Tropical Ecology

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Overview

"Finally, an appropriate general text to use in tropical biology courses. Other books on tropical rain forest ecology are either too general or too technical for use in undergraduate or even graduate courses, so this book definitely fills a need."—Robert A. Askins, Connecticut College

"Kricher does a remarkable job of bringing the wonder and diversity of tropical ecosystems together into one text, while providing a solid framework in ecological and evolutionary theory. The task of treating the tropics in one accessible book is daunting, and Tropical Ecology comes closer to accomplishing that goal than any book I have seen."—Gregory S. Gilbert, University of California, Santa Cruz

"This is an excellent book that fills a significant need for a course text to accompany both upper-level lecture classes and field courses in tropical ecology. Kricher has an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural history of tropical organisms. I feel confident that this book will be adopted widely."—James Dalling, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Overall, an ideal resource for a tropical ecology course . . .
Biotropica
Tropical Ecology provides a superb introduction to the tropics. Kricher does a remarkable job at bringing together an enormous amount of information and presenting it in an accessible but rigorous way. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and certainly recommend it.
— John G. Blake
Wildlife Activist
[A]n excellent college text . . . it will become my tropical ecology shelf resource.
Ecology
Tropical Ecology has 15 chapters and is broadly organized into four sections: a large section dealing with biodiversity in tropical rain forests, a section on productivity and nutrient cycling, a section on other ecosystems in the tropics, and a final section on human ecology in the tropics, including relevant issues in conservation. The first chapter gives an overview of tropical ecology, providing a nice background on the rich history of tropical fieldwork including that of Darwin, Wallace, and Humboldt. It provides a useful synopsis of the advances in tropical ecology over the years. It further gives a nice overview of all the biomes around the world, and a wonderfully succinct and accessible summary of the climatic processes that create the global diversity in biomes. . . . In general . . . Kricher was successful in convincing the reader about the unique contributions of tropical ecology to our understanding of ecological processes, especially to our understanding of how biodiversity is generated and maintained. This textbook is a wonderful starting point or reference for students and those generally interested in learning more about tropical ecology.
Elsevier
Tropical Ecology by John Kricher unifies both perspectives to a great textbook. While reviewing the different conceptual angels that are necessary to grasp the ecology of the world's tropics, many well-chosen examples illustrate the need to be aware of countless 'descriptive' facts and phenomena before theories can be used to explain them. By viewing topics from many different angles (such as climate, plant physiology, behaviour, evolution, geology), the book makes clear the multidisciplinarity of understanding tropical ecosystems. . . . I think it is a great dual-purpose book. With its non-technical style, nice colour pictures and graphs, and good didactical organization (e.g., boxes for special case stories; accompanying slides for lecturing on http://press.princeton.edu/links/kricher/) it makes a highly recommended, multidisciplinary textbook for academic teaching. At the same time it can be used as a comprehensive review of the state of the art and as a guide to recent original literature for graduate students and researchers starting new on one of the topics.
— Jan Beck
Ecological Society of America
As this textbook follows at the heels of Kricher's successful Neotropical Companion, it is no surprise that the text is clearly written and should be accessible to undergraduate and starting graduate students, the primary target of this text. The textbook is written in a narrative that, despite its length, is easy to digest. Kricher uses approachable examples with clear illustrations, and the text is well organized. As a whole, the textbook is nicely done and should provide a wonderful complement for a course in tropical ecology.
— J. Albert C. Uy
Biologist
The book can be dipped into for an in-depth read on many subjects and it is liberally scattered with colour photographs, graphs and quotes from many current research papers. Overall this is a comprehensive account of the ecology of the neotropics and is highly recommended for students.
— John Feltwell
Basic and Applied Ecology
I think it is a great dual-purpose book. With its non-technical style, nice colour pictures and graphs, and good didactical organization . . . it makes a highly recommended, multidisciplinary textbook for academic teaching. At the same time it can be used as a comprehensive review of the state of the art and as a guide to recent original literature for graduate students and researchers starting new on one of the topics.
— Jan Beck
Biotropica - John G. Blake
Tropical Ecology provides a superb introduction to the tropics. Kricher does a remarkable job at bringing together an enormous amount of information and presenting it in an accessible but rigorous way. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and certainly recommend it.
Elsevier - Jan Beck
I think it is a great dual-purpose book. With its non-technical style, nice colour pictures and graphs, and good didactical organization . . . it makes a highly recommended, multidisciplinary textbook for academic teaching. At the same time it can be used as a comprehensive review of the state of the art and as a guide to recent original literature for graduate students and researchers starting new on one of the topics.
Ecological Society of America - J. Albert C. Uy
As this textbook follows at the heels of Kricher's successful Neotropical Companion, it is no surprise that the text is clearly written and should be accessible to undergraduate and starting graduate students, the primary target of this text. The textbook is written in a narrative that, despite its length, is easy to digest. Kricher uses approachable examples with clear illustrations, and the text is well organized. As a whole, the textbook is nicely done and should provide a wonderful complement for a course in tropical ecology.
Biologist - John Feltwell
The book can be dipped into for an in-depth read on many subjects and it is liberally scattered with colour photographs, graphs and quotes from many current research papers. Overall this is a comprehensive account of the ecology of the neotropics and is highly recommended for students.
From the Publisher
"Overall, an ideal resource for a tropical ecology course . . ."—
Choice

