Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Ecology 72:4 (1991), pp. 1525-1526. Copyright 1991 by the Ecological Society of America. Used by permission.


This book is an interesting compendium of old and new thoughts on the interactions of herbivores, especially insect herbivores, with plants; the title, however, seems a bit more ambitious. Pollination, for example, surely an important "plant-animal interaction" in both temperate and tropical regions, is mentioned only in passing. This most likely reflects the book's origins in an international symposium on the evolutionary ecology of tropical herbivores. As usual in such a collection of papers, the papers vary in purpose, length, and new insights; even papers that are reviews of previously published information, however, seem to me to present the authors' perspectives and some of the main questions in a coherent and synthetic way. Moreover, the book strikes me as an heroic attempt to illustrate what we know about species interactions and diversity in the Neotropics, particularly outside of Costa Rica, and the work on current questions of interest from temperate systems presented should serve as a stimulus to tropical (and temperate!) ecologists for comparative study and for increased collaboration. I enjoyed the book, even while wanting more on non-herbivores and more from a plant's perspective, and recommend it to those who can justify the expense.