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Costa Rica and Panama lie close to the Equator between North and South America.  

Costa Rica and Panama lie close to the Equator between North and South America.  

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Conference Paper
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Abstract. The Mesoamerican region is one of the richest in orchid diversity in the world. About 2670 species, 10% of all orchids known have been recorded there. Within this region, most of the species are concentrated in the southernmost countries. Costa Rica with 1598 species (or 0.030 spp/km2) and Panama with 1397 species (0.018 spp/km2) stand at...

Citations

... Evidence of intercontinental dispersal in groups such as frogs, birds, and insects also highlights the important influence of the rise of the Isthmus in the assembly of the regional biota (Stehli and Webb 1985;Webb 2006;Weir et al. 2009;Pinto-Sánchez et al. 2012;Wilson et al. 2014) As a consequence, biodiversity in ICA is largely constituted by older northern plus southern lineages that arrived after the completion of the land bridge (Rich and Rich 1991;Savage 2002). Remarkably, the Isthmian fauna also has a strikingly high number of endemics (e.g., Kluge and Kessler 2006;Savage and Bolaños 2009;Bogarín et al. 2013;Garrigues and Dean 2014), including old lineages (Wang et al. 2008a). This high endemism highlights the importance of in situ diversification contributing to the conformation of the regional biota. ...
Article
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Isthmian Central America (ICA) is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, hosting an exceptionally high number of species per unit area. ICA was formed <25 million years ago and, consequently, its biotic assemblage is relatively young and derived from both colonization and in situ diversification. Despite intensive taxonomic work on the local fauna, the potential forces driving genetic divergences and ultimately speciation in ICA remain poorly studied. Here, we used a landscape genetics approach to test whether isolation by distance, topography, habitat suitability, or environment drive the genetic diversity of the regional frog assemblage. To this end, we combined data on landscape features and mitochondrial DNA sequence variation for nine codistributed amphibian species with disparate life histories. In five species, we found that at least one of the factors tested explained patterns of genetic divergence. However, rather than finding a general pattern, our results revealed idiosyncratic responses to historical and ecological processes, indicating that intrinsic life-history characteristics may determine the effect of different drivers of isolation on genetic divergence in ICA. Our work also suggests that the convergence of several factors promoting isolation among populations over a heterogeneous landscape might maximize genetic differentiation, despite short geographical distances. In conclusion, abiotic factors and geographical features have differentially affected the genetic diversity across the regional frog assemblage. Much more complex models (i.e., considering multiple drivers), beyond simple vicariance of Caribbean and Pacific lineages, are needed to better understand the evolutionary history of ICA’s diverse biotas.
... Costa Rica has an exceptional orchid flora that is well studied (Hammel-Lierheimer et al., 2003). The country is renowned for its commitment to orchid biology and conservation, and extensive resources for documenting orchid diversity and distributions are available (Blanco, Pupulin, & Warner, 2005;Bogarín, Pupulin, Arrocha, & Warner, 2013;Pupulin, 2007;Rivero, 1998). Consequently, the Costa Rican orchid flora represents a unique opportunity to evaluate biogeographical affinities of the family within a global diversity hotspot. ...
Article
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Aim: We conduct a biogeographical assessment of orchids in a global biodiversity hotspot to explore their distribution and occurrences of local hotspots while identifying geographic attributes underpinning diversity patterns. We evaluate habitat characteristics associated with orchid diversity hotspots and make comparisons to other centres of orchid diversity to test for global trends. The ultimate goal was to identify an overall set of parameters that effectively characterize critical habitats to target in local and global orchid conservation efforts. Location: Costa Rica; Mesoamerica. Taxon: Orchidaceae. Methods: Data from an extensive set of herbarium records were used to map orchid distributions and to identify diversity hotspots. Hotspot data were combined with geographic attribute data, including environmental and geopolitical variables, and a random forest regression model was utilized to assess the importance of each variable for explaining the distribution of orchid hotspots. A likelihood model was created based on variable importance to identify locations where suitable habitats and unidentified orchid hotspots might occur. Results: Orchids were widely distributed and hotspots occurred primarily in mountainous regions, but occasionally at lower elevations. Precipitation and vegetation cover were the most important predictive variables associated with orchid hotspots. Variable values underpinning Costa Rican orchid hotspots were similar to those reported at other sites worldwide. Models also identified suitable habitats for sustaining orchid diversity that occurred outside of known hotspots and protected areas. Main conclusions: Several orchid diversity hotspots and potentially suitable habitats occur outside of known distributions and/or protected areas. Recognition of these sites and their associated geographic attributes provides clear targets for optimizing orchid conservation efforts in Costa Rica, although certain caveats warrant consideration. Habitats linked with orchid hotspots in Costa Rica were similar to those documented elsewhere, suggesting the existence of a common biogeographical trend regarding critical habitats for orchid conservation in disparate tropical regions.
