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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 Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

The Caribbean Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

(p.591) Chapter 17 The Caribbean Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
Costa Rican Ecosystems

Jorge Cortés

University of Chicago Press

The coastal and marine ecosystems of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica consist of coastal lagoons, mangrove forests, beaches, rocky intertidal outcrops, seagrass beds, coral reefs, subtidal hard and soft bottoms, and open waters. In this chapter the author presents a historical overview of scientific research in the region, followed by a review of the current state of knowledge. He provides a description of the region's physical environment and each of its ecosystems, and concludes with a discussion of the threats and the conservation initiatives relevant to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. This chapter argues that Costa Rican Caribbean coastal and marine ecosystems are species rich, economically important for the local communities, and key for the sustainable development of the region, but are being threatened by natural and anthropogenic factors, and that human disturbances must therefore be eliminated or at least minimized to ensure a healthy future for the coastal and marine ecosystems along Costa Rica’s Caribbean shores.

Keywords:   Costa Rica, research, conservation, Caribbean, ecosystems, coastal, marine

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