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Costa Rican Ecosystems$
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Maarten Kappelle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226121505

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226121642.001.0001

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Biodiversity Conservation History and Future in Costa Rica: The Case of Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG)

Biodiversity Conservation History and Future in Costa Rica: The Case of Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG)

Chapter:
(p.290) Chapter 10 Biodiversity Conservation History and Future in Costa Rica: The Case of Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG)
Source:
Costa Rican Ecosystems
Author(s):

Daniel H. Janzen

Winnie Hallwachs

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226121642.003.0010

The only “natural” wildland ecosystem likely to survive in northwestern Costa Rica is dry forestry of the Área de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), since all that remains in the region has or will be converted to agroindustry or tourism development, as is the case with most of the remainder of non-explicitly protected wildland in Costa Rica. Although dry forests used to make up about a quarter of Costa Rica’s forests, nearly all of them have been thoroughly converted to pasture, cultivation, and urbanity. The authors first give a geological history of the ACG, and then a history human impact from the first humans between 11,000 and 25,000 years ago to the present, with an emphasis on the changes brought about by human use of the area since the 1500s. The chapter provides an outline of the dry forest climate in the area and the ways in which the forest changes seasonally, such as the seasonality of insect migration, plant reproduction, and plant-animal interactions. Finally, the authors give an overview of natural and human-directed dry forest restoration, and a description of the ways in which restored forest may differ from the area’s original ecosystems.

Keywords:   Costa Rica, conservation, Guanacaste, dry forest, deforestation, biodiversity

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