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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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Bogs, Marshes, and Swamps of Costa Rica

Bogs, Marshes, and Swamps of Costa Rica

(p.683) Chapter 20 Bogs, Marshes, and Swamps of Costa Rica
Costa Rican Ecosystems

Jorge A. Jiménez

University of Chicago Press

Costa Rica has a high diversity of freshwater wetlands, ranging from the highland peat bogs in the mountainous Talamanca’s and the marshes of the Pacific lowlands to the often seasonal swamps dominated by palms and other forest trees thriving along the coasts. However, most of the available information on these wetlands is restricted to descriptive studies in which plant-species lists and forest structure information dominate, with studies on their ecological or functional aspects mostly absent. When faunistic elements are listed, most fauna cited is not restricted to marsh or swamp ecosystems, and even knowledge on the total extent of these ecosystem is highly fragmentary and controversial. In this chapter, the author provides a review of our best understanding of Costa Rica’s marshes, highland bogs, palm swamps and forest swamps. He provides general descriptions, including geographical information and size estimations, as well as an overview of the various ecosystems, with an emphasis on the species of flora and fauna that are unique to each one. The chapter ends with a discussion of wetland conservation and the threats that these ecosystems face, using the history of the Palo Verde marshes as a case study to demonstrate the challenges of wetland restoration.

Keywords:   Costa Rica, conservation, marsh, swamp, bog, fauna, palm, forest

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