The humid tropics contain some of the world's richest, most diverse, most important and most threatened environments. This book draws on recent work by geographers, biologists, ecologists, geologists and climatologists to present a complete and integrated appraisal of the natural environment of all the humid tropical regions of the world.The book opens with a discussion of the problems of defining the humid tropics and of the need to link research on environmental processes in order to achieve an holistic understanding of environmental change. The authors then move to an examination of atmospheric circulation systems and associated climatic characteristics. Considerations of climate further inform detailed analyses of soil types and distribution, vegetation, landscape, and hydrological processes. The authors stress the interdependence of form and process and look closely and in detail at past and present human impacts. The issues surrounding the intensive exploitation of large zones of the humid tropics are discussed in detail, at local, regional and global scales.Numerous case studies of contrasting environments support the argument throughout the book.
The text is illustrated extensively with diagrams, maps and photographs. It is fully referenced and contains an annotated list of further reading by subject.