Destruction of tropical rain forests has increased exponentially in recent years, as have efforts to conserve them. However, information essential to these conservation programs—an understanding of the population dynamics of the community at risk—is often unavailable to the scientists and resource managers who need it most.
This volume helps fill the gap by presenting a comprehensive description and analysis of the animal community of the tropical rain forest at El Verde, Puerto Rico. Building on more than a decade of field research, the contributors weave the complex strands of information about the energy flow within the forest—who eats whom—into a powerful tool for understanding community dynamics known as a food web. This systematic approach to organizing the natural histories of the many species at El Verde also reveals basic patterns and processes common to all rain forests, making this book a valuable contribution for anyone concerned with studying and protecting these fragile ecosystems.