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Few field guides exist to the plants of the American tropics. Guides to the juvenile stages of plants are rare for any part of the world. A guide to identification of tropical seedlings, from trees to herbs, is something to be treasured. Nancy Garwood's lifelong devotion to the study of the ecology and taxonomy of seedlings, combined with Margaret Tebbs's superb illustrations, has given us this first comprehensive guide to juvenile plants in the American tropics.-from the Foreword by Robin B. Foster
Seedlings are the future of forest communities. Knowledge of seedling ecology is essential for understanding the local abundance, distribution, and dynamics of individual species and plant populations, for deciphering the mechanisms responsible for the high species diversity in tropical forests, and for developing sound management and conservation plans for tropical forests. In this monumental work of botany, Nancy C. Garwood provides the first comprehensive guide to seedlings in the American tropics, using Barro Colorado Island in Panama as an emblematic locale. More than two decades in the making, this guide is the essential work on the Neotropical seedlings.
The review of Neotropical seedlings from 229 plant families is the heart of the book. Descriptions summarize information from 1,243 genera gleaned from accounts of nearly 3,000 species. Families of all major Neotropical woody plants are covered, as well as those that are mostly herbs, aquatic species, parasites and saprophytes. This is the largest compendium of information on tropical seedlings published to date.
This guide to the seedling flora of Barro Colorado Island includes illustrations of and keys to 775 species of forest trees, shrubs, lianas, vines, herbs, epiphytes, hemi-epiphytes, and "weedy" plants typical of forest margins and clearings. All genera and 75 percent of the species covered occur broadly across the Neotropics and provide numerous illustrated examples for the family accounts. Key characters needed to identify dicot and monocot seedlings are also described and illustrated, supplemented with an illustrated glossary of descriptive terms.