Food Webs and Container Habitats: The Natural History and Ecology of Phytotelmata

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The animal communities in plant-held water bodies, such as tree holes and pitcher plants, are models for food web studies. In this book, Professor Kitching introduces us to these fascinating miniature worlds and demonstrates how they can be used to tackle some of the major questions in community ecology. Based on his thirty years of research around the world, he presents much previously unpublished information, as well as summarizing over a hundred years of natural history observations made by others. The book covers many aspects of the theory of food web formation and maintenance presented with field-collected information on tree holes, bromeliads, pitcher plants, bamboo containers, and the axils of fleshy plants.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent reference. It is by far the most detailed treatment of the topic ever attempted, and it is essential reading for anyone interested in phytotelmata...If Kitching's intention was to make this work informative and interesting to a relatively broad audience, he has succeeded." Plant Systematics and Evolution

"Generalists will find fascinating the first 89 pages on the flora, fauna, and environment of phytotelmata. This excellent work is an essential addition to the field of community ecology." Choice

"The information in this book is of the weird and wonderful sort that makes birders, plant enthusiasts, herpetophiles, and really all naturalists exclaim, 'wow'!" The Canaidian Field-Naturalist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521773164
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; Part I. The Container Flora, Fauna and Environment: 2. The container flora; 3. The container fauna; 4. The phytotelm environment; Part II. Methods and Theories: 5. The construction and quantification of food webs; 6. Processes structuring food webs; Part III. Patterns in Phytotelm Food Webs: 7. Food-web variation across geographical regions; 8. Food-web variation within a continent: the communities of tree-holes from Tasmania to Cape Tribulation; 9. Food-web variation at smaller spatial scales: regional and local variation in tree-hole and Nepenthes webs; 10. The role of the host plant; 11. Variation through time: seasonality, invasion and reassembly, succession; Part IV. Processes Structuring Food Webs: 12. Competition and predation - basic forces structuring the community?; 13. Stochasticism and determinism: processes structuring fod webs in phytotelmata; Part V. Synthesis: 14. A food-web templet; Annexe; References; Index.

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