By Egbert G. Leigh

The tropical wooded area of Panama's Barro Colorado Island is a luxuriant neighborhood of crops and animals, pulsating with lifestyles and providing an excellent view of nature's myriad methods. What does the woodland appear like? How do the actions of this forest's vegetation and animals create a neighborhood? Now, in A Magic internet, photographer Christian Ziegler and ecologist Egbert Leigh invite readers to go into the terrific international of Barro Colorado Island. This booklet presents a special mixture of the mind-blowing images of a picture-book and transparent, authoritative textual content written through an lively scientist who has spent part a life-time attempting to comprehend tropical forests. the pictures supply perspectives of the wooded area and its extraordinary range of population, and convey a number of the actions that provide the woodland its personality and lend constitution to its neighborhood. 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 rely on one another: the contrasts among solitary cats and intricately prepared armies of ants; the various methods vegetation fight for a spot within the sunlight, and the methods those vegetation allure, or cultivate, animals to pollinate their plant life. eventually, the authors express why this, and through implication all different, tropical forests topic to the folk who stay close to them and to the area at huge, what we will examine from those forests, and the way they vary from temperate-zone forests. filled with attractive full-color pictures followed by way of transparent and available textual content, A Magic net is a needs to for an individual making plans to go to a tropical woodland, and for all those that basically want they can.

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Extra resources for A Magic Web: The Forest of Barro Colorado Island

Sample text

Today, many graduate students, following in their footsteps, sacrifice income and comfort to work in these beautiful forests. In the New World, as in Madagascar, the grim and devastating trade in endangered species is fueled by fascination with the wonders of tropical nature: orchids with their many colors, shapes, and perfumes; guppies, piranhas, and other strange fishes of tropical rivers; chameleons, diverse in shape and changeable in color; spotted cats; macaws splashed with garish hues; and amiable, furry lemurs and monkeys, so full of personality and designing intelligence.

Likewise, some insects, such as beetles or caterpillars, have mouths designed to chew leaves, while others, such as aphids, cicadas, and leafhoppers, have mouths designed as sharp-edged tubes that can pierce leaves or stems to suck sap: no one mouth can do both jobs well. Moreover, just as a business creates opportunities for other kinds of business to manufacture tools and provide services needed by the first, and (however inadvertently) opportunities for thieves to steal some of the goods or money thus accumulated, organisms provide livings for other organisms.

The vastly more stable climate and food supply of tropical habitats are what most enhance tropical-forest diversity. 2) and birds, as well as hummingbirds (fig. 22) and bats specialized to suck nectar from flowers. Similarly, the continual availability of leaves provides livings for leaf-eating sloths in the trees (fig. 23), browsing tapirs on the ground, hordes of herbivorous insects (larval and adult beetles [fig. 25], caterpillars of butterflies and moths, most of whose adults live on flower nectar, sap-sucking aphids, cicadas, leafhoppers, and so forth [fig.

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A Magic Web: The Forest of Barro Colorado Island by Egbert G. Leigh
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