The central thesis for plant ecology is that climate exerts the dominant control on the distribution of the major vegetation types of the world. This book sets out to examine this often neglected area in two ways. In the first part the author analyses the distribution of species in relation to climate over different scales of time and place. In the second, he reviews the various approaches to explaining observed correlation between plant distribution and climate, and to establishing the mechanisms of control in physiological and biochemical terms. Dr Woodward is an authority on plant-climate relationships, and has made some of the most important contributions to our understanding of the subject. This book builds on his extensive knowledge of the subject to provide a modern text on this basic problem of plant ecology, encompassing the techniques of palaeoecology, climatology, ecology, physiology, biochemistry and genetics.