... For example: a) the Panamanian Caribbean slopes (e.g., Ortiz 2014, 2015;Ortiz and Croat 2015a, 2015b, 2017aOrtiz et al. , 2018a; b) the district of Donoso in the Province of Colón in connection with the Minera Panamá Project (e.g., Clark and Mora 2014;Daly 2014;Daniel and McPherson 2014;Holst 2014;Kennedy 2014;Idárraga et al. 2015;Schatz et al. 2015;Barrie et al. 2016;Croat and Ortiz 2016;Grayum and De Gracia 2016;Kawasaki et al. 2016;Croat et al. 2017;Batista and Mori 2017;De Gracia et al. 2017;Almeda and Penneys 2018;Prance 2018); and c) La Amistad International Park located in the Cordillera of Talamanca between Costa Rica and Panama's border (e.g., Soto and Monro 2008;Monro 2009Monro , 2012Rodríguez et al. 2011;Santamaría et al. 2014Santamaría et al. , 2015Monro et al. 2017;Croat 2017a, 2017b;Ortiz et al. 2018b;Rodríguez and Solano-Peralta 2018). In addition, the Autonomous University of Chiriquí herbarium (UCH) and the Jardín Botánico Lankester of Costa Rica collected and thoroughly studied the orchid flora of Panama (Bogarín et al. 2013a(Bogarín et al. , 2013b(Bogarín et al. , 2014a(Bogarín et al. , 2014b(Bogarín et al. , 2017Serracín et al. 2013Serracín et al. , 2016. For its part, the ICGB project has carried out fieldwork all over Panama and has found several new species and new records published and unpublished (in process) for the country (Cáceres-González and Ibáñez 2014; Daniel and Carrión 2015; Kennedy and Flores 2015;Flores et al. 2016Flores et al. , 2017Flores et al. , 2018Maas et al. 2019). ...
Article
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In the present study, we report 46 new records of vascular plants species from Panama. The species belong to the following families: Anacardiaceae, Apocynaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Araceae, Bignoniaceae, Burseraceae, Caryocaraceae, Celastraceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Erythroxylaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Gentianaceae, Lacistemataceae, Lauraceae, Malpighiaceae, Malvaceae, Marattiaceae, Melastomataceae, Moraceae, Myrtaceae, Ochnaceae, Orchidaceae, Passifloraceae, Peraceae, Poaceae, Portulacaceae, Ranunculaceae, Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, Sapotaceae, Solanaceae, and Violaceae. Additionally, the status of plant collections in Panama is discussed; we focused on the areas where we identified significant information gaps regarding real assessments of plant biodiversity in the country.
... Our results strongly correspond with earlier studies made upon Orchidaceae of Mesoamerica. According to Ossenbach, Dressler & Pupulin (2007) and Bogarín et al. (2013) about 10% (ca. 2700 taxa) of all orchid species known all around the world are recorded from this area, of which almost 29% are endemic to Panama. ...
... The studies on regional diversity published by Barthlott, Lauer & Placke (1996) indicated that the region from eastern Costa Rica, through Panama to western Colombia has the highest plant biodiversity on the globe. In Panama, the extraordinary biodiversity is a consequence of an unusual mosaic of habitat types and an intermingling of species from both Central and South America, including single species of Psilochilus, but also many other Orchidaceae taxa (D'Arcy, 1987;Condit et al., 1996;Ossenbach, Dressler & Pupulin, 2007;Bogarín et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Background. Psilochilus is a poorly studied orchid genus distributed from southern Mexico to south-eastern Brazil. A taxonomic revision of this Neotropical endemic based on morphological data is presented. Material and methods. Over 170 dried herbarium specimens and flowers preserved in liquid of Psilochilus were analyzed. Morphological variation among examined taxa was described based on multivariate analysis. To evaluate the similarity between niches occupied by various Psilochilus species ecological niche modeling (ENM) was applied. Species richness and the distribution patterns of Psilochilus representatives were analyzed based on squares of 5° latitude and longitude while similarities among floras between biogeographical units were measured using the Bray-Curtis index for presence/absence data. Results and discussion. A new species of the P. physurifolius-complex is described based on Central American material. Psilochilus crenatifolius is reduced to the rank of variety as P. macrophyllus var. crenatifolius. A key to 18 accepted Psilochilus species is provided. The illustrations of perianth segments of all recognized taxa are presented. The climatic niches preferred by the particular Psilochilus representatives are well separated based on ecological niche modeling analysis. Their distribution is limited mainly by the isothermality and temperature seasonality. The highest Psilochilus species richness is observed in the North Andean, Panamanian, Brazilian Planalto and Central American biogeographical provinces. A high level of endemism is observed in all those regions as well as Yungas biogeographical province. Most Psilochilus species occur in areas above 800 m of elevation. The populations were most often reported from the tropical rain forest and tropical moist deciduous forest.
