For those of you who haven’t been to Costa Rica, what kind scenery do you imagine? For Courtney and I (Chris) we had visions in our mind of tropical rainforests, toucans, sloths, a plethora of insect and plant species. Out of the four sites we have been to thus far, 2 of these fit that description quite well (La Selva and Las Cruces), but the other two sites were quite different. Costa rica ≠ only tropical rainforests. As Leith mentioned in our last post, the last five days at Cuericí Biological Station have opened our eyes to the diversity of ecosystems present in this country. We chose to do our independent project in one of these uniquely different systems, the Costa Rican páramo. The páramo, also known as Talamanca páramo is a grassy/shrubby vegetated ecosystem found on many mountain peaks (over 3,000 m) and are fairly abundance here in Costa Rica. Here are some photos. For those who haven’t been to Costa Rica, this may be an unexpected surprise, just as it was for us.
We spent two full days counting and measuring moss and lichens, which was enriching for both of us who have had virtually no experience doing this.
We hiked up and down the mountains, walked above cloud level, and saw a ton of unique plant and animal life. It is times like this that I forget I am in school.
Chris and Courtney