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This full-color illustrated textbook offers the first comprehensive introduction to all major aspects of tropical ecology. It explains why the world's tropical rain forests are so universally rich in species, what factors may contribute to high species richness, how nutrient cycles affect rain forest ecology, and how ecologists investigate the complex interrelationships among flora and fauna. It covers tropical montane ecology, riverine ecosystems, savanna, dry forest--and more. Tropical Ecologybegins with a historical overview followed by a sweeping discussion of biogeography and evolution, and then introduces students to the unique and complex structure of tropical rain forests. Other topics include the processes that influence everything from species richness to rates of photosynthesis; how global climate change may affect rain forest characteristics and function; how fragmentation of ecosystems affects species richness and ecological processes; human ecology in the tropics; biodiversity; and conservation of tropical ecosystems and species. Drawing on real-world examples taken from actual research,Tropical Ecologyis the best textbook on the subject for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Offers the first comprehensive introduction to tropical ecology Describes all the major kinds of tropical terrestrial ecosystems Explains species diversity, evolutionary processes, and coevolutionary interactions Features numerous color illustrations and examples from actual research Covers global warming, deforestation, reforestation, fragmentation, and conservation The essential textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students Suitable for courses with a field component