This volume compares the beech forests of eastern Asia, North America and Europe. Beech forests are important in each of these three regions. No other book covers beech on this scale.
The author has personally studied beech forests in each region, and his large body of data is the starting point for comparison. For such a world-wide comparison to be justified, factors that have most strongly influenced the beech forests should be known. First, use and management of beech forests are compared. They have influenced beech forests for millennia and have been very different in each region. Next, in a historical comparison spread and speciation since the early Tertiary are analysed. Today's beech forests cover a wide range of climates and soils; they occur in cool temperate regions as well as on tropical mountains. The final part compares the trees and forests themselves: growth and form of trees, species composition and populations, forest structure and forest dynamics.