La Selva


Biome Description:

Neotropical(“new” tropics) forests are part of the larger rainforest biome and located in Central and South America. The neotropical region of Costa Rica has the greatest biodiversity present anywhere in the world. Scientists think this high diversity is likely due to (1) species movement across a now filled in land bridge between North and South America; (2) the large number of climate zones that exist as areas spanning sea level to mountain tops; and (3) two large ocean systems (Pacific and Atlantic) creating two different climate patterns on the eastern and western sides of the country.

Soundscape Description:

Soundscapes of the neotropics are dominated by hundreds of species of birds, insects, mammals, dozens of tropical tree frog species, by rain of variable intensities, and low frequency thunder.

Research Questions:

How do different forest stand ages affect animal community structure?
How does forest structure affect soundscape composition?
How do tree gaps (which are very common and are created by dead trees) affect soundscape patterns?
How is the soundscape affected by the vertical structure of the forest? Is the soundscape at the top of the rainforest different from that in the understory?
How do daily and seasonal soundscape patterns differ from temperate regions of the American Midwest?
How does the soundscape differ with tree diversity patterns?
Are there distinct acoustic spaces occupied by animals?


Conservation International TEAM Project, La Selva Biological Research Station, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.




Agricultural Expansion
Climate Change
Plane and Road Noises


Determine distribution and species richness of crepuscular and nocturnal animals (insects and amphibians). (climate change, land use and pesticides)






River Scene