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Our knowledge of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees is limited, with detailed information available for perhaps only a few hundred of the many thousand of species that occur. Yet a good understanding of the trees is essential to unravelling the workings of the forest itself. This book aims to summarise contemporary understanding of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees. The emphasis is on comparative ecology, an approach that can help to identify possible adaptive trends and evolutionary constraints and which may also lead to a workable ecological classification for tree species, conceptually simplifying the rain-forest community and making it more amenable to analysis.
Importance pf tropical forests; characteristics of tropical forests; classification of tropical forests; deforestation in the tropics; management of tropical forests; plantatios and agroforestry systems; approaches for implementing sustainable management techniques.
We live in a well-engineered universe. This engineering is present in every system and organism in existence, including in the actions and interactions of plants and animals. In fact, one could say that the function and movement of plants and animals is just as much a part of their makeup as chlorophyll and fiber or bone and blood. Consequently, if we want to understand the ecology of animals and plants especially in an integrated ecosystem, it follows that great insight can be gained by taking an approach that studies function and integration of parts rather than the individual parts themselves. Ecology and Biomechanics: A Mechanical Approach to the Ecology of Animals and Plants offers a collection of state-of-the-art papers that ingeniously demonstrates how biomechanics can provide novel insights into long standing ecological and evolutionary questions. The majority of the book's chapters were originally presented at a symposium held at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology in Edinburgh, U.K., in 2004. Combining approaches from various disciplines, this volume covers subjects that encompass theoretical concepts and practical approaches involving research on both plants and animals, as well as interactions between the two. Although most of the examples emphasize distinct organism-environment relationships such as the grazing of ruminants, the book also includes a few examples that span larger temporal and spatial scales, achieving wider application across ecosystems. This can be seen in the chapter Implications of Microbial Motility on the Water Column Ecosystems, which highlights how microbial ecosystems can be understood from the mechanics, morphology, and motile responses of the individual organisms. Designed to serve as a reference for students and researchers, Ecology and Biomechanics: A Mechanical Approach to the Ecology of Animals and Plants paves the way for further research by demonstrating what can happen when the approaches from two seemingly disparate subdisciplines within the field of biology are creatively combined.
Lianas are woody vines that were the focus of intense study byearly ecologists, such as Darwin, who devoted an entire book to thenatural history of climbing plants. Over the past quartercentury, there has been a resurgence in the study of lianas, andliana are again recognized as important components of many forests,particularly in the tropics. The increasing amount ofresearch on lianas has resulted in a fundamentally deeperunderstanding of liana ecology, evolution, and life-history, aswell as the myriad roles lianas play in forest dynamics andfunctioning. This book provides insight into the ecology and evolution oflianas, their anatomy, physiology, and natural history, theirglobal abundance and distribution, and their wide-ranging effectson the myriad organisms that inhabit tropical and temperateforests.
Describes the prominent themes in the ecology, natural history, and evolution of bees, and includes discussions on pollinating behavior, natural enemies, reproduction, social behavior, and maintenance of the diversity of tropical communities. This book is the first to draw together these themes, and covers topics as varied as the evolution of obligate sociality and the reproductive diversity of tropical flowering plants. There are many new examples from the author's research on pollination ecology, mimicry, mutualism, coevolution, and competition.
Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology presents a timely collection of pioneering work in the study of these diverse and fascinating ecosystems. Modeled on the highly successful Foundations of Ecology, this book consists of facsimiles of papers chosen by world experts in tropical biology as the "classics" in the field. The papers are organized into sections on related topics, each introduced with a discussion of their role in triggering subsequent research. Topics covered include ecological and evolutionary perspectives on the origins of tropical diversity; plant-animal interactions; patterns of species diversity and distribution of arthropods, vertebrates, and plants; forest dynamics and ecosystem ecology; conservation biology; and tropical forest management. Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology makes essential works in the development of tropical biology available in a convenient form to both senior scholars interested in the roots of their discipline and to students encountering the field for the first time, as well as to everyone concerned with tropical conservation.

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