Costa Rica

Live Fences and Landscape Connectivity in a Neotropical Agricultural Landscape

Background

This article describes the role and importance of live fences in the tropical regions of Central America. The study site covered an area of 4483ha and is located in a wet tropical forest zone in the Province of Heredia, Costa Rica. The landscape is dominated by cattle pasture and possesses a small, fragmented and homogenous structure with small patches of forests.

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Coffee Agroforests Remain Beneficial for Neotropical Bird Community Conservation across Seasons

Background

This study compares bird community composition in coffee agroforestry systems with secondary forest fragments, while accounting for seasonal bird migration and differences in bird detectability between habitats. It was conducted in the San Luis Valley of northwest Costa Rica, a montane forest region that encompasses many microhabitats.

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Growth in pure and mixed plantations of tree species used in reforesting rural areas of the humid region of Costa Rica, Central America

Background

Despite government incentives in Costa Rica for establishing and maintaining native tree plantations since the 1990s, farmers and small landowners often lack adequate knowledge about plantation management. Yield and rotation periods for each of the ten most common species grown in monoculture have previously been published. This paper compares productivity in monoculture and mixtures at La Selva Biological Station in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica.

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Lattice-Work Corridors for Climate Change: A Conceptual Framework for Biodiversity Conservation and Social-Ecological Resilience in a Tropical Elevational Gradient

background

In the region of Monteverde, communities rely on ecotourism, coffee farming, dairy cattle farming and sugarcane production to making their livings. The Pacific-slope forests are highly fragmented, and while a large biological corridor has already been proposed, it neglects certain key riparian corridors that would facilitate species migrations and range shifts, as well as protect the downstream water sources.

Open access copy available

The role of species mixtures in plantation forestry

Background

Forest plantations are increasingly being established around the world, yet many are often monocultures. While the paper recognizes that all plantations are beneficial in terms of restoration, it specifically seeks to explore the advantages of mixed-species plantations. 

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Connecting sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation: Does shade coffee provide habitat for mammals?

Background

Shade coffee systems are believed to support diverse wildlife. However, most research on wildlife in shade coffee has focused on bird and insect diversity, with few studies that have focused on mammals living within coffee-dominated landscapes.

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Trade-offs in nature tourism: contrasting parcel-level decisions withlandscape conservation planning

Background

A landscape approach to conservation has increasingly taken prominence as scientists and policymakers consider the role of landscape patches and connectivities. However, understanding trade-offs in policy decisions and land management strategies in a landscape dominated by privately held patches presents a challenge. This study discusses trade-offs with the nature tourism industry in Monteverde, Costa Rica, considering effects across parcel-level decisions.

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Sixty-Seven Years of Land-Use Change in Southern Costa Rica

Background

Habitat loss and fragmentation of forests are among the biggest threats to biodiversity and associated ecosystem services in tropical landscapes. This paper uses the vicinity of the Las Cruces Biological Station in southern Costa Rica as a regional case study to comment on seven decades of land-use change in one of the most intensively studied sites in the Neotropics.

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Neotropical Secondary Forest Succession: Changes in Structural and Functional Characteristics

Background

This paper reiviews the main biotic and abiotic factors that influence patterns of secondary forest succession in the Neotropics after complete forest clearance due to human activities.

Research Goals & Methods

The authors look at patterns of species replacement and various processes that occur during succession and suggest that the sequence of processes may be predictable even if species composition is not.

Open access copy available

Testing Applied Nucleation as a Strategy to Facilitate Tropical Forest Recovery

Background

This study considers applied nucleation, or the intensive planting of small patches of a mixture of successional species, as a degraded tropical forest restoration strategy. This approach catalyzes the natural regeneration of the surrounding matrix and larger landscape and could provide a less expensive alternative to the more common, and expensive, plantation-style approach. This study claims to be the first to directly compare tree recruitment beneath these two restoration approaches.

Open access copy available
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