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A Neotropical Companion is an extraordinarily readable introduction to the American tropics, the lands of Central and South America, their remarkable rainforests and other ecosystems, and the creatures that live there. It is the most comprehensive one-volume guide to the Neotropics available today. Widely praised in its first edition, it remains a book of unparalleled value to tourists, students, and scientists alike. This second edition has been substantially revised and expanded to incorporate the abundance of new scientific information that has been produced since it was first published in 1989. Major additions have been made to every chapter, and new chapters have been added on Neotropical ecosystems, human ecology, and the effects of deforestation. Biodiversity and its preservation are discussed throughout the book, and Neotropical evolution is described in detail. This new edition offers all new drawings and photographs, many of them in color.
As enthusiastic readers of the first edition will attest, this is a charming book. Wearing his learning lightly and writing with ease and humor, John Kricher presents the complexities of tropical ecology as accessible and nonintimidating. Kricher is so thoroughly knowledgeable and the book is so complete in its coverage that general readers and ecotourists will not need any other book to help them identify and understand the plants and animals, from birds to bugs, that they will encounter in their travels to the New World tropics. At the same time, it will fascinate armchair travelers and students who may get no closer to the Neotropics than this engagingly written book.
A guide to the different regions and natural changes of Latin America, Central America, and regions of the South in the United States.
"The book is exactly what it says it is, a companion to take with you on your travels in the New World tropics. . . . The author has written . . . with just the right amount of informality and humor."—Journal of Natural History
"An intense and lively field guide. . .compact and richly substantive"—Scientific American
|A Personal Note to the Reader|
|Ch. 1||Tropical Climates and Ecosystems||3|
|Ch. 2||Rainforest Structure and Diversity||21|
|Ch. 3||How a Rainforest Functions||44|
|Ch. 4||Evolutionary Patterns in the Tropics||75|
|Ch. 5||Complexities of Coevolution and Ecology of Fruit||126|
|Ch. 6||The Neotropical Pharmacy||144|
|Ch. 7||Living Off the Land in the Tropics||169|
|Ch. 8||Rivers through Rainforest||189|
|Ch. 9||Introduction to the Andes and Tepuis||218|
|Ch. 10||Savannas and Dry Forests||228|
|Ch. 11||Coastal Ecosystems: Mangroves, Seagrass, and Coral Reefs||239|
|Ch. 12||Neotropical Birds||251|
|Ch. 13||A Rainforest Bestiary||295|
|Ch. 14||Deforestation and Conservation of Biodiversity||334|
|Appendix||"And Hey, Let's Be Careful Out There"||377|
|Neotropical Field Guides and Handbooks||396|
|Recommended Book-Length References||399|
Posted May 24, 2006
I read Kricher's book after 10 days of birding in Costa Rica. My only dissatisfaction was that I had not read it before I went. Who knew that ants did so many interesting things or that so many species of birds depended on them. And neotropical plants are no less interesting. Highly recommended for anyone visiting or wishing they could visit the neotropics.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 5, 2009
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