A Neotropical Companion: An Introduction to the Animals, Plants, and Ecosystems of the New World Tropics. Illustrated by Andrea S. LeJeune

A Neotropical Companion: An Introduction to the Animals, Plants, and Ecosystems of the New World Tropics. Illustrated by Andrea S. LeJeune

by John Kricher, Andrea S. LeJeune
     
 

A Neotropical Companion introduces armchair travelers, field naturalists, and conservationists to the tropics of Central and South America. In recent years the neotropics have been more and more frequently visited by those interested in rain forests and the exotic birds, mammals, insects, and plants of these ecosystems. At the same time scientific knowledge

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Overview

A Neotropical Companion introduces armchair travelers, field naturalists, and conservationists to the tropics of Central and South America. In recent years the neotropics have been more and more frequently visited by those interested in rain forests and the exotic birds, mammals, insects, and plants of these ecosystems. At the same time scientific knowledge of the neotropics has bourgeoned. A primer for the student and for the scientific amateur, this well-illustrated volume presents a general and up-to-date view of some of the world's most complex natural environments. In addition, it provides the neotropical specialist with a broad look at the entire field of neotropical biology.

After giving an overview of the different kinds of ecosystems in the tropics, the author describes the structure, function, and evolution of tropical rain forests. Tropical trees are then discussed, as are the vast array of vines, orchids, bromeliads, and other plants that live among the branches of the forest giants. A chapter on the "tropical pharmacy" treats the many drugs present in tropical vegetation and the evolutionary influence of these drugs. The book surveys the great diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods of the neotropics and provides separate chapters on tropical savannas and on coastal ecosystems. An epilogue deals with the crucially important issues of the conservation of neotropical environments.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691085203
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/21/1989
Pages:
448

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
A Personal Note to the Reader
Conversions
Ch. 1Tropical Climates and Ecosystems3
Ch. 2Rainforest Structure and Diversity21
Ch. 3How a Rainforest Functions44
Ch. 4Evolutionary Patterns in the Tropics75
Ch. 5Complexities of Coevolution and Ecology of Fruit126
Ch. 6The Neotropical Pharmacy144
Ch. 7Living Off the Land in the Tropics169
Ch. 8Rivers through Rainforest189
Ch. 9Introduction to the Andes and Tepuis218
Ch. 10Savannas and Dry Forests228
Ch. 11Coastal Ecosystems: Mangroves, Seagrass, and Coral Reefs239
Ch. 12Neotropical Birds251
Ch. 13A Rainforest Bestiary295
Ch. 14Deforestation and Conservation of Biodiversity334
Appendix"And Hey, Let's Be Careful Out There"377
Acronyms389
Glossary390
Neotropical Field Guides and Handbooks396
Recommended Book-Length References399
Literature Cited403
Index435

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