Tropical Rain Forests - An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison (2nd edition)

Richard B. Primack and Richard Corlett 
Blackwell  January 2011  

Paperback  336 pages, 336 pp  ISBN 9781444332551      £35.00
The first edition of Tropical Rain Forests: an Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison exploded the myth of 'the rain forest' as a single, uniform entity. In reality, the major tropical rain forest regions, in tropical America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and New Guinea, have as many differences as similarities, as a result of their isolation from each other during the evolution of their floras and faunas.

This new edition reinforces this message with new examples from recent and on-going research. After an introduction to the environments and geological histories of the major rain forest regions, subsequent chapters focus on plants, primates, carnivores and plant-eaters, birds, fruit bats and gliding animals, and insects, with an emphasis on the ecological and biogeographical differences between regions. This is followed by a new chapter on the unique tropical rain forests of oceanic islands. The final chapter, which has been completely rewritten, deals with the impacts of people on tropical rain forests and discusses possible conservation strategies that take into account the differences highlighted in the previous chapters.


Preface to the first edition.
Preface to the second edition.

1 Many Tropical Rain Forests. What are tropical rain forests? Where are the tropical rain forests? Rain forest environments. Rain forest histories. Origins of the similarities and differences among rain forests. Many rain forests. Conclusions.

2 Plants: Building Blocks of the Rain Forest. Plant distributions. Rain forest structure. How many plant species? Widespread plant families. Neotropical rain forests. Asian rain forests. Rain forests in New Guinea and Australia. African rain forests. Madagascan rain forests. Conclusions and future research directions.

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 and future research directions.

4 Carnivores and Plant-eaters. Carnivores. Herbivores of the forest floor. Conclusions and future research directions.

5 Birds: Linkages in the Rain Forest 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. Comparison of bird communities across continents. Conclusions and future research directions.

6 Fruit Bats and Gliding Animals in the Forest Canopy. Fruit- and nectar-feeding bats. Flying behavior. Foraging behavior. Bats as pollinators and seed dispersal agents. Gliding vertebrates. Conclusions and future research directions.

7 Insects: Diverse, Abundant, and Ecologically Important. Butterflies. Ants. Termites. Bees. Conclusions and future research directions.

8 Island Rain Forests. Pacific islands. Evolution on islands. Indian Ocean islands. Atlantic islands. Caribbean islands. Natural disasters. Human impacts. Conclusions and future research directions.

9 The Future of Tropical Rain Forests. Different forests, different threats. The major threats. The forces behind the threats. Global climate change. Saving the many rain forests. Conclusions and future research directions. References.


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