Yew and Us: A Brief History of the Yew Tree. Hartzell, H. R. In Taxol: Science and Applications, pages 27–34. CRC Press.
Yew and Us: A Brief History of the Yew Tree [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
[Excerpt] The yew tree's influence on human development is well tracked in our history, literature, and art because it played such a significant role in our affairs. Its utility for wooden implements, especially tools and weapons, caused our ancestors to prize it. Eventually our need for yew trees had a devastating impact on native yew populations throughout the northern temperate zones. Consumption of forests by the civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe, India, China, and Japan caused great decline in native yew habitat. More recently in the Pacific Northwest we have managed to destroy 90\,% of the yew's native habitat in the last century. Today we cut down yew trees for bark to produce Taxol, further hastening the decline of native populations.
@incollection{hartzellYewUsBrief1995,
  title = {Yew and Us: A Brief History of the {{Yew}} Tree},
  booktitle = {Taxol: {{Science}} and {{Applications}}},
  author = {Hartzell, H. R.},
  editor = {Suffness, Matthew},
  date = {1995},
  pages = {27--34},
  publisher = {{CRC Press}},
  url = {http://books.google.it/books?vid=ISBN084938382-X},
  abstract = {[Excerpt] The yew tree's influence on human development is well tracked in our history, literature, and art because it played such a significant role in our affairs. Its utility for wooden implements, especially tools and weapons, caused our ancestors to prize it. Eventually our need for yew trees had a devastating impact on native yew populations throughout the northern temperate zones. Consumption of forests by the civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe, India, China, and Japan caused great decline in native yew habitat. More recently in the Pacific Northwest we have managed to destroy 90\,\% of the yew's native habitat in the last century. Today we cut down yew trees for bark to produce Taxol, further hastening the decline of native populations.},
  isbn = {084938382},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-13506695,cancer-treatment,taxol,taxus-brevifolia,taxus-spp}
}
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