292 pages, Col photos
Drawing on decades of work on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, Egbert Leigh explains how the forest works. The photographs, by Christian Ziegler, and text by Leigh, reveal the many ways its plants and animals compete with but also depend on one another: the contrasts between solitary cats and intricately organized armies of ants; the different ways plants struggle for a place in the sun, and the ways these plants attract, or domesticate, animals to pollinate their flowers.
"You will learn more reading this volume than on a personal visit to the tropics. This book is the best summary of the tropical ecosystem and the behavior of its inhabitants. It shows how this system works. Both your sense of beauty and your thirst for understanding will be satisfied abundantly."
- Ernst Mayr
"A Magic Web is as subversive as a camouflaged Morpho butterfly. One moment you are looking at the dead leaf of a page, the next moment, you are chasing brilliant blue flashing wings through the forest and the next, you find you have learned all the fundamental principles of rainforest ecology. Egbert Leigh's deft touch and satirical metaphors lead you irresistibly onward, to see how competition and cooperation together shape the intricacy of species, and of science, in the magic rainforest of Barro Colorado."
- Alison Jolly, author of Lucy's Legacy
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