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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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Isla del Coco: Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Isla del Coco: Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

(p.162) Chapter 7 Isla del Coco: Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
Costa Rican Ecosystems

Jorge Cortés

University of Chicago Press

Parque Nacional Isla del Coco’s isolation allows the study of phenomena as they exist when relatively unaffected by human activity, making it an important and increasingly rare natural laboratory. The island also acts as the entrance gate for Indo-Pacific organisms into the Eastern Tropical Pacific, for which reason — along with its beauty and the aforementioned research utility — it now holds the status of Natural World Heritage Site. The author presents a brief history of marine research at Isla del Coco as well as an overview of current research projects and their findings. The geology, geomorphology, and climate of the island are described, as are the island’s coastal and marine ecosystems. The author also relates the various threats that the island faces, and the conservation efforts to defend against them. Finally, gaps in our current understanding and the need for future research are discussed. Throughout, the chapter demonstrates the importance of Isla Del Coco to the world as a source of both of knowledge and of beauty.

Keywords:   Costa Rica, Isla del Coco, research, conservation, ecosystems, coastal, marine

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