It has been known for some time that any metabolic function in an organism is the result of a multitude of intrinsic and extrinsic controls. What is new is the realization that metabolic dynamics is governed by such a fine network of both metabolic and hormonal signals that it can hardly be described in other than mathematical terms. In plant physiology, metabolic regulation of carbon and nitrogen fluxes, which determine growth and development to a large extent, is also gaining recognition as such a fundamental, yet intricate mechanism. This renewed interest is stimulated by the possibilities of modifying metabolic routes and their controls by molecular genetic interventions; it now becomes clear how complicated plants are in this respect, and how little we know about their metabolic dynamics. This book is a necessary preamble to further studies along this line. It deals with aspects such as the coupling of nitrogen and carbon assimilation in plants, and the integration in space and time of these processes. It deals with the interaction between sources and sinks with regard to the partitioning of resources and the effects of external supplies on growth and development. It does not answer all the questions, but the questions that are asked are well formulated and evoke further thinking. The book is based on a meeting of European plant physiologists in 1991 in preparation of a (later established) European Science Foundation Scientific Network on Whole Plant Physiology. It is organized into three parts dealing with; (i) the mutual interaction of carbon and nitrogen metabolism; (ii) distribution patterns of carbon and nitrogen metabolites, and (iii) the effects of carbon and nitrogen on plant development. In short, it is an integrative account of carbon and nitrogen fluxes in an extremely complex system. Clearly, it has been written with great enthusiasm by all contributors, and this enthusiasm is contagious. I consider this to be a standard textbook for the current state of knowledge in this area, and recommend anyone interested in metabolic dynamics to buy and to read it.