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  • Whereas the mechanical performance of plant organs has often been discussed in evolutionary biology [1,2], tree biomechanics has rarely been considered in the context of functional ecology. Functional ecology aims at understanding the functions of organisms that result in fluxes of biomass or energy within an ecosystem, e.g., a forest. This discipline studies the processes controlling these fluxes, at either the scale of an individual, community, or ecosystem, with their response to natural or anthropic environmental variations....

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  • This book follows in the footsteps of two previous efforts—Snakes: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (1987) and Snakes: Ecology and Behavior (1993)—to provide established and new researchers with a current synopsis of snake ecology. In the preface to each of these earlier works, one of us (R. A. S.) admitted that he had erred in assuming that another “Biology of the Serpentes” book was not worth tackling. And after the fi rst two books, we thought that perhaps yet another book was not needed—we were wrong again.

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  • I conceived of the courses that led to this book on sabbatical in 1999–2000, during my time as the Mote Eminent Scholar at Florida State University and the Mote Marine Laboratory (a chair generously funded by William R. Mote, who was a good friend of science). While at FSU, I worked on a problem of life histories in fluctuating environments with Joe Travis and we needed to construct log-normal random variables of specified means and variances.

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  • I have three vivid memories about learning statistics as an undergraduate that all involve misconceptions. Firstly, I remember my lecturer telling me that, after obtaining a result that was not statistically significant, I should conclude that timber harvesting did not have an effect (on what, I cannot remember). While the logic was flawed, I have since realized that it is a misconception shared by many ecologists.

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