Cover image for A neotropical companion : an introduction to the animals, plants, and ecosystems of the New World tropics
Title:
A neotropical companion : an introduction to the animals, plants, and ecosystems of the New World tropics
Author:
Kricher, John C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1989]

©1989
Physical Description:
xii, 436 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780691085203

9780691085210
Format :
Book

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QH106.5 .K75 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

A Neotropical Companion introduces armchair travelers, field naturalists, and conservationists to the tropics of Central and South America. In recent years the neotropics have been more and more frequently visited by those interested in rain forests and the exotic birds, mammals, insects, and plants of these ecosystems. At the same time scientific knowledge of the neotropics has bourgeoned. A primer for the student and for the scientific amateur, this well-illustrated volume presents a general and up-to-date view of some of the world's most complex natural environments. In addition, it provides the neotropical specialist with a broad look at the entire field of neotropical biology.

After giving an overview of the different kinds of ecosystems in the tropics, the author describes the structure, function, and evolution of tropical rain forests. Tropical trees are then discussed, as are the vast array of vines, orchids, bromeliads, and other plants that live among the branches of the forest giants. A chapter on the "tropical pharmacy" treats the many drugs present in tropical vegetation and the evolutionary influence of these drugs. The book surveys the great diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods of the neotropics and provides separate chapters on tropical savannas and on coastal ecosystems. An epilogue deals with the crucially important issues of the conservation of neotropical environments.


Summary



A Neotropical Companion introduces armchair travelers, field naturalists, and conservationists to the tropics of Central and South America. In recent years the neotropics have been more and more frequently visited by those interested in rain forests and the exotic birds, mammals, insects, and plants of these ecosystems. At the same time scientific knowledge of the neotropics has bourgeoned. A primer for the student and for the scientific amateur, this well-illustrated volume presents a general and up-to-date view of some of the world's most complex natural environments. In addition, it provides the neotropical specialist with a broad look at the entire field of neotropical biology.


After giving an overview of the different kinds of ecosystems in the tropics, the author describes the structure, function, and evolution of tropical rain forests. Tropical trees are then discussed, as are the vast array of vines, orchids, bromeliads, and other plants that live among the branches of the forest giants. A chapter on the "tropical pharmacy" treats the many drugs present in tropical vegetation and the evolutionary influence of these drugs. The book surveys the great diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods of the neotropics and provides separate chapters on tropical savannas and on coastal ecosystems. An epilogue deals with the crucially important issues of the conservation of neotropical environments.



Reviews 2

Choice Review

This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed this new edition (1st ed., CH, Oct'84) and was particularly impressed with the sheer quantity of information Kricher distilled into such a manageable volume. He is obviously drawing on a wealth of experience, as well as portraying his passion for these complex tropical ecosystems and their fascinating flora and fauna. The author has successfully combined an abundance of recent scientific data with colorful examples in a well-written narrative. He takes us through the origins and evolution of Neotropical ecosystems, describes clearly and concisely the complex ecological principles that drive and sustain the systems, and discusses the effect of human ecology on these incredibly rich, complex, threatened ecosystems. Biological descriptions of flora and fauna are augmented by many colorful examples, photographs, and illustrations. Krichner has created a highly readable, comprehensive overview of Neotropical ecosystems, which can serve on many levels: as a traveler's companion, as an introductory text for students, or as recreational reading material for those interested in tropical ecosystems. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals; two-year technical program students. S. D. Brooke Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution


Choice Review

This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed this new edition (1st ed., CH, Oct'84) and was particularly impressed with the sheer quantity of information Kricher distilled into such a manageable volume. He is obviously drawing on a wealth of experience, as well as portraying his passion for these complex tropical ecosystems and their fascinating flora and fauna. The author has successfully combined an abundance of recent scientific data with colorful examples in a well-written narrative. He takes us through the origins and evolution of Neotropical ecosystems, describes clearly and concisely the complex ecological principles that drive and sustain the systems, and discusses the effect of human ecology on these incredibly rich, complex, threatened ecosystems. Biological descriptions of flora and fauna are augmented by many colorful examples, photographs, and illustrations. Krichner has created a highly readable, comprehensive overview of Neotropical ecosystems, which can serve on many levels: as a traveler's companion, as an introductory text for students, or as recreational reading material for those interested in tropical ecosystems. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals; two-year technical program students. S. D. Brooke Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution