Casita_de_Piedra_Rockshelter Composite copy: Stones found in precolombian shaman's cache, Boquete, Panama, Composite photo by Ruth Dickau.
Casita de Piedra rockshelter: Casita de Piedra rockshelter. Photo by Eduardo Bejerano
Why Spiders Do Not Stick to Their Own Sticky Web Sites
Abejas_de_DavidDavid Roubik, STRI staff scientist, attracts bees by applying scents to paper cards. As bees come to collect the scents, Dave nets them so that he can see the characteristics that distinguish one species from another. Melipona insularis, the new bee species from Coiba Island in Panama, has fuzzy yellow hairs on its abdomen.
DWR_Punta_Gorda David Roubik, STRI staff scientist, making the crossing from mainland Panama to Panama's Coiba Island.
David Roubik, STRI staff scientist, sorts bee collection on Rancheria Island
David_Roubik_2 David Roubik, STRI staff scientist, nets Melipona insularis, the new bee species from Panama's Coiba Island, in its forest habitat
Roubik, D.W., Camargo, J.M.F. 2011. The Panama microplate, island studies and relictual species of Melipona (Melikerria) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). Systematic Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2011.00587.x - [ Download PDF ]
Jefferson S. Hall, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, directs the Agua Salud Project, a 700 hectare experiment in the Panama Canal Watershed aimed at measuring how land use practices affect water flow, carbon storage and biodiversity. Credit: Marcos Guerra, STRI
Diogenes Ibarra measures the growth of native tree saplings to see how they perform in different environmental settings. Credit: STRI Archives.
First Rainforests Arose When Plants Solved Plumbing Problem.
Lianas, or woody vines, are overgrowing the tropical forests of the Americas. Stefan Schnitzer studies lianas at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's research station on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Credit: Marcos Guerra, STRI.
1297434911 Heart-shaped seed of a liana, Entada spp.
US00002212.jpg Herbarium specimen
Identify plants using your handheld computer or phone! Plant collectors dry plants and mount them on paper sheets that are stored in plant collections called herbaria. This plant specimen was collected in Panama nearly 100 years ago by Henri Pittier. The Global Plants Initiative puts high resolution scans of the specimens used by botanists to name plants on the internet. Representatives from 36 countries are meeting at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute from Jan. 11-13.
STRIHerbarium.jpg Herbarium cabinet
The goal of the Global Plants Initiative, meeting at the Smithsonian in Panama from Jan 11-13, is to make plant specimens, currently stored in herbarium cabinets like this one in Panama, available around the world on the Internet. The GPI online data base currently holds more than 1.5 million images.
DSC0006.jpg Latin American Plants Initiative group photo
The Latin American Plants Initiative, representing GPI partners from Central and South America, met in late 2009 in Medellin, Colombia. The Global Plants Initiative currently partners with 175 museums, universities and herbaria from 60 countries and is actively working to further extend participation.
Tropical Forest Diversity Increased during Ancient Global Warming Event.
Large Caterpillar (Credit: Milan Janda) A youngster holds a Hercules moth caterpillar-one of 500 species of caterpillars, ambrosia beetles and fruit flies studied by Smithsonian scientists in Papua New Guinea.
Better models of tropical forest dynamics are urgently needed to improve global change predictions.
In hopes of modeling growth, mortality and size distributions of tropical trees, Helene Muller-Landau, University of Minnesota and colleagues from the Smithsonian's Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) tested predictions based on the theory of metabolic ecology with data collected from tropical forests worldwide. The results- no good fit and improved alternative models-- are published in two articles in Blackwell's Ecology Letters.