... and Warmingia Rchb.f. with representatives in South America are distributed in Panama. The bias resulting from less floristic and alpha-taxonomic work in Panama should be reduced in the upcoming years (Bogarín et al. 2013). ...
Conference Paper
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Historically, the isthmus of Costa Rica and Panama has been a source of fascination for its strategic position linking North America to South America. In terms of biodiversity, the isthmus is considered one of the richest regions in the world. Orchidaceae is the most diverse plant family in the area, and the number of species is triple that of other well-represented angiosperm families such as Rubiaceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae. Though we are still far from knowing the exact number of orchid species occurring extant in both countries nowadays, at present the orchid flora reported for Costa Rica (1574 spp.) and Panama (1372 spp.) summarise together about 2010 species; which represents 6.5-8.0% of all orchid species on just about 1% of the Earth's land surface. Pleurothallidinae and Laeliinae are the most species rich groups and contain the largest genera: Lepanthes, Pleurothallis, Stelis and Epidendrum. These groups significantly outnumber the other genera recorded in terms of species richness. Some factors explaining this regional taxonomic diversity of orchids are the natural land bridge uniting three of the 25 recognized hotspots worldwide (Mesoamerica, Choco/Darien/Western Ecuador and tropical Andes), the climatic influence of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and the recent lifting of the Cordillera de Talamanca and the formation of foothills of Majé, Darien and San Blas in Panama and western Colombia. Although these factors can explain the high diversity in general terms, detailed information is needed to understand species diversification as well as the evolution of the floristic composition. Updated floristic inventories (yielding a rate of 25 new species/year) and the study of biological mechanisms that have led to the evolutionary diversification of Lepanthes (one of the major groups of orchids) are the main ongoing research projects to elucidate the evolution of Orchidaceae in Costa Rica and Panama. Towards this end, we present some preliminary results of the research conducted in this direction including the integration of phylogenetics, pollination ecology, taxonomy and biogeography. reSumen: Históricamente, el Istmo de Costa Rica y Panamá ha sido fuente de fascinación por su posición estratégica, uniendo América del Norte con América del Sur. En términos de biodiversidad, el Istmo es considerado una de las regiones más ricas del mundo. Orchidaceae es la familia de plantas más diversa en la zona, y el número de especies triplica a otras familias de angiospermas bien representadas como Rubiaceae, Fabaceae y Poaceae. Aunque todavía estamos lejos de conocer el número exacto de especies de orquídeas existentes en ambos países, en la actualidad la flora de orquídeas registradas para Costa Rica (1574 spp.) y Panamá (1372 spp.) suman en conjunto alrededor de 2010 especies; lo que representa 6,5-8,0% de todas las especies de orquídeas en apenas alrededor de 1% de la superficie terrestre del planeta. Pleurothallidinae y Laeliinae son los grupos más ricos en especies y contienen la mayor géneros: Lepanthes, Pleurothallis, Stelis y
... But this is no excuse for complacency since without some form of intervention the pace of change underway may be more than what orchid populations can overcome. key words: Orchidaceae, conservation, resiliency, floristic change, forest recovery and the cordilleras of Panama and Costa Rica, two regions of extraordinary species diversity (Dressler 1981, Myers et al. 2000, Bogarín et al. 2013). ...
