Seedlings are highly sensitive to their environment. After seeds, they typically suffer the highest mortality of any life history stage. This book provides a comprehensive exploration of the seedling stage of the plant life cycle. It considers the importance of seedlings in plant communities; environmental factors with special impact on seedlings; the morphological and physiological diversity of seedlings including mycorrhizae; the relationship of the seedling with other life stages; seedling evolution; and seedlings in human altered ecosystems, including deserts, tropical rainforests, and habitat restoration projects. The diversity of seedlings is portrayed by including specialised groups like orchids, bromeliads, and parasitic and carnivorous plants. Discussions of physiology, morphology, evolution and ecology are brought together to focus on how and why seedlings are successful. This important text sets the stage for future research and is valuable to graduate students and researchers in plant ecology, botany, agriculture and conservation.