Tropical Forest Community Ecology / Edition 1

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Historically, tropical ecology has been a science often content with descriptive and demographic approaches, which is understandable given the difficulty of studying these ecosystems and the need for basic demographic information. Nonetheless, over the last several years, tropical ecologists have begun to test more sophisticated ecological theory and are now beginning to address a broad array of questions that are of particular importance to tropical systems, and ecology in general. Why are there are so many species in tropical forests and what mechanisms are responsible for the maintenance of that vast species diversity? What factors control species coexistence? Are there common patterns of species abundance and distribution across broad geographic scales? What is the role of trophic interactions in these complex ecosystems? How can these fragile ecosystems be conserved?

Containing contributions from some of the world’s leading tropical ecologists, Tropical Forest Community Ecology provides a summary of the key issues in the discipline of tropical ecology:

  • Includes contributions from some of the world’s leading tropical ecologists
  • Covers patterns of species distribution, the maintenance of species diversity, the community ecology of tropical animals, forest regeneration and conservation of tropical ecosystems
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Undoubtedly, this book needs to be on the shelves of everyscientist committed to disentangling the complexity veiled by thegrandeur of tropical forests. Nonetheless, we believe that it willalso provide inspiration to landscape ecologists who focus theirresearch in other regions of the Earth." (Landscape Ecol, 2011)

"Whilst it will not be an easy book especially for thoseuncomfortable with mathematical formulae, it does provide avaluable insight into a key biome in the world, and at a reasonableprice for a substantial volume.” (ExperimentalAgriculture , July 2009)

Tropical Forest Community Ecology may turn out tobe the elegy for rainforest ecology, or it may be the harbinger ofthings to come. Only time will tell, but meanwhile there is muchwork to be done, and Tropical Forest Community Ecologyprovides useful directions.” (Ecology, 2009)

"The recent advances in data collection and theory described inthis volume have made the past decade one of the most exciting andimportant periods in the study of tropical forests. Carson andSchnitzer and the many contributing authors capture this excitementand the tectonic shifts that are underway in this new book. If youintend to buy only one book on tropical forest ecology in the next20 years, buy this one. It is, simply put, outstanding." (Annalsof Botany, July 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405118972
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/23/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Walter P. Carson obtained his doctorate from CornellUniversity and did postdoctoral work at both Princeton Universityand the University of Minnesota USA. He has conducted extensiveresearch on the ecology of both tropical and temperate forests. Heis currently an Associate Professor at the University ofPittsburgh, PA, USA.

Dr. Stefan A. Schnitzer obtained his doctorate from theUniversity of Pittsburgh, followed by postdoctoral research at theUniversity of Minnesota USA and Wageningen University in TheNetherlands. He has studied tropical forests in Borneo, Costa Rica,Ecuador, French Guiana, and the Republic of Panama. Dr. Schnitzeris currently an Assistant Professor at the University ofWisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA and a Research Associate withthe Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic ofPanama.

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Table of Contents

Preface. Walter P. Carson and Stefan A. Schnitzer.

Foreword. S. Joseph Wright.

List of Contributors.


1 Scope of the Book and Key Contributions. Stefan A.Schnitzer and Walter P. Carson.


2 Spatial Variation in Tree Species Composition Across TropicalForests: Pattern and Process. Jérôme Chave.

3 The Disparity in Tree Species Richness among Tropical,Temperate, and Boreal Biomes: The Geographic Area and AgeHypothesis. Paul V.A. Fine, Richard H. Ree, and Robyn J.Burnham.

4 Explaining Geographic Range Size by Species Age: A Test UsingNeotropical Piper Species. John R. Paul and Stephen J.Tonsor.

5 Patterns of Herbivory and Defense in Tropical Dry and RainForests. Rodolfo Dirzo and Karina Boege.

6 Ecological Organization, Biogeography, and the PhylogeneticStructure of Tropical Forest Tree Communities. Campbell O.Webb,Charles H. Cannon, and Stuart J. Davies.

7 Large Tropical Forest Dynamics Plots: Testing Explanations forthe Maintenance of Species Diversity. Jess K. Zimmerman, JillThompson, and Nicholas Brokaw.


8 Tropical Forest Ecology: Sterile or Virgin for Theoreticians?Egbert G. Leigh, Jr.

9 Approaching Ecological Complexity from the Perspective ofSymmetric Neutral Theory. Stephen P. Hubbell.

10 Functional Basis for Resource Niche Partitioning by TropicalTrees. Kaoru Kitajima and Lourens Poorter.

11 Colonization-related Trade-offs in Tropical Forests and TheirRole in the Maintenance of Plant Species Diversity. Helene C.Muller-Landau.

12 Treefall Gaps and the Maintenance of Plant Species Diversityin Tropical Forests. Stefan A. Schnitzer, Joseph Mascaro, andWalter P. Carson.

13 Challenges Associated with Testing and Falsifying theJanzen–Connell Hypothesis: A Review and Critique. WalterP. Carson, Jill T. Anderson, Egbert G. Leigh, Jr, and Stefan A.Schnitzer.

14 Seed Limitation and the Coexistence of Pioneer Tree Species.James W. Dalling and Robert John.

15 Endophytic Fungi: Hidden Components of Tropical CommunityEcology. A. Elizabeth Arnold.


16 Tropical Tritrophic Interactions: Nasty Hosts and UbiquitousCascades. Lee A. Dyer.

17 Variation in Tree Seedling and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal FungalSpore Responses to the Exclusion of Terrestrial Vertebrates:Implications for How Vertebrates Structure Tropical Communities.Tad C. Theimer and Catherine A. Gehring.

18 Ecosystem Decay in Closed Forest Fragments. John Terborghand Kenneth Feeley.

19 Resource Limitation of Insular Animals: Causes andConsequences. Gregory H. Adler.

20 Tropical Arboreal Ants: Linking Nutrition to Roles inRainforest Ecosystems. Diane W. Davidson and Steven C.Cook.

21 Soil Fertility and Arboreal Mammal Biomass in TropicalForests. Carlos A. Peres.


22 Processes Constraining Woody Species Succession on AbandonedPastures in the Tropics: On the Relevance of Temperate Models ofSuccession. Chris J. Peterson and Walter P. Carson.

23 Chance and Determinism in Tropical Forest Succession.Robin L. Chazdon.

24 Exotic Plant Invasions in Tropical Forests: Patterns andHypotheses. Julie S. Denslow and Saara J. DeWalt.


25 Linking Insights from Ecological Research with Bioprospectingto Promote Conservation, Enhance Research Capacity, and ProvideEconomic Uses of Biodiversity. Thomas A. Kursar, Todd L. Capson,Luis Cubilla-Rios, Daniel A. Emmen, William Gerwick, Mahabir P.Gupta, Maria V. Heller, Kerry McPhail, Eduardo Ortega-Barría,Dora I. Quiros, Luz I. Romero, Pablo N. Solis, and Phyllis D.Coley.

26 Tropical Rainforest Conservation: A Global Perspective.Richard T. Corlett and Richard B. Primack.

27 Environmental Promise and Peril in the Amazon. William F.Laurance.

28 Contributions of Ecologists to Tropical Forest Conservation.Francis E. Putz and Pieter A. Zuidema.


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