This book uses new theoretical developments, analuses, and case studies to explore large - scale mecha - nisms that generate and maintain diversity. Part I, "local patterns and processes", looks at species richness on local and regional scales, examines the relation between species diversity and habitat productivity, and compares ecological processes in different locations. Part II, "coexistence at the Mesoscale", considers the influence of regional processes on local communities, the effects of species interactions on biodiversity, the regulation of species-area relations, and the relationship between distribution and abundance of species. Part III, "regional perspectives", offers case studies of various regions and taxa, including birds and mammals of the Mediterranean, animal communities in Australia, insects on bracken, and global patterns of diversity in mangrove floras. Part IV, "historical and phylogenetic perspectives", provides historical and phulogenetic approaches to studying the development of ecological communities, using research from systematics, biogeography, and paleontology to reconstruct the history of diversity within regions.