Tropical rain forests : an ecological and biogeographical by Richard T. Corlett, Richard B. Primack

By Richard T. Corlett, Richard B. Primack

The 1st version of Tropical Rain Forests: an Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison exploded the parable of ‘the rain woodland’ as a unmarried, uniform entity. in fact, the most important tropical rain woodland areas, in tropical the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and New Guinea, have as many alterations as similarities, due to their isolation from one another through the evolution in their floras and faunas. This new version reinforces this message with new examples from fresh and on-going learn.

After an advent to the environments and geological histories of the key rain woodland areas, next chapters specialize in vegetation, primates, carnivores and plant-eaters, birds, fruit bats and gliding animals, and bugs, with an emphasis at the ecological and biogeographical changes among areas. this can be by means of a brand new bankruptcy at the certain tropical rain forests of oceanic islands. the ultimate bankruptcy, which has been thoroughly rewritten, bargains with the affects of individuals on tropical rain forests and discusses attainable conservation concepts that consider the variations highlighted within the earlier chapters. This intriguing and intensely readable e-book, illustrated all through with colour images, may be necessary analyzing for undergraduate scholars in quite a lot of classes in addition to an authoritative reference for graduate ecologists, conservationists, and amateurs.

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A survey of a 1 ha plot (100 m × 100 m, somewhat larger than a typical soccer pitch) in the exceptionally diverse rain forest at Cuyabeno, Ecuador, in western Amazonia, found a total of 942 vascular plant species, of which about half were trees and the remainder were divided among shrubs, climbers, ground herbs, and epiphytes (Balslev et al. 1998). Most other studies have only looked at the trees. The largest set of comparable data from around the world concerns the number of trees species more than 10 cm (about 4 inches) in diameter found in a 1 ha plot (ter Steege et al.

Oxford University Press, Oxford. TRFC01 29 25/11/04, 2:16 PM 30 chapter 2 Plants: Building Blocks of the Rain Forest In a book about rain forest communities, it makes sense to cover plants before animals because plants are the foundation of any rain forest community. They provide the structure to the forest through the growth of trees, shrubs, vines, and herbs, as well as epiphytes—nonparasitic plants that grow perched on the branches of trees. The diversity of plants also provides a huge variety of food sources for the animal community that feeds on the flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, twigs, bark, roots, and other plant parts.

Many members of the family have a milky sap, most notably the para rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Species in the Phyllanthaceae, in contrast, lack latex. The Rubiaceae is a large family with over 7000 species of mostly trees and shrubs. It is often the most diverse tree family in African forests, although it is also diverse and abundant elsewhere. The family is readily recognized by having opposite leaves with stipules (small triangular flaps) between the leaf stalks, and flowers often in dense inflorescences.

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