Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smithsonian guide to the biodiverse marine environment of Panama’s Bocas del Toro

29.12.2005


A new, undescribed species of marine worm.


Coral reefs, coastal rainforest, land-grab, industrial bananas and organic cacao, mangroves, tourist boom, eclectic cultural mix: A Caribbean Journal of Science special issue presents the first scientific overview of the marine environment in Bocas del Toro Province near Panama’s border with Costa Rica. With color photographic guide to marine invertebrates--the volume, edited by Dr. Rachel Collin, director STRI’s research station in Bocas--debuts new species and new records for Panama and provides an essential reference for researchers, tourists and conservationists throughout the region.

"The known diversity in Bocas looks very good in comparison with other places in the Caribbean" explains Collin. "Sponges and some brittlestars are much more abundant on reefs here, and after only ten days of snorkel sampling, Bocas has already become the most diverse site for Nemerteans (unsegmented marine worms) and the second most diverse site for tunicates. Diversity is expected to increase with more intensive sampling." Collin found funds from the Smithsonian Marine Science Network and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee to invite a host of experts on different taxonomic groups to conduct marine surveys in 2003 and 2004, and to set up a baseline species inventory for the station.

Collin encourages interested researchers to contact STRI: "I hope that scientists and students will find the organisms they work with in our online database and decide to visit the station. We already have documented more than 3000 species." (see links)



Comparable to Dan Janzen’s Natural History of Costa Rica or Egbert Leigh’s The Ecology of a Tropical Forest, the book-length CJS volume provides a geographic, geological and environmental context for the station and sets the stage for future work in the region. Focusing in like a pirate’s spyglass, initial chapters describe Bocas del Toro’s geology, physical environmental monitoring program, and salt- water communities. Later chapters present two new species of brittle star, three new species of Micura worms and overviews of sponges, hydroids, sea squirts, black corals, soft corals, porcellanid crabs and peanut worms.

In 2003 STRI inaugurated a new, award-winning, low-impact laboratory in Bocas (see links). In addition to providing a state-of-the-art seawater system that makes it possible to conduct experiments requiring living marine organisms, the station is now base camp for surveys of nearby reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves, as part of CARICOMP, a Caribbean-wide monitoring program that STRI has participated in since 1999.

Collin hopes that people will take advantage of the free, online guide: "Many of the same animals also live in other parts of the Caribbean. The online guide provides a service for the entire region."

STRI Director, Dr. Ira Rubinoff, placed conservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in Bocas high on STRI’s priority list for 2006: "It is critical that homeowners, divers, retirees, investors, sports fishermen, tourists--all of the different interests in Bocas del Toro--realize that they depend upon and benefit from the sustainable management of natural beauty and biodiversity."

Rachel Collin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.si.edu
http://www.stri.org
http://www.caribjsci.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>