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Early contribution to plant physiology

BONNET, Charles.
Recherches sur l'usage des feuilles dans les plantes, et sur quelques autres sujets relatifs à l'histoire de la végétation.
Göttingen & Leiden, Elie Luzac, 1754. 4to (25 x 19.5 cm). Title-page in red and black with Luzacs engraved Apollo device, numerous illustration figures on 31 engraved folding plates. Contemporary cat's-paw calf, spine ribbed and gilt, black spine label. VII, [1], 343, [1] pp.
€ 1,250
First edition of an early contribution to plant physiology by the French philosopher and natural scientist Charles Bonnet (1720-1793). "In the Recherches, Bonnet grouped five memoirs, all of which were of prime importance for plant biology: he precisely described the characteristics of their transpiratory phenomena. Although he did not know the kinds of gases ... produced and absorbed by green leaves exposed to light", he clearly shows the relations of plants to all surrounding elements (air, sun and soil) that let it breath, grow by nourishment and propagate as a living being. "Bonnet should be considered one of the first naturalists to investigate experimentally the question of photosynthesis" (DSB). The studies are illustrated with engraved folding plates after drawings by the Encyclopédiste Pierre Soubeyran (1706-1775).
With a bookplate on the paste-down, probably of Albert Joseph Goblet d'Alviella (1790-1873), prime-minister of Belgium. Binding worn, particularly at the sides and spine and with the front hinge heavily worn. Otherwise in good condition. Nissen BBI, 201; Pritzel 981; for the author: DSB II, p. 286; for the publisher: Rolina van Vliet, Elie Luzac (2005).
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Related Subjects:

Natural history  >  Botany (General)