Tropical Forest Ecology: A View from Barro Colorado Island

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In Tropical Forest Ecology, Egbert G. Leigh, Jr., one of the world's foremost tropical ecologists, introduces readers to the tropical forest and describes the intricate web of interdependence among the great diversity of tropical plants and animals. Focusing on the tropical forest of Barro Colorado Island, Panama, Leigh shows what Barro Colorado can tell us about other tropical forests--and what tropical forests can tell us about Barro Colorado.
This book considers three essential questions for understanding the ecological organization of tropical forests. How do they stay green with their abundance of herbivores? Why do they have such a diversity of plants and animals? And what role does mutualism play in the ecology of tropical forests? Beautifully written and abundantly illustrated, Tropical Forest Ecology will certainly appeal to a wide variety of scientists in the fields of evolution, tropical biology, botany, zoology, and natural history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Throughout this book the imprint of Egbert Leigh's keen intellect is apparent. He has pulled together an incredible mass of information both from his own observations from forests throughout the world but also from a summary of the works of others. Each chapter has very extensive list of references. When needed, Leigh summarizes natural law in the form of mathematical equations and while these may be beyond the comprehension of some readers, the book also is written in a style that is fun to read. Subjects are treated thoroughly and in an interesting manner; despite the wealth of information in each chapter the progression of subjects makes sense and is easy to follow. While the book uses Barro Colorado Island as a sounding board the information in this book is pertinent to tropical forests everywhere. The book should be mandatory reading for any student of ecology or biology."--Plant Systematics and Evolution

"This book introduces rain forests and their ecological organization, using the tropical rain forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama as a representative. Three essential questions addressed in the book are: How do tropical forests stay green with so many herbivores? Why do tropic forests have such diverse flora and fauna? And what role does mutualism play in rain forest ecology? . . . The text is illustrated with figures and tables. This book should be of interest to scientists in the fields of tropical biology, ecology, botany, zoology, evolution, and natural history."--Biological Abstracts/RRM®

"Leigh has produced a wonderful synthesis of our understanding of tropical forests, one that should attract a wide audience. . .I greatly appreciated that much of the mathematical details were left for appendicies after each chapter. I look forward to further editions of thisbook as our knowledge of the tropical forests of the world continues to grow--at least as long as there are any tropical forests left to study."--Ecology

"Focusing on the climate, structure, and productivity of this well-studied Panamanian rainforest, Leigh discusses three critical issues: why tropical forests are green despite their abundant herbivores, why forests are so diverse, and the importance of mutualistic interactions in the forsts' ecology/"--Science

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195096033
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Barro Colorado Island: The Background
2. Dramatis Personaie
3. Tropical Climates
4. Runoff, Erosion, and Soil
5. Telling the Trees from the Forest: Tree Shape and Leaf Arrangement
6. Biomass and Productivity of Tropical Forest
7. The Seasonal Rhythms of Fruiting and Leaf Flush, and the Regulation of Animal Populations
8. Tropical Diversity
9. The Role of Mutualism in Tropical Forest
10. The Rainforest Endangered
Name Index
Subject Index

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