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On the Forests of Tropical Asia: Lest the Memory Fade

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This is the first book to describe the forests of the entire tropical Asian region, based on Peter Ashton's working field experience of over 55 years.
£40.00

Author: Peter Ashton. 672pp. 400 colour illustrations, 200 diagrams. 288 x 238mm. Hardback, ISBN 9781842464755, Kew Publishing 2014.

This is the first book to describe the forests of the entire tropical Asian region, from Sind to New Guinea. Based on Peter Ashton's working field experience of over 55 years in every country, Burma and Laos excepted.

Following a chapter on physical geography and geological history, seven chapters address forest and tree structure and dynamics, floristics, mountain forests, the other organisms on which the forests and trees depend, as well as genetics, evolutionary history, species diversity, and past and present human impact. A final chapter covers future policy and practice options for the sustainment of what remains. Each chapter focuses on the nature of forest variation, and attempts to provide an understanding of its causes based on the published literature, Peter's own experience, and his research collaborations.

The author presents hypotheses to explain these patterns of variation as a stimulation for further research (especially by students within the region), and as a framework for policy makers, foresters and conservation biologists, as well as the serious naturalist/ecotourist.

 

Highly Commended Postgraduate Textbook Prize at the Royal Society of Biology book awards, 2015

The judges said: A seminal work that is a tour de force of scientific scholarship and lucid writing. It is a splendid one stop shop to our knowledge and understanding of the Tropics.

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries annual literature awards: Award of Excellence in Botany

 

Media reviews:

Calling upon his lifelong experience in tropical forests, as well as referencing the research of others, Peter Ashton has created a wonderfully complete book on the tropical forests of Asia.  Chapters on the biology and ecology of forests and conservation efforts combine to create a book that is information-dense, yet still accessible.  Having a book that so thoroughly explains how Asian tropical forests function is important to help determine how climate change (and human activity) has been affecting these ecosystems. Judge Gretchen Wade, Harvard Botany Libraries

...a depth of scholarship and commitment that shows one man's life's work in this fascinating field. Ian Carter, The Biologist

The book gives an excellent, unsentimental analysis of current pressures on forests that acknowledges significant opportunity costs of rainforest protection, both for indigenous peoples and entire countries. Vojtech Novotny, Conservation Biology

The author has set out to objectively interpret and explain a huge body of material through the lens of his decades of personal experience, and he has more than succeeded in this impressive book. T. M. A. Utteridge, Kew Bulletin

The book is an extended love letter to the forests of tropical Asia, and I hope it will be widely read. Campbell O. Webb, Frontiers of Biogeography

 

Peter Ashton is the Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry at Harvard University, and is also an Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is the former director of The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

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