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New field guide describing the lianas of Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama

ForestGEO presents a new field guide, Lianas y Enredaderas de la Isla de Barro Colorado, Panamá (Lianas and Vines of Barro Colorado Island, Panama) published by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). The Spanish-language field guide is written by STRI’s Rolando Pérez, Salomón Aguilar, Nefertaris Daguerre, and Andrés Hernández, and STRI Research Associate Stefan Schnitzer with Marquette University.

The field book is a guide to identifying 124 common species of lianas and vines with descriptions, uses, and mapped distributions in the tropical forest of Barro Colorado Island (BCI) Forest Dynamics PlotBCI is a major focus of intensive research on lowland tropical moist forest and its flora is better known than any comparably sized site in the world. BCI has almost 1,500 vascular plant species, including 276 species of lianas and vines

Lianas and vines are difficult to track and measure across ForestGEO plots, including BCI. Both individuals and species are difficult to identify as they spiral up into the tree canopy. Vine and woody climbing lianas can inhibit the growth of tropical trees due to competition for light and other resources. However, the biology and ecological roles of these climbing plants is scarcely known. Therefore, the field book serves as an invaluable resource for studying the ecological roles of lianas and vines in tropical forests, and includes vibrant, color photographs of leaves, flowers, fruits, and vines, as well as a pictorial glossary of botanical terms.

For more information on the field book, click here for the announcement by STRI.

(from left to right) Leaves, fruits, flowers, ribs, and vines of Abuta racemosa (p.189) and Bignonia aequinoctialis (p. 55). Photos by Rolando Pérez.

Pérez, Rolando, Stefan Schnitzer, Salomón Aguilar, Nefertaris Daguerre, and Andrés Hernández. 2015. Lianas y Enredaderas de la Isla de Barro Colorado, Panamá. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Center for Tropical Forest Science: Panama City, Panama.