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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 Caribbean Lowland Evergreen Moist and Wet Forests

The Caribbean Lowland Evergreen Moist and Wet Forests

(p.527) Chapter 16 The Caribbean Lowland Evergreen Moist and Wet Forests
Costa Rican Ecosystems

Deedra McClearn

J. Pablo Arroyo-Mora

Enrique Castro

Ronald C. Coleman

Javier F. Espeleta

Carlos García-Robledo

Alex Gilman

José González

Armond T. Joyce

Erin Kuprewicz

John T. Longino

Nicole L. Michel

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez

Andrea Romero

Carlomagno Soto

Orlando Vargas

Amanda Wendt

Steven Whitfield

Robert M. Timm

University of Chicago Press

Geography has played a critical role in Costa Rica’s Caribbean lowlands with respect to initial origin of the landmass, climate, patterns of vegetation, sites of early human settlement, colonial expansion, the construction of access roads, colonial and postcolonial exploitation of natural resources, conservation efforts, and current political and environmental issues. In this chapter, the authors offer a brief overview of these topics, encapsulate major biological research efforts in the Caribbean lowlands over the past 50 years, and look into the future—always within the framework of geography at different scales. First, the authors provide a historical overview of the Costa Rican Caribbean lowlands, a region which here includes Province of Limón, plus portions of the Provinces of Heredia, Alajuela, and Guanacaste, from 70 million years ago to the present. The authors then summarize the physical environment, giving descriptions of climate, weather, and soils in the region, as well as the biodiversity in plant and animal life, and the interactions therein. The chapter ends with a discussion of the relationship between humans and nature in the region, including effects of agriculture and pesticides and the efforts of conservationists.

Keywords:   Costa Rica, Caribbean lowlands, geography, geology, forestry, conservation

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