Principles of Modern Fruit Science - The ultimate textbook: understanding the fundamentals of plant science

The title Principles of Modern Fruit Science marks the epitome of the tremendous advancements made over the years in understanding the fundamentals of plant sciences such as physiology, molecular biology, breeding, climatology, soil science and their integration into the comprehensive practice of profitable fruit production. Dr. Sansavini and his colleagues are presenting a comprehensive textbook that covers each aspect of modern fruit growing and illustrates the evolution of complex fruit cultural systems over time. Principles of Modern Fruit Science is a recollection of the vast experience of the last 50 years of pomological science in Italy, one of the cradles of modern fruit science in the world. The book is a must-have in every modern classroom.

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Sansavini, S., Costa, G., Gucci, R., Inglese, P., Ramina, A., Xiloyannis, C., and Desjardins,Y., eds. (2019). Principles of Modern Fruit Science (Leuven, Belgium: ISHS), pp.421.
ISBN 978-94-6261-204-4 (paperback). €80

Principles of Modern Fruit Science coverThe original title of this textbook, General Arboriculture, reflected the developments and expanding range of scientific research in pomology, in its broadest sense of the term, and the tremendous advancements made over the past century in Italy and Europe. This topic has been dealt with in detail in different university courses focusing in particular on fruit-tree and woody-plant sciences, and included the theoretical aspects of tree biology and physiology. It also included practical cultural management knowledge like plantings, propagation, pruning and soil management. These subjects must be integrated and adapted to the needs of the syllabus of each course as they lay the ground for multi-disciplinary M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree courses that follow the undergraduate academic training.

All the case studies exemplified in this volume illustrate how temperate fruit-tree species, including grape, olive and citrus crops play such a key role in Mediterranean fruit growing areas. Other woody species like ornamental and forestry trees, as well as urban horticulture and parklands, also fall within the context of the book, albeit to lesser extent.

The sixteen chapters are designed so that the material in each can be used as a syllabus for a course on the topic. In other words, the specific topics can be adapted and combined to reach the desired objectives of a course programme. The information contained in the book can be bonified if intended to post-graduate degree programmes. The different chapters constitute the framework of the current knowledge in the field.

Whether we are talking about under- or post-graduate programmes of study and research, the book provides broad and deep knowledge which can be adapted to different research emphasis and cohorts. Indeed, when one has to choose the best to approach teaching, especially as one progresses from basic to advanced degree courses, means choosing from among what we might call multi-faceted pathways that allow step-by-step enrichment and integration of the material presented in the classroom or seminar. For example, key, closely related subjects like physiology, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology can be included and suitably presented to match the degree level before considering such topics as plant nutrition, soil science, energy in-puts, plant nutrition, mechanization, computer-based tools for precision crop management and the like. In other words, pomology and the fruit tree sciences in general now encompass new fields of enquiry which broaden their reach and have to be weighed in the scales along with the traditional disciplinary subject matter when it comes to preparing course work for undergraduates and shaping the research agenda for candidates of higher degrees.

The book's underlying raison d'être is, of course, to provide the basic foundations and explanations needed to grasp the complex physiological mechanisms governing fruit trees growth and the variable response of trees to management practices like pruning that affect light interception, canopy shading, and fertigation. Due to space constraints, we do not venture in any detailed description of specific management and cropping practices for individual species. That is, topics like specific rootstocks, cultivars, bio-sensory monitoring systems for pest and water control, are not formally presented since we feel these topics are region and climate specific and would be better dealt with additional reading lists, adapted in-course laboratory field exercises or thematic seminars. The focus of this book is thus on fundamental principles and on the insights to be gleaned from the many examples that are included. The task of addressing the educational requirements of students is therefore left to the planning of individual curricula and course syllabuses and to develop the core material to cover any adjunct topics as need be.

It should be noted, however, that one of the guidelines we followed in preparing the volume's contents was to include the ecological sustainability of tree maintenance, illustrating the stewardship needed to promote soil fertility, biodiversity, to make a rational use of energy and nutritional inputs, to prevent erosion and pollution, and to safeguard crop, grower and consumer health. So, in keeping with our general goal, we once again explain the concepts, but do not dwell into detailed descriptions of organic or integrated crop systems, conservative or natural arboriculture, or or-chard, grove and forestry management techniques.
Arboriculture occupies a special role in today's multi- faceted agriculture and a working knowledge of its practice is essential in preserving environment and sustainable landscape, as well as the production of energy and its uses. Indeed, notwithstanding the woody tree species under study and the landscape, arboriculture serves a leading stewardship role in rural com-munities and, through urban horticulture and parks, in cities. It helps keeping these environments as green as possible and protect them and their residents from the wild and unchecked sprawl of cities. Finally, it is the aim of the editors to raise awareness on how arboriculture can contribute to communities' well-being.

Silviero. Sansavini and the Editorial Board

Sansavini, S., Costa, G., Gucci, R., Inglese, P., Ramina, A., Xiloyannis, C., and Desjardins,Y., eds. (2019). Principles of Modern Fruit Science (Leuven, Belgium: ISHS), pp.421. ISBN 978-94-6261-204-4 (paperback). €80 - ORDER FORM