Finding Species was founded on the photographic body of work documenting the countless species in Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. Located in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Yasuní is known to be the most biodiverse place on Earth (Global Conservation Significance of Ecuador's Yasuní National Park published in PlosOne). More trees grow in a single hectare (2.47 acres) of upland rainforest in Yasuní – 655 species – than in the continental US and Canada combined. In 25 hectares, the number of tree species rises to 1,100. "In just one hectare in Yasuní, there are more tree, shrub, and liana (woody vines) species than anywhere else in the world," explains Gorky Villa.
It is therefore not surprising that with impeccable academic and teducational quality as well as an attractive and efficient design, it is highly prized when identifying trees in the most biodiverse place on Earth. The inclusion of ecological and cultural information gathered in the field with the indigenous inhabitants of the area, the Huaorani, is an aspect that places Common Trees of Yasuní above many others in its genre. Botanists, photographers, and Huaorani collaborated to find, identify, photograph, press, and document this first volume of trees. The result is a rich blend of knowledge of two worlds of Western science and the indigenous Huaorani.
Common Trees of Yasuní classifies trees simply by leaf structure providing an easy to use field guide in a complex environment.
Foreword / Elisabeth Losos and Renato Valencia
2. Culture and human impacts
5. How to use this book
- General illustrated key
- Descriptions of the species
- Simple leaves
- Compound leaves
"This book is destined to be a classic of tropical botany, both for the high quality of production and the enormous need that exists to guide such as the mega-diverse flora of the Amazon. The authors – two Ecuadorians, Gorky Villa Munoz and Hugo Navarrete, and two foreigners, Margot Bass and Nancy C. Garwood, are recognized worldwide as experts in the field and have years of experience in scientific research in the Yasuní National Park."
– Nigel Pitman