In the more than thirty years since the publication of Daniel H. Janzen's classic Costa Rican Natural History, research in this small but astonishingly biodiverse, well-preserved, and well-studied Latin-American nation has evolved from a species-level approach to the study of entire ecosystems. And from the lowland dry forests of Guanacaste to the montane cloud forests of Monteverde, from the seasonal forests of the Central Valley to the coastal species assemblages of Tortuguero, Costa Rica has proven to be as richly diverse in ecosystems as it is in species. In Costa Rican Ecosystems, Maarten Kappelle brings together a collection of the world's foremost experts on Costa Rican ecology-outstanding scientists such as Daniel H. Janzen, Jorge Cortes, Jorge A. Jimenez, Sally P. Horn, R. O. Lawton, Quirico Jimenez M., Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Catherine M. Pringle, and Eduardo Carrillo J., among others-to offer the first comprehensive account of the diversity, structure, function, uses, and conservation of Costa Rica's ecosystems. Featuring a foreword and introductory remarks by two renowned leaders in biodiversity science and ecological conservation, Thomas E. Lovejoy and Rodrigo Gamez, chapters highlighting the geology, soils, and climate of Costa Rica, as well as the ecosystems of its terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats, and including previously unpublished information on Isla del Coco, this beautiful color-illustrated book will be an essential reference for academic scientists, students, natural history guides, conservationists, educators, park guards, and visitors alike.Críticas:
-Costa Rica is an important location for research on tropical ecosystems as well as a common travel destination for US university biology students. This book provides a comprehensive summary of the major regions of Costa Rica and will be extremely useful to scientists, educators, and students. Editor Kappelle has worked extensively in Costa Rica and brings together contributions from experts for each ecosystem within the country. Introductory chapters describe the climate, geology, and soils. Several chapters cover Pacific and Caribbean coastal ecosystems and the Isla del Coco. The lowland forests are organized into chapters by region (Caribbean and the northern, central, and southern Pacific). The highlands are covered in several chapters, including one on the high-elevation grassland called paramo. Other chapters describe rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Each chapter summarizes the main research that has occurred in a specific ecosystem and provides references. Most chapters also contain an interesting description of the history of exploration and human effects on the ecosystem. The book is well illustrated with color photographs and maps. Recommended.---M. P. Gustafson, Texas Lutheran University -Choice -
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