Historically, tropical ecology has been a science often content with descriptive and demographic approaches, which is understandable given the difficulty of studying these ecosystems and the need for basic demographic information. Nonetheless, over the last several years, tropical ecologists have begun to test more sophisticated ecological theory and are now beginning to address a broad array of questions that are of particular importance to tropical systems, and ecology in general. Why are there are so many species in tropical forests and what mechanisms are responsible for the maintenance of that vast species diversity? What factors control species coexistence? Are there common patterns of species abundance and distribution across broad geographic scales? What is the role of trophic interactions in these complex ecosystems? How can these fragile ecosystems be conserved?
Containing contributions from some of the world's leading tropical ecologists, Tropical Forest Community Ecology provides a summary of the key issues in the discipline of tropical ecology: Includes contributions from some of the world's leading tropical ecologists Covers patterns of species distribution, the maintenance of species diversity, the community ecology of tropical animals, forest regeneration and conservation of tropical ecosystems
Dr. Walter P. Carson obtained his doctorate from Cornell University and did postdoctoral work at both Princeton University and the University of Minnesota USA. He has conducted extensive research on the ecology of both tropical and temperate forests. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Dr. Stefan A. Schnitzer obtained his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota USA and Wageningen University in The Netherlands. He has studied tropical forests in Borneo, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, and the Republic of Panama. Dr. Schnitzer is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA and a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama.