The pitcher plants of Borneo are much more than a colourful collections of unusual plants. They trap and devour animals and provide homes for others, even making convenient daytime roosting sites for bats. Few plants can boast such a variety of bizarre features, but the Nepenthes of Borneo don’t stop there – there are many other facets of their biology that we still know very little about. On the top of that, their main home is the steaming tropical forests of Borneo: on the summits of remote mountains, high up in the tops of trees, and even by the sides of roads in the major towns.
This book investigates the Nepenthes of Borneo in detail, treating each of the species, their ecology, where and how they grow, and how they survive, and discussing the treats they face. Charles Clarke has been studying these plants for the last ten years, and has travelled to all corners of Borneo to research this book. A number of these plants are illustrated presented is new to science. Scientists and lay people with an interest in the natural history of Borneo will find this book essential reading.
Charles Clarke was born in Melbourne, Australia. His interest in natural history developed slowly, constrained by childhood loathing of the “great outdoors”. The voluntary removal of his obstacle during secondary school led to an honours degree in Botany at Monash University in Melbourne, and a Ph.D. in Ecosystem Management at the University of New England, in Armidale, New South Wales. His interest in their pitcher plants first lured him to Borneo in 1987, and he has been going back ever since.
In 1989 and 1990 he lived in Brunei, studying the ecology of pitcher plants and travelling extensively around the island. In between stints in Borneo he has taught Ecology and Biometrics at James Cook University in Queensland, and worked as a horticultural consultant in Hong Kong. He is now based at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. This book, his first, presents a synthesis of the research performed on his travels around Borneo.