Revista de Biología Tropical
Print version ISSN 0034-7744
Abstract: Costa Rica mangroves: the north Pacific. Costa Rica has mangrove forests on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. The Pacific side has 99% of the mangrove area of the country. In this review we compile available information on the mangroves of the north Pacific coast of Costa Rica, from Bahía Salinas, on the border with Nicaragua, to the tip of the Peninsula de Nicoya at Cabo Blanco. We provide information on the location of the mangroves and all available information for each mangrove forest. These mangrove communities are smaller in extension and tree sizes, and have lower diversity compared to the mangroves on the southern section of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The dominant species are Rhizophora mangle and Rhizophora racemosa along the canal edges, backed by Avicennia germinans, and farther inland Avicennia bicolor, Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erectus. At Potrero Grande a healthy population of Pelliciera rhizophorae, a rare species, has been reported. We recognized 38 mangrove communities in this part of the country, based on the National Wetland Inventory, published papers, field observations, theses, technical reports, and the national topographic maps (1:50 000, Instituto Geográfico Nacional). Relatively detailed information could be found for only five mangrove forests, for 14 more only prelimary and incomplete lists of plants and in some cases of animal species are available, for nine there is even less information, and for nine more only their location is known, which in some cases was not correct. Detail mapping, characterization of the vegetation and fauna, physiological studies, analyses of biogeochemical and physical processes, economic valuations, and determination of the health status of the mangrove of the northern Pacific coast, as well as for the rest of Costa Rica, are neccesary and urgent. Rev. Biol. Trop. 57 (3): 473-488. Epub 2009 September 30.
Keywords : Mangroves; Costa Rica; eastern tropical Pacific; human impact; Guanacaste.