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A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Forest (Corrie by Samuel Bridgewater

By Samuel Bridgewater

Written for a well-liked viewers and richly illustrated, this e-book offers the 1st specified portrait of the habitats, biodiversity, and ecology of Belize, one of many earth's so much biologically profuse places.

Belize's Chiquibul woodland is among the greatest closing expanses of tropical wet wooded area in imperative the US. It types a part of what's popularly often called the Maya woodland. Battered by means of hurricanes over thousands of years, occupied via the Maya for hundreds of thousands of years, and logged for centuries, this atmosphere has confirmed its extraordinary ecological resilience via its persisted lifestyles into the twenty-first century. regardless of its historical past of disturbance, or even partially due to it, the Maya woodland is ranked as an enormous nearby biodiversity sizzling spot and offers a number of the final neighborhood habitats for endangered species similar to the jaguar, the scarlet macaw, Baird's tapir, and Morelet's crocodile.

A average background of Belize provides for the 1st time a close portrait of the habitats, biodiversity, and ecology of the Maya woodland, and Belize extra commonly, in a layout obtainable to a well-liked viewers. it's dependent partially at the study findings of scientists learning at Las Cuevas examine Station within the Chiquibul woodland. The booklet is exclusive in demystifying a number of the titanic clinical debates regarding rainforests. those comprise "Why are tropical forests so diverse?"; "How do natural world evolve?"; and "How do species interact?" through concentrating on the ecotourism paradise of Belize, this booklet illustrates how technological know-how has solved a few of the riddles that after at a loss for words the likes of Charles Darwin, and in addition exhibits the way it might help us in coping with our planet and woodland assets correctly within the future.

Published in organization with the typical heritage Museum, London.
99 colour photographs, 6 illustrations, three maps.

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Extra resources for A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Forest (Corrie Herring Hooks Series, Book 67)

Example text

At the onset of this period, land plants were typically prostate, simple, and small and showed little variety in shape. However, by its end, many different forms had evolved—with some tree species attaining twenty meters in height—and structurally diverse forests had developed. Important plant groups that arose during the Devonian, and which we still recognize today, include the club mosses, mosses, and ferns. The Devonian is known as one of the key time periods for plant evolution, and this dramatic expansion in the variety of plant life occurred over a period of about fifty million years—unfathomably long by our own perception but, geologically speaking, relatively brief.

Club mosses and ferns, for example, are represented in Belize by 255 species. These two groups had already become well established on the planet before the onset of the Carboniferous period (359– 299 MYA). Thus, present-day Belizean species represent the end of lineages lasting over 359 million years! Cycads and conifers, although appearing more recently in evolutionary history when compared with either club mosses or ferns, had already evolved as distinct groups by the Jurassic period (200 MYA).

The Lauraceae is an extremely important component of Belizean forests. Represented by over thirty-one species in Belize, this is one of the defining tree groups of the Chiquibul Forest. With their jointed stems, spikelike inflorescence, and often peppery-smelling leaves, the Piperaceae are also an important component of the Chiquibul’s vegetation, although most species are shrubs or herbs. Some angiosperm plant groups started to appear in the fossil record only relatively recently in the Paleogene period (66–23 MYA).

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