New perspectives in comparative ecology of neotropical rain forests: Reflections on the past, present, and future

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Abstract

In an effort to understand variations in ecological patterns among lowland tropical rain forests, Alwyn Gentry and colleagues synthesized data sets from four of the premier Neotropical field stations - La Selva (Costa Rica), Barro Colorado Island (Panama), Cocha Cashu (Peru), and the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragmentation Project (Brazil). To promote the kind of geographically comparative tropical ecology advocated in the 1990 Gentry book, the Organization for Tropical Studies and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute organized a course in 2001 that visited each of these field stations. Papers from some of the studies resulting from this course are highlighted in this special section. These studies are notable for the consistent methods applied across forests, and they underscore the acute need and bright future for comparative tropical ecology. Key site characteristics for each of the field stations are summarized here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-6
Number of pages5
JournalBiotropica
Volume36
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

Keywords

  • Brazil
  • Costa Rica
  • French Guiana
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Rain forest

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