Chapter 1IN THE REALM OF THE TROPICSThe "tropics" are not a plot of convenient forest in Costa Rica; they are an enormous realm of patchiness, and any theoretical thinking based on presumed general properties is bound to become an in-group exercise in short-lived futility.
Paulo E. Vanzolini
Tropical America encompasses a great diversity of habitats. In a single day's drive in Ecuador it is possible to pass through Andean páramos (moors at a high elevation), cloud forests, lowland rain forests, marshes, mangrove swamps, and even desert beaches. These habitats are all tropical, yet they have little...