Books  Habitats, Ecosystems & Natural Spaces  Habitats & Ecosystems: General 

Costa Rican Ecosystems


By: Maarten Kappelle (Editor), Thomas E Lovejoy (Foreword By), Rodrigo Gámez-Lobo (Introduction By)

775 pages, 244 colour & 82 b/w photos, 10 b/w line drawings, 25 tables

University of Chicago Press

Paperback | Apr 2016 | #224366 | ISBN-13: 9780226278933
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £48.99 $60/€55 approx
Hardback | no dustjacket | May 2016 | #224365 | ISBN-13: 9780226121505
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £105.00 $128/€117 approx

About this book

In the more than thirty years since the publication of Daniel H. Janzen's classic Costa Rican Natural History, research in this small but astonishingly biodiverse, well-preserved, and well-studied Latin-American nation has evolved from a species-level approach to the study of entire ecosystems. And from the lowland dry forests of Guanacaste to the montane cloud forests of Monteverde, from the seasonal forests of the Central Valley to the coastal species assemblages of Tortuguero, Costa Rica has proven to be as richly diverse in ecosystems as it is in species.

In Costa Rican Ecosystems, Maarten Kappelle brings together a collection of the world's foremost experts on Costa Rican ecology – outstanding scientists such as Daniel H. Janzen, Jorge Cortés, Jorge A. Jiménez, Sally P. Horn, R. O. Lawton, Quírico Jiménez M., Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Catherine M. Pringle, and Eduardo Carrillo J., among others – to offer the first comprehensive account of the diversity, structure, function, uses, and conservation of Costa Rica's ecosystems. Featuring a foreword and introductory remarks by two renowned leaders in biodiversity science and ecological conservation, Thomas E. Lovejoy and Rodrigo Gámez, chapters highlighting the geology, soils, and climate of Costa Rica, as well as the ecosystems of its terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats, and including previously unpublished information on Isla del Coco, this beautiful color-illustrated book will be an essential reference for academic scientists, students, natural history guides, conservationists, educators, park guards, and visitors alike.

"One of the most important countries for tropical ecological education and research, Costa Rica also has the most comprehensive and successful national system of conservation areas. Costa Rican Ecosystems takes an atypically holistic, integrated approach to its subject, offering both introductory and ecological chapters that together provide a very excellent overview of the important attributes and issues of the country's major ecosystems. The authors are a literal 'who's who' of Costa Rican ecological research, with an impressive percentage from Costa Rica. Kappelle has done an outstanding job in catalyzing and pulling together a great book. Costa Rican Ecosystems is a strong and valuable contribution, a major advancement of our ecological knowledge."
– Gary Hartshorn, former president and chief executive officer of the Organization for Tropical Studies and the World Forestry Center


(i) Dedication
(ii) List of Contributors
(iii) Foreword; Thomas E. Lovejoy
(iv) Presentation; Rodrigo Gámez Lobo
(v) Preface; Maarten Kappelle

Part I. Introduction
1. Costa Rica’s Ecosystems: Setting the Stage
Maarten Kappelle

Part II. The Physical Environment
2. Climate of Costa Rica
Wilberth Herrera

3. Geology and Tectonic Geomorphology of Costa Rica: A Natural History Approach
Guillermo E. Alvarado and Guaria Cárdenes

4. Soils of Costa Rica: An Agroecological Approach
Alfredo Alvarado and Rafael Mata

Part III. The Pacific Ocean and Isla del Coco
5. The Pacific Coastal-Marine Ecosystem
Jorge Cortés

6. The Gulf of Nicoya Estuarine Ecosystem
José A. Vargas

7. Isla del Coco: Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
Jorge Cortés

8. Isla del Coco: Terrestrial Ecosystems
Michel Montoya

Part IV. The Northern Pacific Dry Lowlands
9. The Northern Pacific Lowland Seasonal Dry Forests of Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula
Quírico Jiménez M., Eduardo Carrillo J., and Maarten Kappelle

10. Biodiversity Conservation History and Future in Costa Rica: The Case of Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG)
Daniel H. Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs

Part V. The Central and Southern Pacific Seasonally Moist Lowlands and Central Valley
11. The Central Pacific Seasonal Forests of Puntarenas and the Central Valley
Quírico Jiménez M. and Eduardo Carrillo J.

12. The Southern Pacific Lowland Evergreen Moist Forest of the Osa Region
Lawrence E. Gilbert, Catherine Christen, Mariana Altrichter, John T. Longino, Peter M. Sherman, Rob Plowes, Monica B. Swartz, Kirk O. Winemiller, Jennifer A. Weghorst, Andres Vega, Pamela Phillips, Christopher Vaughan, and Maarten Kappelle

Part VI. The Moist and Clouded Highlands
13. The Montane Cloud Forests of the Volcanic Cordilleras
Robert O. Lawton, Marcy F. Lawton, R. Michael Lawton, and James D. Daniels

14. The Montane Cloud Forests of the Cordillera de Talamanca
Maarten Kappelle

15. The Páramo Ecosystem of Costa Rica’s Highlands
Maarten Kappelle and Sally P. Horn

Part VII. The Wet Caribbean Lowlands
16. The Caribbean Lowland Evergreen Moist and Wet Forests
Deedra McClearn, Enrique Castro, Ronald C. Coleman, Javier F. Espeleta, Carlos García-Robledo, Alex Gilman, José González, Armond T. Joyce, Erin Kuprewicz, John T. Longino, Nicole L. Michel, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Andrea Romero, Carlomagno Soto, Orlando Vargas, Amanda Wendt, Steven Whitfield, and Robert M. Timm

Part VIII. The Caribbean Sea and Shore
17. The Caribbean Coastal and Marine Ecosystems
Jorge Cortés

Part IX. The Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands
18. Rivers of Costa Rica
Catherine M. Pringle, Elizabeth P. Anderson, Marcelo Ardón, Rebecca J. Bixby, Scott Connelly, John H. Duff, Alan P. Jackman, Pia Paaby, Alonso Ramírez, Gaston E. Small, Marcia N. Snyder, Carissa N. Ganong, and Frank J. Triska

19. Lakes of Costa Rica
Sally P. Horn and Kurt A. Haberyan

20. Bogs, Marshes and Swamps of Costa Rica
Jorge A. Jiménez

Part X. Conclusion
21. Costa Rican Ecosystems: A Brief Summary
Maarten Kappelle

Subject Index
Systematic Index of Common Names
Systematic Index of Scientific Names

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Maarten Kappelle is currently coordinator for the United Nations Environment Programme's global Chemicals and Waste Subprogramme and has previously held science and leadership roles in the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Nature Conservancy (TNC), Costa Rica's Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), and several universities in the Netherlands and abroad. He is author, editor, or coeditor of many scientific books in Spanish and English, including Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Montane Oak Forests, Biodiversity of the Oak Forests of Tropical America, Paramos de Costa Rica, and Diccionario de Biodiversidad. He lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

Bestsellers in this subject

What Nature Does for Britain

NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx

Trophic Cascades

NHBS Price: £33.99 $42/€38 approx

The Afterlife of a Tree

NHBS Price: £29.50 $36/€33 approx

Ecosystem Services

NHBS Price: £40.99 $50/€46 approx

Authenticity in Nature

NHBS Price: £23.99 $29/€27 approx