By Egbert G. Leigh
The tropical woodland of Panama's Barro Colorado Island is a luxuriant group of vegetation and animals, pulsating with lifestyles and providing an dazzling view of nature's myriad procedures. What does the wooded area seem like? How do the actions of this forest's crops and animals create a neighborhood? Now, in A Magic internet, photographer Christian Ziegler and ecologist Egbert Leigh invite readers to go into the awesome international of Barro Colorado Island. This e-book offers a special blend of the dazzling images of a picture-book and transparent, authoritative textual content written via an energetic scientist who has spent part an entire life attempting to comprehend tropical forests. the images supply perspectives of the woodland and its mind-blowing variety of population, and express the various actions that provide the woodland its personality and lend constitution to its group. Drawing on a long time of labor on Barro Colorado Island, Egbert Leigh explains how the woodland works. the pictures and textual content show the numerous methods its vegetation and animals compete with but additionally depend upon one another: the contrasts among solitary cats and intricately geared up armies of ants; the various methods crops fight for a spot within the solar, and the methods those vegetation allure, or cultivate, animals to pollinate their vegetation. ultimately, the authors exhibit why this, and through implication all different, tropical forests topic to the folks who dwell close to them and to the area at huge, what we will research from those forests, and the way they range from temperate-zone forests. choked with attractive full-color photos observed by means of transparent and obtainable textual content, A Magic net is a needs to for somebody making plans to go to a tropical wooded area, and for all those that merely want they can.
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Additional info for A Magic Web: The Forest of Barro Colorado Island
In wintertime, that forest offers no nectar, fresh fruit, or tender young leaves that animals can eat, and it is too cold for bats or hummingbirds to fly, even if there were food for them. Thanks to its winter, the leaves of Harvard Forest only produce the equivalent of twenty-eight tons of sugar per hectare per year, while the leaves of the Amazonian forest, which functions all year long, produce seventy-five. Barro Col- © 41 PREVIOUS PAGES: Plants display flowers meant to attract specific pollinators.
Birds are also more diverse in the tropics than farther north (or south). The Congaree Forest, a magnificent stand of old forest upriver from Columbia, South Carolina, harbors 40 species of resident, land-dwelling bird; Barro Colorado has about 140, and the tropical forest around Cocha Cashu, in the valley of the Rio Manu, has more than 200. The high diversity of tropical organisms is not limited to forest dwellers: indeed, the increase in species diversity toward the tropics was first documented for seashells along the Pacific coast of North and Central America.
Why DoeA the World Have So Many Kindb of Animals and Plants? Why are there so many kinds of animals and plants in tropical forests? To answer this question, we must learn what factors allow different species to live together in any ecological community. Ecological communities are competitive worlds. To see how this competition shapes a community, imagine several species, living in the same place, whose populations are limited by the availability of the same kind of food. As long as there is food enough, these species multiply until they begin to deplete the food supply.