Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cloud Forest

The last few posts I have made were about information I gleaned on a guided tour of the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve near San Ramon, Costa Rica. The first thing our guide asked us was if we knew what a cloud forest was. I had done some research ahead of time and knew that it was high up in the mountains (Costa Rica is a very mountainous country) where the clouds hung around almost all day long, resulting in a very humid atmosphere. To this he added that the reason the clouds are there is because the moisture-laden winds from the Caribbean are forced up the mountains, where they cool and form clouds.

Besides the cloud forest that we toured, there is the famous Monteverde Reserve nearby and another a few hours south of San Jose called the Cloudbridge Reserve. From this extremely interesting page of their website comes this information that helps make it clear how things in the environment are so interconnected:
"...cloud production is directly affected by downslope deforestation. Winds that blow across pastures and farmland are warmer and drier than winds that blow across forests. When warmer and drier winds rise along the slopes of the mountains on their way to the alpine forests, they must rise higher before clouds are formed. The Chirripo preserve is along the top of the continental divide: if clouds are formed higher they will be formed above, not within the forest. This will rob plants of the mists so critical to their survival."
So without the forest the animals, birds and insects that live there will be without their home.This picture if from the website of the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel, which is at the Los Angeles Cloud Reserve.

2 Comments:

Blogger costa rica said...

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