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Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison

ISBN: 978-1-4051-4109-3
February 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison (1405141093) cover image
The popular view of the tropical rainforest as a monolithic tangle of
rain-soaked trees, vines, birds, monkeys and big cats is a widespread
myth. Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical
Comparison
explodes that myth by showing that rain forests in
different tropical regions are unique despite superficial similarities.

Written by two leading figures in the field, this essential new
volume:


  • Emphasizes the distinctive characteristics of rain forests in
    tropical Asia, tropical America, Africa,Madagascar,New Guinea,
    and Australia
  • Begins with an introduction to the climate, biogeographic history,
    and environment of tropical rain forests
  • Presents an extended cross-continental treatment of major
    animal and plant groups
  • Outlines a research program involving cross-continental
    comparisons
  • Considers the impact of people on tropical forests and
    discusses conservation strategies based upon the characteristics
    of particular regions rather than a one-size-fits-all approach
  • Includes natural history examples, figures, and a stunning
    collection of color photographs
See More
Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. Many Tropical Rainforests.

What are tropical rainforests?.

Where are the tropical rainforests?.

Rainforest environments.

Rainforest histories.

The origns of the similarities and differences.

Main rainforests.

Conclusions.

Further Reading.

2. Plants: The Building Blocks of the Rainforest.

Plant distributions.

Rainforest structure.

How many plant species?.

Widespread plant families.

Neotropical rainforests.

Asian rainforests.

Rainforests in New Guinea and Australia.

African rainforests.

Madagascan rainforests.

Conclusions.

Further reading.

3. Primate Communities: A Key to Understanding Biogeography and Ecology.

What are primates?.

Old World versus New World primates.

Primate diets.

Primate communities.

Primates as seed dispersal agents.

Conclusions.

Further reading.

4. Carnivores and Plant Eaters.

Carnivores.

Herbivores of the forest floor.

Conclusions.

Further reading.

5. Birds: Linkages in the Rainforest Community.

Biogeography.

Little, brown, insect-eating birds.

Forest frugivores.

Fruit size and body size.

Flower visitors.

Ground dwellers.

Woodpeckers.

Birds of prey.

Scavengers.

Night birds.

Migration.

A comparison of bird communities across continents.

Conclusions.

Further reading.

6. Bats and Gliding Animals in the Tree Canopy.

Fruit- and nectar-feeding bats.

Feeding habits.

Flying behavior.

Foraging behavior.

Bats as pollinators and seed dispersal agents.

Fruit bat conservation.

Gliding vertebrates.

Conclusions.

Further reading.

7. Insects: Diverse, Abundant, and Ecologically Important.

Butterflies.

Ants.

Termites.

Social wasps.

Bees.

Conclusions.

Further reading.

8. The Future of Rainforests.

Different forests, different threats.

The major threats.

The forces behind the threats.

Global climate change.

How bad is it?.

Rainforest extinctions.

Solutions.

Conclusions.

Further reading.

Bibliography.

Index

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Richard Primack, a professor at Boston University, has conducted research on forest ecology and conservation in Malaysia, India and Central America. He is the author of two leading textbooks in conservation biology, which have been translated into sixteen languages. He is the President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Editor of the journal Biological Conservation.


Richard Corlett, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, has studied tropical forests in New Guinea, Southeast Asia, and southern China. His major current research interest is in how rainforest plants and animals survive in human-dominated landscapes. He has previously taught ecology at the University of Chiang Mai, in Thailand, and at the National University of Singapore, and is co-author of books on the ecology of Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Written by two leading figures in the field, this essential new
volume:

  • Emphasizes the distinctive characteristics of rain forests in
    tropical Asia, tropical America, Africa,Madagascar,New Guinea,
    and Australia
  • Begins with an introduction to the climate, biogeographic history,
    and environment of tropical rain forests
  • Presents an extended cross-continental treatment of major
    animal and plant groups
  • Outlines a research program involving cross-continental
    comparisons
  • Considers the impact of people on tropical forests and
    discusses conservation strategies based upon the characteristics
    of particular regions rather than a one-size-fits-all approach
  • Includes natural history examples, figures, and a stunning
    collection of color photographs
See More
"It is suitable reading for a wide range of students (e.g. biology, anthropology, forestry), and while surveying large parts of recent ecological literature useful for specialists as well." (BLUMEA, April 2010)

"This is an excellent text with much to recommend it. The structure is clear and the key points are accessible even to the beginner. There are some great photographs with a large section of colour images showing something of the splendour of the forests. Perhaps its best attribute is the freshness it brings to the topic by virtue of the perspective it takes. There's so much written on rain forests that this novel approach is valuable. It should be seen as a key text for those teaching this area of ecology."
British Ecological Society's Teaching Ecology Group

"Richard Primack and Richard Corlett make a convincing case that tropical rainforests in the five principal ecoregions have major differences that must be taken into account both for setting research priorities and for addressing local, regional, and national conservation objectives....This may become the most important book on tropical forests published in the first decade of the 21st century."
BioScience, March 2006

"Overall this is one of the most readable and insightful books on rain forests that I've come across. It is understandable to an amateur natural historian and has enough meat to satisfy the most demanding student. Even if you have no academic interest in rain forests it is well worth reading".
British Ecological Society Bulletin

“This fascinating book provides a fresh look at the ecology of our world’s tropical forests. Most previous texts have taken either a generalized approach……Primack and Corlett’s approach is different, since they adopt a comparative analysis of the ecology and biogeography across the world’s rain forests. In so doing they highlight the substantial differences between each region, and will reveal to even the most experienced of ecologists just how helpful it can be to alter one’s perspective. I strongly recommend this book both to anyone with a professional interest in the biology (or biological conservation) of tropical forests, and to new graduate-level students looking for an overview of rainforest community ecology. Overall, as a final bonus, the book is well written and always thought provoking.” Journal of Biogeography 2006

 

 

"This fascinating book provides a fresh look at the ecology of our world's tropical forests...I strongly recommend this book both to anyone with a professional interest in the biology (or biological conservation) of tropical forests, and to new graduate-level students looking for an overview of rainforest community ecology...the book is well written and always thought provoking."
Journal of Biogeography, January 2006

"Graduate students taking tropical field courses or looking for possible research projects will find this book a stimulating source of comparative ecological information and research questions. It would also be an excellent text for a graduate-level course in tropical ecology. This may become the most important book on tropical forests published in the first deade of the 21st century."
Bioscience Magazine, March 2006

“[Primack and Corlett] have put together a well written and informative text. It leaves no doubt that to understand the ecology and conservation of tropical rain forests, we must understand and appreciate their uniqueness. In sum, this book fills a unique and valuable niche in comparative studies of tropical rain forest ecology.”
Ecology

"This book is logically structured, and uses a comparative approach to address the ecological differences between tropical forests . . . Overall, this book makes a very useful contribution to the literature, and although it is primarily aimed at undergraduates and postgraduates, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in tropical rain forests."
Geographical Journal

"We take it for granted that [this] book will serve as a very suitable guide for understanding this awesome biome."
Folia Geobotanica

"This is an excellent text with much to recommend it. The structure is clear and the key points are accessible even to the beginner. There are some great photographs with a large section of colour images showing something of the splendour of the forests. Perhaps its best attribute is the freshness it brings to the topic by virtue of the perspective it takes. There's so much written on rain forests that this novel approach is valuable. It should be seen as a key text for those teaching this area of ecology."
British Ecological Society's Teaching Ecology Group <!--end-->

"Richard Primack and Richard Corlett make a convincing case that tropical rainforests in the five principal ecoregions have major differences that must be taken into account both for setting research priorities and for addressing local, regional, and national conservation objectives....This may become the most important book on tropical forests published in the first decade of the 21st century."
BioScience, March 2006

"Overall this is one of the most readable and insightful books on rain forests that I've come across. It is understandable to an amateur natural historian and has enough meat to satisfy the most demanding student. Even if you have no academic interest in rain forests it is well worth reading".
British Ecological Society Bulletin

“This fascinating book provides a fresh look at the ecology of our world’s tropical forests. Most previous texts have taken either a generalized approach……Primack and Corlett’s approach is different, since they adopt a comparative analysis of the ecology and biogeography across the world’s rain forests. In so doing they highlight the substantial differences between each region, and will reveal to even the most experienced of ecologists just how helpful it can be to alter one’s perspective. I strongly recommend this book both to anyone with a professional interest in the biology (or biological conservation) of tropical forests, and to new graduate-level students looking for an overview of rainforest community ecology. Overall, as a final bonus, the book is well written and always thought provoking.” Journal of Biogeography 2006



"This fascinating book provides a fresh look at the ecology of our world's tropical forests...I strongly recommend this book both to anyone with a professional interest in the biology (or biological conservation) of tropical forests, and to new graduate-level students looking for an overview of rainforest community ecology...the book is well written and always thought provoking."
Journal of Biogeography, January 2006

"Graduate students taking tropical field courses or looking for possible research projects will find this book a stimulating source of comparative ecological information and research questions. It would also be an excellent text for a graduate-level course in tropical ecology. This may become the most important book on tropical forests published in the first deade of the 21st century."
Bioscience Magazine, March 2006

“[Primack and Corlett] have put together a well written and informative text. It leaves no doubt that to understand the ecology and conservation of tropical rain forests, we must understand and appreciate their uniqueness. In sum, this book fills a unique and valuable niche in comparative studies of tropical rain forest ecology.”
Ecology

"This book is logically structured, and uses a comparative approach to address the ecological differences between tropical forests . . . Overall, this book makes a very useful contribution to the literature, and although it is primarily aimed at undergraduates and postgraduates, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in tropical rain forests."
Geographical Journal

"We take it for granted that [this] book will serve as a very suitable guide for understanding this awesome biome."
Folia Geobotanica

See More

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