Our knowledge of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees is limited, with detailed information available for perhaps only a few hundred of the many thousand of species that occur. Yet a good understanding of the trees is essential to unravelling the workings of the forest itself. This book aims to summarise contemporary understanding of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees. The emphasis is on comparative ecology, an approach that can help to identify possible adaptive trends and evolutionary constraints and which may also lead to a workable ecological classification for tree species, conceptually simplifying the rain-forest community and making it more amenable to analysis.

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