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Evolution in the Tropics

Herbert G. Baker
Biotropica
Vol. 2, No. 2 (Dec., 1970), pp. 101-111
DOI: 10.2307/2989767
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2989767
Page Count: 11
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Evolution in the Tropics
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Abstract

The substance of this article was delivered as the Presidential Address to the Society for the Study of Evolution, December 30, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts. Attention is drawn to evolutionary studies in the tropics which appear to be advancing the subject significantly. Then, detailed attention is given to the possible evolutionary bases of the most striking biological characteristic of the tropics: the extraordinary floristic and faunistic diversity of tropical ecosystems. Because most contributions to the discussion of this topic have come from zoologists, the emphasis here is placed on botanical aspects. It is concluded that each of several potential explanations for the diversity may be valid and that a great need for the future is synthesis rather than arbitration between theories.

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