Liquid Jungle Lab (LJL) Panama

National Park, a [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1138 UNESCO World Heritage Site] and Panama’s largest marine protected area. The LJL was founded by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Pigozzi Jean Pigozzi] Swiss venture capitalist, photographer and art collector [http://www.caacart.com Contemporary African Art Collection] .

Research

A multi-disciplinary approach to research in Terrestrial and Marine Tropical Ecology are conducted between a consortium of scientists and researchers from the [http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=11521 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution] , the [http://www.stri.org/english/research/facilities/affiliated_stations/bahia_honda/index.php Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute] , and [http://www.rjb.csic.es/infov_eng.php Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid] . These organizations and an international body of visiting scientists and students use the marine lab facilities and experimental farm to conduct primary and applied research in the fields of tropical island ecology, marine biology, physical oceanography, marine biogeochemistry, aquaculture, genetics, molecular biology, herpetology, botany, ornithology, entomology, ecosystem conservation, island biogeography, geology, fisheries management, tropical forest ecology, agro-forestry, veterinary science, and organic agriculture.

Marine Science

Current areas of marine research at the Liquid Jungle include plankton community dynamics [Gallager, Scott M., A.D. York, C. Mingione and S. Lerner. Plankton community structure in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Pacific-Panama, as modulated by upwelling and large internal waves. (in prep)] and marine larval ecology and transport [Starczak, Victoria, P. Perez-Brunius, J. Pineda, J. Gyory, and H. Levine. The role of season, salinity and flushing in determine barnacle distributions in tow adjacent mangrove coastal lagoons. (in prep)] , modeling internal waves and benthic structure, coral community architecture [Camilli, Luis, O. Pizarro, and R. Camilli (2008) Advancing spatial-temporal continuity in coral reef ecosystem pattern detection: The morphology, distribution and chemical environments of coral habitats encompassing Coiba National Park, Panamá. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008, Session number 16] and diversity, synoptic chemical mapping [Camilli R, Oscar Pizarro, Luis Camilli (2007) Rapid swath mapping of reef ecology and associated water column chemistry in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panamá. On the Edge of Tomorrow: MTS/IEEE-OES Oceans Conference. 1-8.] , invasive sessile invertebrate species [Carman, Mary, S. Bullard, S. Molyneaux, R. Ji, A. Goodwin, E. Baker, and S. Sievert. Ascidian faunas of the island chain Isla Canales de Tierra to Coiba, southern Gulf of Chiriqui and south entrance to the Panama Canal, Pacific coast of Panama. (in prep)] , mangrove and estuarine watersheds [Bowen, J.L. and Ivan Valiela (2008) Using δ15N to Assess Coupling between Watersheds and Estuaries in Temperate and Tropical Regions. Journal of Coastal Research Vol 24:3; pp. 804–813.] , and the effects of natural and anthropogenic nutrient input on primary production and fisheries along Pacific coastal zones.

Terrestrial Science

The local fauna includes a long list of avian species such as toucans ("Ramphastos sulfuratus"), owls ("Pulsatrix perspicillata") humming birds ("Hylocharys elicieae", "Phaetornis superciliosus"), manakins ("Chiroxiphia lanceolata") pelicans and a plethora of other marine birds. Many mammals, unique to Central America inhabit the island such as howler monkeys ("Allouatta palliata", and the endemic Coiba species [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howler_monkey "Alouatta coibensis"] ), capuchin monkeys ("Cebus capucinus") coatis ("Nasua narica"), raccoons ("Procyon cancrivorus"), pacas ("Agouti paca"), agoutis or nueques ("Dasyprocta sp"), tayras ("Eira barbara"), bats ("Glossophaga soricina" &"Carollia castanea") sloths ("Bradypus variegatus") margays ("Leopardus wiedii") and white-tailed deer ("Odocoileus virginianus"). Besides the thousands of species of plants and insects endemic to this region of the tropical Americas, many reptile and amphibian species are also found on the island. Even occasionally the rare jungle cat ("Leopardus pardalis") is spotted in the dense jungle surrounding nearby Bahia Honda and Pixvae. In 2004 botanists, herpetologists, entomologists, ornithologists, and biologists convened to create the first comprehensive catalog of tropical plants, reptiles, insect, birds, and mammal diversity of this Pacific Coastal region [Castroviejo S, & Alicia Ibanez (2003) Estudio Sobre la Biodiversidad de la Region de Bahia Honda (Veraguas, Panama) Inventario de Biodiversidad. Real Jardin Botanico (CSIC) (133)] .

