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MutualismJ L Bronstein (Ed)


£75.00 (hardback), £37.50 (paperback)

Multi-author books are not as fashionable as they used to be, but Mutualism shows just how valuable they can be in providing up-to-date collections of thematic reviews.

Seed dispersal, pollination, protection of plants by ants and so on are all very familiar, and some of the most fascinating multi-species interactions. As the editor points out, mutualisms (ecological interactions where the participants all benefit in some way) generate spectacular natural history stories and "some of them are even true".

This volume explicitly tries to avoid a 'mutualism by mutualism' catalogue approach. It is conceptually orientated, focusing on themes that cut across different mutualisms. These include the evolution and genetics of mutualism, evolutionary models of mutualism, global change and mutualisms, and so on. There are 14 chapters divided into four sections, with introductions to each section by the editor.

There are also boxes within chapters by extra contributors that enable experts to cover specific points.
There are more than 60 authors, many of them acknowledged specialists in their fields. This is an essential reference for postgraduates and academics with an interest in mutualisms, and the clearly written and well-indexed content also make it highly accessible to undergraduate students.

Dr S G Compton