Taking a functional rather than an ecosystem or a utilitarian approach, Thomas and Packham provide a concise account of the structure of woodlands and forests. Using examples from around the world - from polar treelines to savannahs to tropical rain forests - the authors explain the structure of the soil and the hidden world of the roots; how the main groups of organisms which live within them interact both positively and negatively. There is particular emphasis on woodland and forest processes, especially those involving the flow and cycling of nutrients, as well as the dynamics of wooded areas, considering how and why they have changed through geological time and continue to do so. This clear, non-technical, text will be of interest to undergraduates, foresters, ecologists and land managers.

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