Friday, June 30, 2006

La Selva Biological Station

For a full ten days our home has been the La Selva Biological Station. This is the premier station for OTS with a long history of published ecological research (over 250 paper a year) and several cornerstone long term projects. One of Conservation International’s five sites for Tropical Ecological Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) is here as well as Arthropods of La Selva Project (ALAS); CARBONA which is looking at forest as carbon stocks; Digital Flora, a electronic database describing more than 60% of La Selva’s plant species; ALAS, a large-scale inventory of arthropod diversity in a lowland tropical rainforest and TREES, a 22 year tree-growth and mortality project. I’ll come back to this last project in a separate post. The appeal to researchers is clear: primary forest (having never been cleared or even logged) is abundant and accessible via extensive bike trails, internet access, reasonable facilities, etc. We're finally in the lower tropics: its hot and I've never experienced the kind of rain where the sky really does seem to open and pour water on the forest.