Regional Geography and Geology

Geography of PanamaThe Gulf of Chiriquí contains several prominent, offshore island complexes including Isla Coiba (493 km2), Isla Cebaco (80 km2) Islas Ladrones, Islas Secas, and Islas Contreras. Other islands like Jicarón, Leones, Gobernadora, Verde, Canales de Afuera, Ranchería, Papagayo, Canales de Tierra, and Jicarita are part of a group of more than forty smaller island clusters scattered near the coast. Coastal areas in the gulf are a mélange of mid to late Tertiary volcanics, and much newer Quaternary period alluvial sedimentary series. Smaller island clusters are predominantly basalt outcrops once associated with the mainland before sea level rise. Coiba Island, the largest in the region, shares geomorphologies similar to the mainland Azuero peninsula [ Biology and geology of eastern Pacific Coral reefs. Coral Reefs 16: S39-S46] .

Climate and Oceanographic conditions of Pacific Panama.

The climate of Panamá is largely affected by the position of a low atmospheric pressure zone known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which also affects seasonal evolution of geostrophic currents in the Panamá Bight. During the rainy season (December through May), the ITCZ is located to the North of Panamá and produces light and variable winds and ocean circulation in the Panamá Bight is anticyclonic (west) which creates a southerly flowing coastal current. As a result of these punctuated seasonal movements of the ITCZ, Panamá experiences high seasonal rainfall often reaching more than 3000 mm/yr. Starting in October and continuing into the dry season (January to March) the ITCZ moves South of Panamá, [Rodriguez-Rubio E, Jose Stuardo (2002) Variability of photosynthetic pigments in the Colombian Pacific Ocean and its relationship with the wind field using ADEOS-I data. Proc. Indian Acad. Sci (Earth Planet. Sci.) 11: 227-236] producing a dominant period of northeasterly tradewinds known as the Panamá Jet , which results in a reversal of water circulation and becomes a cyclonic gyre with a coastal current flowing to the north. Upwelling develops in the Gulf of Panama during the dry season when northeast tradewinds from the Caribbean blow over to the Pacific through a physiographic gap in the central mountain range which divides the Isthmus. This wind stress creates seasonal Ekman spiral pumping and displaces nutrient-poor coastal surface water with cool, nutrient rich, water masses [Rodriguez-Rubio E, Wolfgang Schneider (2003) On the seasonal circulation within the Panama Bight derived from satellite observations of wind, altimetry and sea surface temperature. Geophysical Research Letters 30: 63-67] .

easonal effects on Marine Life

production leading to blooms of centric, colonial, and penate diatoms and dinoflagellates. Zooplankton populations often respond to this by subsequently increasing growth and reproduction rates. Scientists are now able to quantify the abundance and diversity of these microscopic organisms "in-situ" with sensors such as the Video Plankton Recorder (a specialized underwater microscope and imaging system) [Davis, CS, Hu, Q, SM Gallager, x Tang, C Ashjian. 2004 Real-time observation of taxa-specific plankton abundance: An optical sampling method. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Series 284:77-96.] .

Panama Liquid Jungle Underwater Tropical Observatory [http://4dgeo.whoi.edu/panama/ PLUTO]

In order to understand oceanic and atmospheric coupling, and the potential effects of these phenomena on ocean life, scientists must collect time series data which measure weather patterns, ocean circulation and sea water chemistry. PLUTO is a fiber-optic cabled observatory deployed in January 2006 in approximately 18 m of water 1.5 km to the south west of Isla de Canales de Tierra. The observatory consists of sensors for salinity, temperature, pressure, water current speed and direction, chlorophyll, turbidity, oxygen, down-welling light at two depths, an array of temperature sensors. A remotely controlled, high definition pan and tilt underwater camera displays rapid image updates of the benthic habitat surrounding the PLUTO sensors. The data are distributed via satellite back to WHOI and made available on the web (http://4dgeo.whoi.edu/panama/).

Coral Reefs of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP)

, tropical weather patterns and the convergence of powerful sea currents [Glynn PW, J.S. Ault (2000) A biogeographic analysis and review of the far eastern Pacific coral reef region. Coral Reefs 19: 1-23] . In the Republic of Panamá, there is estimated 290 km2 of reefs along both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, however much higher diversity (about 68 hard coral species) occurs in the Caribbean, compared to 33 known species from 11 genera living along the Pacific coast [Cortes J, Guzman, Hector (1998) Organsimos de los arrecifes coralinos de Costa Rica: descripcion, distribucion geografica e historia natural de los corales zooxantelados (Anthozoa: Sleractinia) del Pacifico. Revista de Biologia Tropical 46] . The areas of Bahia Honda, Pixvae, and Puerto Mutis are important for the health of the local reefs, because mangroves not only filter the nutrients emptying onto reefs, but are important nurseries for juvenile fish [Thorrold, Simon R., G.P. Jones, S. Planes, and J. A. Hare. (2006) Transgenerational marking of embryonic otoliths in marine fishes using barium stable isotopes. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 63: 1193-1197.] , fish larvae [Starczak, Victoria, P. Perez-Brunius, J. Pineda, J. Gyory, and H. Levine. The role of season, salinity and flushing in determine barnacle distributions in tow adjacent mangrove coastal lagoons. (in prep)] crustaceans (i.e. shrimp), and other invertebrates that serve as critical food sources and spawning grounds for the offshore marine systems (i.e. Coiba and Cebaco islands). Scientists from around the world use the Liquid Jungle Lab facilities to study these reef systems in greater detail in order to establish ecologic baselines and understand natural and human impacts to the fish and marine life that rely on these habitats.

