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This book really shocked me in a positive sense. It is en excellent and comprehensive review on the origin, geology and biogeography or the tropical Pacific islands and archipelagos. It covers zone by zone thoroughly and directly resulting in a great compilation of updated information, including orography, soils, area of the islands/archipelagos, geographic position, rock types, levels of disturbance or preservation, etcetera.
Being the vegetation the main topic, the book presents the general and particular trends of evolution, biogeography and composition of plant communities, as well as taxonomic affinities, changes with altitudinal gradients, dominant and most common species per community, influences of the regional weather patterns like typhoons, El Niño phenomenon, and others. It is a great and elegant explanation of why, when and how the varied islands of the tropical Pacific have gotten their vegetation! Please do not expect a simple list of species present in the area.
I really have minor blames, being one the lack of better, bigger and more specific photographs of the diferent islands, plant communities, and species. In the future, a file of great photographs should be added to increase the excellence of the book.
Finally, reading it has left me with a better understanding of the fantastic evolution of the old Panthalassia until becoming the modern Pacific ocean (with its complex basins and seamounts, volcanos, island chains, frightening sea bottoms and trenches) as a result of the impressive breaking and drifting of all components of Gondwanaland!
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