The central theme of the first three volumes of physiological plant ecology deals with discussions on plant responses to their environment. In the present issue the first 8 chapters are dealing with the chemical environment, the introductory chapters (1 and 2) on the physiology of plant ionic relations and on osmoregulation provide a necessary basis for the next chapters. The topics treated are halophylism (ch. 3 and 4), nitrogen nutrition (ch. 5 and 8), pH (ch. 6) and plant responses to metals (ch. 7). As usual (volumes I and II) the editors have succeeded in getting together outstanding scientists who are presenting their topics in such a way that they are accessible for a broad public and still interesting for insiders. The second part (ch, 9-18) deals with the biotic environment. A large scala of subjects from mycorrhizal symbioses to zoophilic pollination passes in review. All of them are well-written and are very suited for a fast orientation in the topics whereas the extensive lists of references provide a basis for more penetrating studies.