Evolutionary Biology

pp 1-84

Patterns of Neotropical Plant Species Diversity

  • Alwyn H. GentryAffiliated withMissouri Botanical Garden

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Diversity has been given a central role in attempts to develop a general theory of ecology (Johnson and Raven, 1970). Much attention has been focused on large-scale trends, such as the increase in species diversity with decreasing latitude (Pianka, 1966; Mac Arthur, 1965; Fischer, 1960; Tramer, 1974), but there is surprisingly little documentation of the equally striking changes in diversity within the tropics. Moreover, additional information on tropical plant species diversity patterns is critically needed because of their potential importance in resolving some of the fundamental and theoretically significant differences of opinion as to the nature and manner of regulation of species diversity.