Reef Building Corals (Scleractinia) of the Gulf of Chiriqui including Bahia Honda to Coiba Island marine zones [Camilli, Luis, O. Pizarro, and R. Camilli (2008) Advancing spatial-temporal continuity in coral reef ecosystem pattern detection: The morphology, distribution and chemical environments of coral habitats encompassing Coiba National Park, Panamá. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008, Session number 16"' ]

Family Agariciidae: "Pavona clavus, Gardineroseris planulata, Pavona gigantea, Pavona varians, Pavona Chiriquíensis, Pavona frondifera, Pavona maldivensis" Pocilloporidae: "Pocillopora elegans, Pocillopora damicornis, Pocillorpora capitata, Pocillorpora eydouxi"; Poritidae: "Porites lobata"; Siderastreidae: "Psammacora stellata". Fungiidae: "Cyclocerus curvata" Milleporadea: "Millipora intricata" Dendrophyllidae: "Tubastraea coccinea"

References

Further reading

Bibliography of scientific research conducted at the Liquid Jungle Lab, Panama

Almany, G. R., M.L. Berumen, S.R. Thorrold, S. Planes, and G.P. Jones. Larval dispersal, marine reserves and the replenishment of fish populations. (Accepted pending suitable revision) Science

Bowen, J.L. and Ivan Valiela (2008) Using δ15N to Assess Coupling between Watersheds and Estuaries in Temperate and Tropical Regions. Journal of Coastal Research Vol 24:3; pp. 804–813.

Camilli, Luis, O. Pizarro, and R. Camilli (2008) Advancing spatial-temporal continuity in coral reef ecosystem pattern detection: The morphology, distribution and chemical environments of coral habitats encompassing Coiba National Park, Panamá. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008, Session number 16

Camilli Richard, O. Pizarro, and L. Camilli (2007) Rapid Swath Mapping of Reef Ecology and Associated Water Column Chemistry in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panamá On the Edge of Tomorrow: MTS/IEEE-OES Oceans Conference.

Carman Mary R., S.J. Molyneaux, R. Ji, and S.M. Sievert (2007) Ascidians of the southern Gulf of Chiriqui, Pacific-Panama: A native fauna at risk to bioinvasion. Fifth International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions.

Carman, Mary, S. Bullard, S. Molyneaux, R. Ji, A. Goodwin, E. Baker, and S. Sievert. Ascidian faunas of the island chain Isla Canales de Tierra to Coiba, southern Gulf of Chiriqui and south entrance to the Panama Canal, Pacific coast of Panama. (in prep)

Castroviejo S., and A. Ibanez (2003) Estudio Sobre la Biodiversidad de la Region de Bahia Honda (Veraguas, Panama) Inventario de Biodiversidad. Real Jardin Botanico(CSIC) (133).

Gallager, Scott M., S. Lerner, E. Miller, A.D. York, and A. Girard. Design, installation, and the first two years of operation of an underwater observatory on the western Panamanian shelf. (submitted)

Gallager, Scott M., A.D. York, C. Mingione and S. Lerner. Plankton community structure in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Pacific-Panama, as modulated by upwelling and large internal waves. (in prep)

Thorrold, Simon R., G.P. Jones, S. Planes, and J. A. Hare. (2006) Transgenerational marking of embryonic otoliths in marine fishes using barium stable isotopes. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 63: 1193-1197.

Starczak, Victoria, P. Perez-Brunius, J. Pineda, J. Gyory, and H. Levine. The role of season, salinity and flushing in determine barnacle distributions in tow adjacent mangrove coastal lagoons. (in prep)

External links

* [http://www.liquidjunglelab.com/ Liquid Jungle Laboratory] official website


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coastal-Marine Automated Network — The Coastal Marine Automated Network (C MAN) is a meteorological observation network along the coastal United States. Consisting of about sixty stations installed on lighthouses, at capes and beaches, on near shore islands, and on offshore… …   Wikipedia

  • Jean Pigozzi — (born 1952) is a businessman, art collector, philanthropist and photographer. He was born in Paris as the son of Henri Pigozzi, founder of the French car maker Simca. Pigozzi studied in Paris and at Harvard University before working for the… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.