The tropics eternally fascinate us. But tropical land- and seascapes mean many
things for many people (Forsyth and Miyata 1987; Kricher and Plotkin 1999). For
some, they can be a great home, a wonderful holiday, and a study site, while for
others they constitute a miserable life (with an average daily income of US$ 4) in a
life-threatening habitat (Collier 2007; Davis 2007). It is not an overstatement to say
that in the tropics, one can die easily. To the rest of the world, however, the tropics
still represent a land of opportunity (a “lebensraum”; Figs. 1.2 and 1.3)…..