Tropical plant ecophysiology has achieved the stature of a mature scientific discipline and with this maturity comes a new sense of purpose. The 21 chapters of this book synthesize the major developments in the field during the last ten years. Most of these developments have been directly linked to technological advances that have brought the study of physiological ecology out of the laboratory and into the hot humid buggy forest. Applications of pressure-volume techniques initially developed for desert species are giving us new insights into the importance of seasonal drought stress for species of evergreen tropical forests (Chapter 7). Scaling up carbon gain and water flux from individual leaves to whole trees and stands an unthinkable exercise 15 years ago is now an attainable goal (Chapter 4).
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Surface & Imaging Anatomy