Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The biology of parasitic flowering plants. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Abstract

An authoritative account of the parasitic angiosperm groups: the mistletoes (Lpranthaceae and Viscaceae), sandalwoods and relatives (Santalaceae, Olacaceae and Myzodendraceae), brpomrapes (Oro-banchaceae), figworts (Scrophulariaceae), Raffle-siaceae, Hydnpraceae, Balanophoraceae, Lennoa-ceae, Krameriaceae and parasitic members of Convolvulaceae (Cuscuta) and Lauraceae (Cassythia).
The evolution of parasitism in each of these groups is considered in detail. Their development and morphology is described with the aid of many excellent line drawings and photographs. Available information on germination requirements and host specificity is reviewed. The origin and function of the haustprium and the nutritional relationship with the host is given careful consideration. Interesting generalizations that appear to apply to almost ail groups include (i) the absence of any direct contact between phloem tissues of host and parasite; the natural bridge for transport of both water and organic and inorganic nutrients is the xylem, (ii) transpiration rates are invariably high, presumably leading to maximum transfer of nutrients from host to parasite, (iii) host specificity is normally quite wide. Listed among the most serious groups economically are the mistletoes of the New and Old Worlds, the dwarfmistletoes (Arceuthobium spp.) in N. America, dodders (Cuscuta spp.), broomrapes (Orobanche crenata, O. cernua, O. minor and O. ramosa and especially Aeginetia spp. on sugar-cane, maize and rice in tropical Asia) and the witchweeds (Striga spp. on maize, sorghum, sugar-cane and tobacco). Among the less well known species of economic importance are Alectra and Melasma spp. on leguminous crops and sugar-cane, Rhamphicarpa longiflora on maize, cowpeas, rice and sorghum in Madagascar and East Africa and Christisonia spp. on sugar-cane in the Philippines.
Control measures are touched upon but the value of the book is more in the thorough description and documentation of the various parasitic groups and the comprehensive bibliography of over 700 references.-C.Parker.