Tropical Forest Community Ecology.

Edited by W P Carson and S A Schnitzer

An interesting challenge for those in experimental agriculture, and forestry, who have worked with single, and perhaps occasionally two or three species inter-planted. The sheer complexity of tropical forest ecology is unnerving. This book encourages and opens up avenues for further enquiry, but sometimes felt limited by pre-conceptions.

This book excelled when the contributors have a broader understanding of what might affect their hypothesis (notably Hubbell’s ‘neutral theory’).

Contributions on endophytic fungi and the range of phytophagous ant species are going to be areas that few people will have known existed, prior to reading this book. At the same time, it is encouraging to see that secondary and fragmented forests are also studied, giving a realism to the scope of this book. The question of the future for a biodiverse tropical forest is hardly new, but excellently covered in this book.

To conclude, while it will not be an easy book - especially for those uncomfortable with mathematical formulae and graphs - it does provide a valuable insight into a key biome in the world, and at a very reasonable price for such a substantial volume.

Ian Martin, Eden Project, Jan 2009