Mexico is among the richest countries in the world in terms of the number of native animal and plant species. Found in a wide variety of habitatsfrom alpine meadows and tropical forests to vast stretches of desert and isolated pockets of biogeographical uniquenessthese species comprise a fascinating, important, and vastly underutilized biological laboratory. This volume presents a collection of selected papers that explore this marvelous biological abundance. The book is divided into six parts. The first section sets the stage with geological and paleobotanical overviews; the succeeding five sections employ a strong taxonomic base to document species richness, endemism and distribution for animals and plants, followed by reviews of contrasting ecosystems and plants that are closely associated with humans. The last section summarizes the disheartening rate of habitat destruction which threatens to diminish this diversity. In addition to the purely scientific value of this important work, it provides the much-needed basic data that will help conservation policymakers assess and respond to Mexico's ecological evolution.