Costa Rican Ecosystems

Costa Rican Ecosystems

Maarten Kappelle

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780226121505

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


The first book to deal in an integrated manner the full range of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems that occur in Costa Rica, Costa Rican Ecosystems provides an overview of Costa Rica’s main ecosystems by compiling information about their physical settings, biogeography, species diversity, and much more. Rather than follow a technical or clinical approach with a hierarchical categorization of ecosystems, Costa Rica’s dense ecology is explored in a “journey-wise” sequence that provides familiarity and understanding of the country’s full, varied range of intergrading seascapes and landscapes. The book begins with three introductory chapters focusing on Costa Rica’s climate, geology, and soils to provide an understanding of the medium in which its ecology has developed, and then proceeds with a presentation of each of the country’s ecosystems. These chapters review the research to provide a detailed description of each ecosystem, from its location, extent, and general function, to its characteristic species and the ways in which these species interact. The authors provide a summary of the effects that humans have had on the environment in each case, as well as the history, challenges, and successes of the relevant conservation efforts. This book, a culmination of decades of scientific achievement and experience, provides an intellectual template upon which sustainability can be built for Costa Rica and a model for an ecosystems overview that all nations should aspire to and emulate.

Table of Contents

Part I Introduction

Part II The Physical Environment

Chapter 4 Soils of Costa Rica: An Agroecological Approach

Alfredo Alvarado1,* and Rafael Mata1

Part III The Pacific Ocean and Isla del Coco

Part IV The Northern Pacific Dry Lowlands

Chapter 9 The Northern Pacific Lowland Seasonal Dry Forests of Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula

Quírico Jiménez M.,1 Eduardo Carrillo J.,2 and Maarten Kappelle3,4,*

Part V The Central and Southern Pacific Seasonally Moist Lowlands and Central Valley

Chapter 12 The Southern Pacific Lowland Evergreen Moist Forest of the Osa Region

Lawrence E. Gilbert1,*, Catherine A. Christen2, Mariana Altrichter3, John T. Longino4, Peter M. Sherman3, Rob Plowes1, Monica B. Swartz1, Kirk O. Winemiller5, Jennifer A. Weghorst6, Andres Vega7, Pamela Phillips8, Christopher Vaughan9, and Maarten Kappelle10,11

Part VI The Moist and Clouded Highlands

Chapter 13 The Montane Cloud Forests of the Volcanic Cordilleras

Robert O. Lawton1,*, Marcy F. Lawton2, R. Michael Lawton3, and James D. Daniels4

Chapter 15 The Páramo Ecosystem of Costa Rica’s Highlands

Maarten Kappelle1,2,* and Sally P. Horn2

Part VII The Wet Caribbean Lowlands

Chapter 16 The Caribbean Lowland Evergreen Moist and Wet Forests

Deedra McClearn1,*, J. Pablo Arroyo-Mora2, Enrique Castro3, Ronald C. Coleman4, Javier F. Espeleta5, Carlos García-Robledo6, Alex Gilman3, José González3, Armond T. Joyce7, Erin Kuprewicz8, John T. Longino9, Nicole L. Michel10, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez11, Andrea Romero12, Carlomagno Soto3, Orlando Vargas3, Amanda Wendt13, Steven Whitfield14, Robert M. Timm15

Part VIII The Caribbean Sea and Shore

Part IX The Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands

Chapter 18 Rivers of Costa Rica

Catherine M. Pringle1,*, Elizabeth P. Anderson2, Marcelo Ardón3, Rebecca J. Bixby4, Scott Connelly1, John H. Duff5, Alan P. Jackman6, Pia Paaby7, Alonso Ramírez8, Gaston E. Small9, Marcia N. Snyder1, Carissa N. Ganong1 and Frank J. Triska5

Chapter 19 Lakes of Costa Rica

Sally P. Horn1,* and Kurt A. Haberyan2

Part X Conclusion