unifacial or bifacial bifacial bifacial finely crenate entire or coarsely dentate finely crenate finely or coarsely crenate finely crenate entire, finely crenate, sinuate or coarsely Buds yellow dry yellow dry brown slightly resinous tan or red resinous red-brown resinous brown slightly resinous Species 1 3 3-5 2-8 6-15 7-13 Page 12 release of the fruits or seeds.

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