"Tropical Ecology provides a superb introduction to the tropics. Kricher does a remarkable job at bringing together an enormous amount of information and presenting it in an accessible but rigorous way. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and certainly recommend it."—John G. Blake, Biotropica

"[A]n excellent college text . . . it will become my tropical ecology shelf resource."—
Wildlife Activist

"Tropical Ecology has 15 chapters and is broadly organized into four sections: a large section dealing with biodiversity in tropical rain forests, a section on productivity and nutrient cycling, a section on other ecosystems in the tropics, and a final section on human ecology in the tropics, including relevant issues in conservation. The first chapter gives an overview of tropical ecology, providing a nice background on the rich history of tropical fieldwork including that of Darwin, Wallace, and Humboldt. It provides a useful synopsis of the advances in tropical ecology over the years. It further gives a nice overview of all the biomes around the world, and a wonderfully succinct and accessible summary of the climatic processes that create the global diversity in biomes. . . . In general . . . Kricher was successful in convincing the reader about the unique contributions of tropical ecology to our understanding of ecological processes, especially to our understanding of how biodiversity is generated and maintained. This textbook is a wonderful starting point or reference for students and those generally interested in learning more about tropical ecology."—
Ecology

"Tropical Ecology by John Kricher unifies both perspectives to a great textbook. While reviewing the different conceptual angels that are necessary to grasp the ecology of the world's tropics, many well-chosen examples illustrate the need to be aware of countless 'descriptive' facts and phenomena before theories can be used to explain them. By viewing topics from many different angles (such as climate, plant physiology, behaviour, evolution, geology), the book makes clear the multidisciplinarity of understanding tropical ecosystems. . . . I think it is a great dual-purpose book. With its non-technical style, nice colour pictures and graphs, and good didactical organization (e.g., boxes for special case stories; accompanying slides for lecturing on http://press.princeton.edu/links/kricher/) it makes a highly recommended, multidisciplinary textbook for academic teaching. At the same time it can be used as a comprehensive review of the state of the art and as a guide to recent original literature for graduate students and researchers starting new on one of the topics."—Jan Beck, Elsevier

"As this textbook follows at the heels of Kricher's successful Neotropical Companion, it is no surprise that the text is clearly written and should be accessible to undergraduate and starting graduate students, the primary target of this text. The textbook is written in a narrative that, despite its length, is easy to digest. Kricher uses approachable examples with clear illustrations, and the text is well organized. As a whole, the textbook is nicely done and should provide a wonderful complement for a course in tropical ecology."—J. Albert C. Uy, Ecological Society of America

"The book can be dipped into for an in-depth read on many subjects and it is liberally scattered with colour photographs, graphs and quotes from many current research papers. Overall this is a comprehensive account of the ecology of the neotropics and is highly recommended for students."—John Feltwell, Biologist

"I think it is a great dual-purpose book. With its non-technical style, nice colour pictures and graphs, and good didactical organization . . . it makes a highly recommended, multidisciplinary textbook for academic teaching. At the same time it can be used as a comprehensive review of the state of the art and as a guide to recent original literature for graduate students and researchers starting new on one of the topics."—Jan Beck, Basic and Applied Ecology

"Kricher has written the text in an easy to read style, which makes the study of the subject pleasurable, rather than a chore. Overall, Kricher provides a great text for the beginning and advanced student. I would recommend it as a text for students to obtain a good understanding of the concepts of tropical ecology."—Noel D. Preece, Austral Ecology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691115139
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/21/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 683,579
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John Kricher is professor of biology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. His books include "The Balance of Nature: Ecology's Enduring Myth" and "A Neotropical Companion" (both Princeton).

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS vii
INTRODUCTION 1
Chapter 1: What and Where Are the Tropics? 6
Chapter 2: Biogeography and Evolution in the Tropics 38
Chapter 3: Inside Tropical Rain Forests: Structure 79
Chapter 4: Inside Tropical Rain Forests: Biodiversity 109
Chapter 5: A Study in Biodiversity: Rain Forest Tree Species Richness 154
Chapter 6: A Shifting Mosaic: Rain Forest Development and Dynamics 188
Chapter 7: Biotic Interactions and Coevolution in Tropical Rain Forests 227
Chapter 8: Trophic Dynamics in Evolutionary Context 272
Chapter 9: Carbon Flux and Climate Change in Tropical Ecosystems 323
Chapter 10: Nutrient Cycling and Tropical Soils 359
Chapter 11: Tropical Savannas and Dry Forests 390
Chapter 12: Other Tropical Ecosystems: From the Mountains to the Rivers to the Sea 422
Chapter 13: Humans as Part of Tropical Ecosystems: Focus on the Neotropics 469
Chapter 14: Forest Fragmentation and Biodiversity 500
Chapter 15: Conservation Outlook for the Tropics 530
APPENDIX: GEOLOGIC TIME CHART 565
LITERATURE CITED 566
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS 594
INDEX 606

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