Current knowledge of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees is limited, with detailed information available for perhaps only a few hundred of the many thousands of species that occur. Yet a good understanding of the trees is essential to unravelling the workings of the forest itself. This book aims to summarise contemporary understanding of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees. The emphasis is on comparative ecology, an approach that can help, to identify possible adaptive trends and evolutionary constraints and which may also lead to a workable ecological classification for tree species, conceptually simplifying the rain-forest community and making it more amenable to analysis. The organisation of the book follows the life cycle of a tree, starting with the mature tree, moving on to reproduction and then considering seed germination and growth to maturity. Topics covered therefore include structure and physiology, population biology, reproductive biology and regeneration. The book concludes with a critical analysis of ecological classification systems for tree species in the tropical rain forest.