Article
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The orchid mystique is alive and well. The bizarre flowers, weird pollination mechanisms, and rarity of many species have captured the attention of enthusiasts and academics for nearly two centuries. Population declines of marquee species have been obvious due to over-collecting and habitat degradation (e.g., Miranda 1990, Cribb 1998, Soto Arenas et al. 2007). Consequently, orchids are frequent if not prominent occupants of endangered species lists and all 28,000-plus species of the family (Govaerts et al. 2010) have been placed on either appendix I or II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Moreover, several books have focused on orchid conservation (e.g., IUCN/SSC Orchid Specialist Group 1996, Koopowitz 2001, Dixon et al. 2003). Are these symptoms of a dire outlook for the family? Will orchids survive rapid climate and land use changes? To address these questions, I look at how the family has responded to disturbances through history. I emphasize processes related to diversification and population biology of the family in the northern Andes i n v i t e d p a p e r*
Article
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Epidendrum (Orchidaceae) has been suggested to be a promising model system for evolutionary and ecological studies in the neotropical region. given its species diversity, the broad biogeographical and ecological range, and the variation in morphology, chromosome numbers and ecological interactions, the genus presents a rich source for intriguing and yet unanswered questions. Epidendrum is also a prime candidate to study speciation and this makes establishing precise species boundaries and diversity estimates in the genus extremely important. through the recognition and discovery of hundreds of undescribed taxa, the number of formally described Epidendrum species has grown from 1000 to 1800 in the last two decades, while projections suggest the genus may have up to ca. 2400 species. this notorious underestimation of species diversity has serious consequences in many macroecological studies, including speciation, biogeographical patterns, diversification processes, and conservation priorities. Such a large number of unrecognized species in the genus has multiple unforeseen negative consequences and closing the gap between the described and projected diversity needs to become a priority. the isthmus of costa rica and panama, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, is also a center of diversity of Epidendrum. one out of every six species in the genus is present in the region and half of them are endemic. in the current paper, 20 new species are described from the isthmus and new records and exclusions are presented for both countries. Many of the newly recognized species had previously been included within broader circumscriptions of other taxa or had simply been misidentified. They represent a good example of how taxonomy can cause a sudden shift from a scenario where a few broadly distributed and unthreatened species become multiple potentially threatened species for which the population size, distribution and conservation status need to be urgently established. Epidendrum is the most specious orchid genus in costa rica and panama, as well as most other Latin American countries, but species are poorly represented in herbaria and literature, and indetermination or incorrect determination of specimens is widespread. this results in a severe underestimation of Epidendrum species both in terms of species richness and their conservation priority levels.
Article
Tropical Latin America is a nexus of tectonic plates whose relative motions have led to rapid tectonic and volcanic mountain building in late Neogene time. Tropical mountain building, in turn, leads to highland "cloud forest" microclimates with increased rainfall, lower diurnal temperatures, and diverse microclimates. I have previously emphasized how the geologically recent growth of mountains has been localized in Central America and that this is likely a factor in the high diversity and endemism in those highlands. This paper will show that Andean uplift accelerated at ~15 Ma ago and ~5 Ma BP and continues to this day. This process evolved geographically among the cordilleras of the region. Givnish and others recently presented phylogenomic evidence that the diversity of many epiphytic orchids, including tribes found in the neotropics, also accelerated during this time interval. Phylogenetic investigations of tropical orchid pollinators have shown that acceleration in speciation in such pollinators as hummingbirds, orchid bees, and flies occurred over this same time frame, suggesting that geologically driven environmental changes may have acted in concert with changes in orchid biology to speed up orchid diversity in these highlands. I also review some of the long-distance dispersal processes of orchids in the tropical Americas. River systems draining the Colombian Andes discharge into the Caribbean Sea and current-driven log-raft drifts and air suspension during cyclonic storms transport plants and animals from east to the west. Lastly I emphasize the need for the more information on orchid floras and species distribution in this hotspot.
Article
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New species of Lepanthes (Pleurothallidiinae: Orchidaceae) are described from Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Article
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The Orchidaceae is one of the most diverse vascular plant families in the Neotropics and the most diverse in Panama. The number of species is triple that of other well-represented families of angiosperms such as Rubiaceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae. Despite its importance in terms of diversity, the latest checklist was published ten years ago and the latest in-depth taxonomic treatments were published in 1949 and 1993. The accumulation of information over the years and the need to update the nomenclature and to clarify taxonomic concepts made necessary the publication of an up-dated checklist of the Orchidaceae of Panama. This checklist was completed by studying specimens strictly collected in Panama and vouchered in herbaria. Species are presented alphabetically with their synonyms and herbarium vouchers. The data were analyzed to explain the patterns of geographic distribution, most diverse taxa, endemism, exotic species and relationships with other nearby floras. The checklist contains 1365 species (including two natural hybrids and three subspecies) in four subfamilies, 16 tribes, 27 sub tribes and 187 genera. Four exotic species were recorded. A total of 296 (21.7%) species are endemic. Epidendroideae is the most diverse group housing more than 90% of species. The most diverse subtribes are Pleurothallidinae (30 genera, 405 spp.), Laeliinae (16 genera, 292 spp.), Oncidiinae (29 genera, 157 spp.) and Maxillariinae (18 genera, 132 spp.). The most diverse genera are: Epidendrum (206 spp.), Stelis (88 spp.), Lepanthes (66 spp.) and Pleurothallis (54 spp.). Nomenclatural changes are proposed in Maxillariella, Pleurothallis, Specklinia, Stelis and Trichocentrum. Many areas remain unexplored for orchids, and we estimate that much work remains to complete a floristic treatment that reveals more realistic data on the orchid flora that Panama harbors. This checklist is an important initial step toward the development of an illustrated treatment of the Orchidaceae of Panama.