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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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The Southern Pacific Lowland Evergreen Moist Forest of the Osa Region

The Southern Pacific Lowland Evergreen Moist Forest of the Osa Region

(p.360) Chapter 12 The Southern Pacific Lowland Evergreen Moist Forest of the Osa Region
Costa Rican Ecosystems

Lawrence E. Gilbert

Catherine A. Christen

Mariana Altrichter

John T. Longino

Peter M. Sherman

Rob Plowes

Monica B. Swartz

Kirk O. Winemiller

Jennifer A. Weghorst

Andres Vega

Pamela Phillips

Christopher Vaughan

Maarten Kappelle

University of Chicago Press

The formation of Corcovado Park meant saving the Pacific Lowland Rainforest of Costa Rica and, in many ways, it represented a keystone for building the country’s national park system. In this chapter, the authors describe the physical characteristics of the area — such as climate, geology, and soil — as well as its flora and fauna, providing both a broad overview and specific representative case studies. Further, this chapter provides a historical account of the area starting from the first effects of human use, describing how a relatively intact fragment of the Southern Pacific region’s once extensive forests was identified and set aside and how it continues to survive in the face of intense political, social, and economic pressure. While some of these details are particular to the Osa, there are lessons and themes that apply to saving similar ecosystems across the planet. In particular, this history demonstrates the paramount importance of the proper integration of community participation, ecotourism, and science.

Keywords:   Costa Rica, Osa, conservation, national park, Corcovado, Southern Pacific

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