Tropical Alpine Environments: Plant Form and Function

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Tropical alpine environments (at altitudes above the closed canopy forest and below the limit of plant life) present an unusual set of complex stresses for plant species. Unlike temperate alpine environments, where there are distinct seasons of favorable and unfavorable conditions for growth, tropical alpine habitats present summer conditions every day and winter conditions every night. As a consequence, tropical alpine plant species have evolved unique forms for coping with such a hostile environment. Using examples from all over the tropics, this fascinating account reviews the unique form and functional relationships of tropical alpine plants, examining both their physiological ecology and population biology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a book not only for those interested in tropical alpine plants, but for anyone interested in physiological ecology and alpine plants. The editors have produced a comprehensive review of tropical alpine plant biology; indeed, the book goes beyond the title's plant form and function. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the adaptations of plants to unique environments." Michael E. Loik, Plant Science Bulletin

"...this book is one of the best to have appeared in recent years with a focus on high-altitude ecology." Francisco l. Pérez, Arctic and Alpine Research

"The editors have done a good job of brining the information about tropical alpine plant form and function together in one volume." Henrik Balsev, Systematic Botany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521420891
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors; Preface; 1. Introduction to tropical alpine vegetation A. P. Smith; 2. Tropical alpine climates P. W. Rundel; 3. Páramo microclimate and leaf thermal balance of Andean giant rosette plants F. C. Meinzer, G. Goldstein and F. Rada; 4. Comparative water relations of tropical alpine plants F. C. Meinzer, G. Goldstein and P. W. Rundel; 5. Cold tolerance in tropical alpine plants E. Beck; 6. Anatomy of tropical alpine plants S. Carlquist; 7. Environmental biology of a tropical treeline species, polylepis sericea G. Goldstein, F. C. Meinzer and F. Rada; 8. Morphological and physiological radiation in páramo draba W. A. Pfitsch; 9. Sediment-based carbon nutrition in tropical alpine isoetes J. E. Keeley, D. A. DeMason, R. Gonzalez and K. R. Markham; 10. Functional significance of inflorescence pubescence in tropical alpine species of Puya G. A. Miller; 11. Turnover and conservation of nutrients in the pachycaul senecio keniodendron E. Beck; 12. Soil nutrient dynamics in East African alpine ecosystems H. Rehder; 13. An overview of the reproductive biology of espeletia (Asteraceae) in the Venezuelan Andes P. E. Berry and R. Calvo; 14. Population biology of Mount Kenya lobelias T. P. Young; 15. Population biology of Senecio kenodendron (Asteraceae), an Afroalpine giant rosette plant A. P. Smith and T. P. Young; 16. Population dynamics and flowering in a Hawaiian alpine rosette plant, Argyroxiphium sandiwicense P. W. Rundel and M. S. Witter; 17. Plant form and function in alpine New Guinea R. J. Hnatiuk; 18. Alpine herbivory on Mount Kenya T. P. Young and A. P. Smith; 19. Biotic interactions in Hawaiian high elevation ecosystems L. L. Loope and A. C. Medeiros; 20. Tropical alpine ecology: progress and priorities P. W. Rundel, F. C. Meinzer and A. P. Smith; Index.

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