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Tropical habitats cover over one third of the Earth's terrestrial surface and harbor much of its biodiversity, with many areas rich in endemic species. However, these ecosystems are under significant and growing threat from issues such as deforestation, land degradation and ocean acidification. This introductory textbook provides a comprehensive guide to the major tropical biomes. It is unique in its balanced coverage of both aquatic and terrestrial systems and in its international scope. Each chapter is built around a particular tropical ecosystem, with descriptive case studies providing a framework around which ecological concepts and applied ecological topics are presented.
This second edition has been thoroughly updated to reflect recent advances in the field and includes a greater focus on the impact of global climate change. The text is supported throughout by boxes containing supplementary material and is illustrated with over 200 clear, simple line diagrams, maps and photographs.
Abbreviations and units
1. The tropical environment and climate
2. Dry, hot deserts and environmental factors
3. Grasslands and primary production
4. Savanna and population dynamics
5. Lakes, energy flow and biogeochemical cycling
6. Rivers, floodplains and estuaries: the river continuum and flood-pulse concepts
7. Wetlands and succession
8. Tropical rain forests and biodiversity
9. Mountains, zonation and community gradients
10. Mangroves, seagrasses and decomposition
11. Coral reefs and community ecology
12. Islands, archipelagos, biogeography and evolutionary ecology
13. Cities and human ecology
Patrick L. Osborne is the Executive Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri, St Louis. He has spent most of his professional life studying and teaching tropical ecology and in 2007 he received the Science Educator Award from the Academy of Science, St Louis for outstanding contributions to science education.
"The value of a text like this is its truly global coverage [...] Given its coverage and accessible treatment of the subject it deserves a wide readership."
– British Ecological Society
"[...] a good introduction into all major tropical ecosystems and will be of particular relevance for students, not only from tropical regions."
– Stefan Porembski, Plant Systematics and Evolution