Tropical areas present ecological, cultural and political problems that demand analysis that is distinct from general ecological analysis. The tropical environment is special in many ways, from the lack of a biological down season (winter), to generally poor soil conditions, to a reliance on traditional methods of agriculture in an undeveloped society. At a time when the sustainability of natural resource use in the tropics has become a very big issue Tropical Agroecosystems provides a critical scientific foundation for developing a sustainable agriculture component within this process.
Presenting a broad range of approaches to agroecosystem analysis, the text addresses specific ecological issues associated with agricultural production, examines two case studies of agricultural transformation and its effect on biodiversity, and discusses key landscape relationships between agroecosystems, wildlife, and human disease.
Table of Contents
Introduction, John H. Vandermeer
Plant-Plant Interactions in Tropical Agriculture, Luis Garcia-Barrios
Pest Management in Mesoamerican Agroecosystems, Luko Hilje, Carlos. M. Arayha, and B. E. Valverde
Managing Mycorrhizae for Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics, Chris Picone
Technological Change and Biodiversity in the Rubber Agroecosystem of Sumatra, Joshi Laxman, Gede Wibawa, Hendrien Beukema, Sandy Williams and Meine van-Noordwijk
Technological Change and Biodiversity in the Coffee Agroecosystem of Northern Latin America, Ivette Perfecto and Inge Armbrecht
Tropical Agricultural Landscapes, Robert Rice
Wildlife in the Context of Tropical Agroecosystems, Johannes Foufopoulos, Sonia Altizer, and Andrew Dobson
Tropical Agriculture and Human Disease: Ecological Complexities Pose Research Challenges, Mark L. Wilson
"All chapters are well written and informative … . … It is … recommended to those who already have a sound foundation in the subject area and wish to expand their specialist knowledge, particularly with regard to tropical crop ecosystems."
- Biological Agriculture & Horticulture
"…Anyone addressing the issues of sustainability in the tropics will find valuable materials in this book…this is one of the first books to focus on the research methodologies needed to assess and evaluate agroecosystems sustainability in the tropics. … It provides a unique classification system for tropical agroecosystems, and then sets the stage for the chapters that follow. Those chapters begin with specific components of agroecosystem design and management, then merge into case studies that demonstrate how these components are integrated. The final chapters place the book in a landscape perspective, showing ways to link field-level research to practical problem solving at the human community level."
-Stephen R. Gliessman, Alfred Heller Professor of Agroecology, Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz