Carbono Project

The CARBONO Project: Long-term landscape-scale monitoring of tropical rain forest productivity and dynamics

David B. Clark and Deborah A. Clark
(August 2012)

The CARBONO Project (“carbono” means carbon in Spanish) was launched in 1996 by Deborah A. Clark, David B. Clark, and Steven F. Oberbauer at the La Selva Reseach Station. From its inception, the project has focused on how tropical rainforest productivity and dynamics are affected by interannual climatic variation and long-term climatic and atmospheric changes. The project was explicitly conceived to serve as a cross-disciplinary research magnet, such that collaborators in many disciplines could build on the core long-term field data-series and the unique landscape-scale plot network. The success of this idea can be seen in the diversity of topics covered in the 100+ publications from this project to date.


Two key and novel ideas motivated the project’s design. First was a focus on landscape-scale phenomena. Our interest was the performance of old-growth tropical rainforest across the within-landscape gradients of topography and soil nutrients. Such a perspective cannot be addressed with a single forest inventory plot, the typical research design at tropical forest field sites. A second innovation was our focus on forest performance at annual and sub-annual timescales. Climate is seasonal everywhere, including in the wet tropics. The CARBONO project was designed to make it possible to assess the effects of annual and sub-annual climatic variation on forest productivity and dynamics over the long term.

Clark, Clark, Oberbauer, and other collaborators developed the first grants for the CARBONO Project. Initial support came from NSF, DOE, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Conservation International’s TEAM Initiative. Subsequent funding has been provided from other programs within NSF and NASA. Today (2012) the core measurements are being supported by a 5-yr grant from NSF’s LTREB program to David B. Clark and Deborah A. Clark with additional funding from NASA to D.B. Clark. Steven Oberbauer leads a parallel NSF-funded research program at La Selva, monitoring forest atmosphere exchanges of CO2, water and energy using eddy flux methods.



The CARBONO project is based on field measurements carried out across the project’s network of 18 half-hectare plots. The half-hectare plot size was selected based on both the spatial scale of significance within landscape variation in the forest basal area and the grain size of the different habitats of interest, particularly steep slopes. Three edaphic categories were identified as capturing the important axes of upland (non-swamp) landscape structure: (1) moderately fertile flat sites on old alluvium (the youngest oxisols at La Selva), (2) relatively infertile flat sites on ridge tops, and (3) relatively infertile steep slopes. Plot locations were selected using the La Selva geographic information system (GIS) to produce a stratified random design to sample the three edaphic categories. We used random numbers to select plot coordinates within the GIS coverages of soil types and slope. Potential plot locations that crossed streams, main trails, or protected areas were omitted. Plot selection was therefore stratified random within edaphic categories. An important feature of the plot-network design was that the researchers had no knowledge of forest structure at a selected plot location. As a result, the network provides a representative, objective assay of the entire landscape. Plots were surveyed with a tripod-mounted surveying compass and were based on slope-corrected distances (subsequently verified by GPS-location of the plot corners). In each plot, permanent monuments were installed at 10-m spacing.

The soils of the CARBONO plots were sampled and characterized chemically in 1998 (total C, N, P, cations, Fe, Mn, Al, pH) by E. Veldkamp, J. Mackensen, and D. B. Clark (data published in Appendix L, Espeleta & Clark. 2007. Ecological Monographs). Bulked samples from six cores per depth (0–10 cm, 10–30 cm, 30–50 cm, 50–100 cm), regularly spaced across each plot, were taken in each Old Alluvial terrace and Residual Soil plateau plot; bulked samples from six cores per depth, regularly spaced across upper, middle and lower slope positions, were taken from each Residual Soil slope plot. We calculated soil element stocks for each depth by multiplying element concentrations by soil bulk density. Bulk density was determined (Veldkamp et al. 2003) for the two soil types as mean values from each depth in pits adjacent to three plots on each soil (Old Alluvial terrace and Residual Soil plateau; for the Residual Soil slope plots we used Residual Soil plateau bulk density values). The plot network spans an approximately two- to threefold range in total soil stocks of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and calcium (Ca)..


Project Staff

  • Deborah A. Clark, Principal Investigator
    Contact information:
    Mailing Address: 1384 Lindenwood Grove, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 USA
    Telephone: (719) 310-4168
    E-mail: deborahanneclark @
    Web page:
    Profile: Deborah Clark is one of the original PIs of the CARBONO Project and has been studying the ecology of Costa Rican forests since 1980. Her current research in CARBONO focuses on forest biogeochemistry and productivity and how they are affected both by within-landscape edaphic heterogeneity and by interannual and long-term climatic/atmospheric change. She directs the CARBONO subprojects related to litterfall and inputs of coarse woody debris, participates in project database management, and annually updates the daily meteorological records based on qa/qc of the records from La Selva’s weather station. In 2010 she moved from La Selva to Colorado and now manages CARBONO Project activities through daily skype conferences and with regular visits to Costa Rica. When not doing tropical biology, she can be found hiking the backcountry of the Colorado Front Range with CO-PI David Clark.
    CV: Deborah A. Clark´s CV
    Photo: Deborah A. Clark´s Photo
  • David B. Clark, Principal Investigator
    Contact information:
    Mailing Address: 1384 Lindenwood Grove, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 USA
    Telephone: (719) 310-4180
    E-mail: dbclark50 @
    Web page:
    Profile: David Clark is one of the original PIs of the CARBONO Project and has been working in Costa Rican forests since 1980. His areas of research in CARBONO include tree demography, forest productivity and dynamics, the effects of global climate change on tropical forests, and the use of remotely-sensed data to scale results from plots to larger landscapes. In 2010 he moved from La Selva to Colorado, where he continues his research in CARBONO using daily video-calls to project staff combined with regular visits to Costa Rica. When not doing tropical biology, he can be found playing Celtic music on mandolin and fiddle or hiking the backcountry of the Colorado Mountains with his wife and CO-PI Deborah Clark.
    CV:  David B. Clark´s CV
     David B. Clark´s Photo
  • James R. Kellner, Prinicipal Investigator
    CV: James R. Kellner’s CV
    Photo: James R. Kellner’s Photo
  • Leonel Campos, Head Technician
    Photo: Leonel Campos Photo 1 | Leonel Campos Photo 2
  • William Miranda, Senior Technician
    William Miranda Photo 1 | William Miranda Photo 2
  • Mauricio (“Pini”) Cascante, Senior Technician
    Photo: Mauricio Cascante Photo 1 | Mauricio Cascante Photo 2


Core annual-subannual measurements

From project inception in September 1997, the following core long-term field measurements have been continuously maintained in all 18 0.5-ha plots of the CARBONO Project plot network (the current funding extends through the 2013 census):

    • Annual aboveground biomass (stocks, increment) and annual stem dynamics (recruitment, mortality), at the stand level and by tree-species & tree functional groupFrom 1997 onward, all live stems >10 cm diameter have been mapped and identified (all trees and palms to species, lianas treated as a group), as well as all stems 1-<10 cm diameter in a standard 10×10 m subplot per plot (since 2005). In the annual censuses (Sept.-Oct.) all stems are evaluated for survival, new stems recruiting to the minimum size are mapped and identified, and for all live stems the diameter is measured (nearest mm) at a permanently-marked point above buttresses or other irregularities.
    • Fine litterfallFine litterfall (leaf, wood < 1 cm diameter, reproductive material) has been collected biweekly in all plots since project inception. The litterfall is collected from nine pairs (1 standing basket + 1 ground trap for large [>50 cm]) leaves) of 0.25 m2 traps, sited in a standardized grid array across each plot. The litterfall is sorted by category and dried at 65oC to constant mass. The leaf-litter is then ground and incorporated into the longterm leaf-litter archive (maintained to enable subsequent chemical and isotope analysis).
    • Coarse woody debris (CWD) (> 10-cm diameter: initial stocks, annual inputs) and 1-10 cm diameter wood-fall (monthly inputs)In annual censuses of all 18 CARBONO plots, all new pieces of fallen CWD > 30 cm in diameter are mapped, measured, and assessed for decomposition condition (Clark et al. 2002). In the annual CWD census, all new pieces of CWD 10-<30 cm dia. are also mapped, measured and assessed for condition in a standard 10×50 m subplot. The source of all CWD is noted (branch-fall or tree-fall, tree ID). The height and diameter of all standing-dead stems (> 10 cm dia.) are also measured. Intermediate-sized (1-<10 cm dia.) woody litterfall is collected monthly from the fine-litterfall ground-traps (see above) and dried at 65oC to constant mass.
    • Soil moistureBeginning in April 1998, volumetric soil moisture has been assessed during all biweekly fine-litterfall collections with a permanent vertical FDR sensor measuring over the 0-30 cm depth layer of soil in the center of each of the 18 CARBONO plots.
    • Canopy dynamics Annually, canopy heights in each plot are mapped based on measurements at the 231 points of a 5 x 5 m grid across the plot. Heights to 15 m are measured with a telescoping measuring pole, with verticality checked with a clinometer; sites higher than 15 m are classed as “high canopy.”


Results to Date

The high and sustained productivity of the project, approximately 100 publications to date, is evident in the list of publications. The project has amply fulfilled our original goal to serve as a research magnet for collaboration researchers. Over 100 researchers have co-authored papers related to data developed from the CARBONO Project.

The biggest scientific findings to date have centered on the tight coupling of forest performance to climate. Hotter nights and drier dry seasons both decrease wood production. The temperature and drought effects are statistically independent, a fact that only became detectable as the length of the data series increased. Because climate will surely warm and may well become drier in tropical rain forest areas, these are troubling results with global implications. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have been hypothesized to be stimulating increased productivity in tropical rain forests. Our data-series, by far the longest to date from this biome, show that any stimulatory effects attributable to “CO2 fertilization” are trivial compared to the negative impacts already occurring from higher temperatures and from water-limitation.

Research findings from the first 12 years of the CARBONO Project have spanned five broad thematic areas:

    • Forest structure (aboveground biomass and dynamics, CWD, LAI, plot floristics)
    • Aboveground NPP(aboveground wood production/tree growth, litterfall)
    • Stand-level physiology, leaf and bole respiration, VOCs
    • Soil chemistry (soil nutrients & relation to litter invert.s, soil N processes), soil moisture, dry/wet deposition, throughfall
    • Belowground C processes: C allocation, soil respiration, DOC, SOC stocks and dynamics, fine-root stocks and variation through time, mycorrhizae, microbes
    • Remote sensing of forest structure and process (biomass, tree growth/mortality, gap dynamics)

D.A. Clark and D.B. Clark are forest ecologists. The research to date in other areas has proceeded in large measure by our seeking out scientists with additional expertise and offering to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects of mutual interest.


Current Status

From 1980 – 2010 D.A. Clark and D.B. Clark lived on-site and managed the project through daily interactions with the three long-term Costa Rican field technicians participating in the project. In 2010 the Clarks moved to the United States. Since then the daily meetings with technicians have been conducted with Skype video calls. At the end of each field day the technicians scan the day’s field sheets and email them to the Clarks, who review them before the next day’s meeting at the start of the work day. In addition the Clarks make periodic trips to La Selva to continue technician training, update equipment inventories, and address any issues that can’t easily be worked on in video calls. The combination of daily contact supplemented by physical visits is working smoothly.

In 2014 Dr. James R. Kellner (Brown University) joined the Clarks as a Co-Principal Investigator on the current round of National Science Foundation Funding (NSF LTREB 1357177, 2014-2018). In 2016 the two half-time and one full-time forest technician positions were consolidated into two full-time positions. These two Costa Rican paraforesters (Leonel Campos and William Miranda) have been with the project since its inception, working in all phases of the research in both the field and laboratory.

With the annual census of 2017 we will complete the 21st consecutive annual census of the CARBONO plots. The CARBONO Project remains unique for the tropical-forest biome. At no other tropical-forest field site has forest performance been monitored over the long term at the landscape scale and at annual to sub-annual timesteps. The plots have served as a potent magnet to attract collaborating researchers, particularly those in remote sensing ecology. The field site’s location in the Republic of Costa Rica, which continues its traditional welcoming policy to foreign researchers, has been another key advantage of the project.


Photographs and Maps

Plot MapMap of the locations of the 18 0.5 ha CARBONO Project permanent forest inventory plots at the La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. Plots were sited using a stratified random design based on soil type and slope.

Data Use Policy

The Principal Investigators of the CARBONO Project (David B. Clark, Deborah A. Clark, James R. Kellner) are strongly committed to the principles and practice of free and open data access.

Data from the CARBONO project are posted on this website for free and unconditional use. There is no sign-in requirement to access the data, there are no conditions on data use for any non-commercial purpose including analysis and publication, and no records are kept of the identity of those downloading the data (we do track the number of data downloads).

The Principal Investigators are interested in knowing who is using the data and for what purposes. We would appreciate hearing from users of the data (to dbclark50 @ on a variety of issues, including any errors or ambiguities in data or metadata, actual and potential uses for the data, and suggestions for improvements. We welcome offers to collaborate on publications arising from use of these data. In the case of publications that make substantive use of the data, we would appreciate acknowledgement of the institution supporting this research; for example, “Data from the CARBONO Project were developed with support from the United States National Science Foundation, most recently through NSF/LTREB 0841872 to D.B. Clark and D.A. Clark.” We emphasize that none of these requests should be construed as interfering with absolutely free and unconditional access to the data; these are requests, not conditions. The data can be downloaded completely freely with no reporting requirements or usage restrictions. It is our hope and a goal of this project that our open data use policy will foster the use of CARBONO data in a diverse suite of research efforts on tropical rain forest ecology.


Plot design and survey documentation


  • Task Code: 1001
  • Investigator: David B. Clark
  • Date (dd/mm/yy): Sept. ‘96 – Jan. ‘97
  • Contact: David B. Clark
  • Other researchers involved: Deborah A. Clark, and Leo Campos and William Miranda as surveyors.
  • Key words: plot location, sample design, replication, soil type
  • Response variables: Not applicable
  • Soil Type: Inceptisols and Ultisols (all 18 0.5 ha CARBONO Plots)
  • Study location: La Selva Biological Station, 10o26’N, 84o00’W, Costa Rica; all plots as mapped in the La Selva GIS. All are within Old La Selva, the unit bounded to the west by the Sarapiquí Annex and to the south by Braulio Carrillo National Park.
  • Objectives: To design a series of forest inventory plots to study old growth forest at La Selva. We wanted to have an unbiased sample of three major geomorphic units within the old-growth area of Old La Selva: old alluvial terraces (then classified as inceptisols), flat ridgetops on poorer soils (then classified as ultisols), and steeply sloping sites on the same poor soils. We focused on Old La Selva because of the possibility of establishing long-term plots in areas with no known recent human disturbance history.
  • Experimental design/methods: A base map for plot siting was prepared using a 5 m contour map of Old La Selva generated by the La Selva GIS system, overlaid with the streams and trails data layers, as well as the soils data layer for old-growth Old La Selva that is described in Clark, Clark and Read (1998 J. Ecol. 86:101-112.). The total old alluvial areas were outlined on the topo map. They fell into 4 blocks: CES/CEN, Sura Trail, beginning of CCL over to SHO, and back of CCL/beginning of CC. We apportioned the 6 plots among the 4 units to get the closet possible match of plot area/unit area. This was achieved by two plots in the first two units and one plot in each of the other two. A similar procedure was followed on the residual soils for the Matabuey and Jaguar series. Each of these soil series was divided into equal area blocks, as far as possible. The west Matabuey block was about twice the size of the east block, and we split it in the middle (grid E-W) on the topo map. The Jaguar unit was essentially contiguous, so we just split it (grid E-W) into 3 roughly equal area blocks. We apportioned 3 ridgetop and 3 slope plots to both the Matabuey and the Jaguar series.Within each of these areas, we used the following procedure for establishing a particular plot location. Within the unit, we looked for the first possible 50 x 100 m rectangular area which fit the topographic criteria, staying as close to the trails and to the station as possible. The operational criteria were: flat=no more than one 5 m contour line crossing the area, steep=>3 5 m contour lines crossing the plot. We used a model plot (to scale) as our criteria to evaluate these sites, working back from the closer to the farther areas as necessary. In the case of the 2 slope plots we aligned the long axis of the plot parallel to the contour lines of the slope. In all cases the first site that met the topographic criteria was accepted. The model was taped on the map, and its exact coordinates and bearing in the La Selva grid system were determined with a ruler and a compass from the map.With these coordinates in hand, we then went to the nearest La Selva grid point and surveyed in with a hand tape and compass to one of the plot corners. If the plot actually fit in that site, that became the site. Frequently however we had to move the plot 5-20 m to make it fit exactly on the topography (for example, to have the slope plots run from exactly from top of slope to base of slope, or to run exactly parallel to the contour lines). In these cases particular attention was paid to locating the plot only according to topography. We explicitly did not take forest structure into consideration. Some plots would not fit on the selected sites, because the GIS map topography differed from the real topography. A few sites were thus rejected on topographic grounds, and new sites were chosen following the procedures outlined above.In summary, the exact locations of these plots were determined by soil type and topography. Among equal sites, we chose ones closest to trails and the station. The design was purposefully blocked to achieve approximately equal sample intensity over the entire geomorphological unit. And very importantly, forest structure was explicitly NOT INCLUDED as a site defining variable. That is, the plots are located with no knowledge of or consideration of what the forest looked liked. We therefore believe these are unbiased samples of the forests growing in these different soil and topographic conditions.At each site we used a topographer’s transit to survey in the plots on a 10 x 10 grid. Most of the surveying was done by Leo Campos and William Miranda, after training by David Clark. All distances were slope corrected, and numerous lines were cross-surveyed to assess accuracy. Slope-corrected accuracies were < +50 cm/10 m. The original survey data are in a yellow field book, “Carbono #25”. Grid intersections are marked with 0.5 inch re-bar stakes (2 m tall), with a race-track shaped aluminum tag with the grid coordinates (first number = long axis grid line, 0 to 50, second equals short axis, 0 – 100).
  • Data files: The original topo map with soil classifications for the grid points, from which the Clark, Clark and Read (1998) soils map was digitized is stored in one of the bottom plastic tubes of the map case in the GIS room. This also is the original map from which the plot locations were planned.
  • Variables in data files: One copy of the base soils data file is c:\projects\vegmap\postedat.xls on DBC’s computer. This file was imported onto the GIS and is in several different data layers (compare to Figure 1 in Clark, Clark & Read). Documentation for development of the soils data layer can be found in Result #27 of the Clark, Clark and Read Results File (Pendi Results), or on DAC’s computer, c:\worddocs\soildefs.doc.
  • Download as PDF formatPDF document
  • Plot establishment

Metadata: Slope determination protocols for Carbono plots:

  • Task Code: 1005
  • Investigator: David B. Clark
  • Date (dd/mm/yy):28/02/97 – 28/04/97
  • Contact: David B. Clark
  • Other researchers involved: Technicians Danilo Villegas and Patricia Campos.
  • Key words: topography, surveying, slope.
  • Response variables: Angle of slope between all grid points in the 18 0.5 ha CARBONO plots.
  • Soil Type: Ultisols and inceptisols (all CARBONO plots)
  • Study location: La Selva Biological Station, 10o26’N, 84o00’W, Costa Rica; all plots as mapped in the La Selva GIS. All are within Old La Selva, the unit bounded to the west by the Sarapiquí Annex and to the south by Braulio Carrillo National Park.
  • Objectives: To determine the angle of slope between all grid points, in order to make a topographic map of each plot.
  • Experimental design/methods: A Suunto clinometer was used to site between two 1.5 m tall staffs, one at each of two different grid points. The angle, positive or negative, was recorded. Maps in the field book indicate the direction of measurement.
  • Data files: The original data are in a yellow field book in the CARBONO office, CARBONO #3.
  • Variables in data files: Slope measurements.csv, in comma-separated text.
  • Download Slope MeasurementsExcel document


Soil nutrients


Annual plot inventory

Field data sheets




Biweekly litterfall




Annual coarse woody debris input


Biweekly Soil moisture


Annual canopy dynamics

Metadata: Protocolo para el censo 2012 de claros en las parcelas de CARBONO

(21 de mayo de 2012)

La meta de este censo es de mapear, en cada parcela, los sitios donde el dosel (la vegetación mas alta) tiene <=15 m de altura, y de documentar la altura de la vegetación menos alta de 15 m en cada uno de estos sitios (los cuales definimos como “claros”). Para esto, el procedimiento será de usar el tubón y el clinómetro para medir, sobre una cuadrícula de todos los puntos de 5 x 5 m, la vegetación mas alta (hasta 15 m) sobre cada punto.

Empezando con la esquina 0:0, se usan los binoculares y el clinómetro para identificar la vegetación (hoja o rama, de árbol, bejuco, o epífita) mas alta directamente sobre el tubo 0:0. Si parece que hay un hueco al cielo en la copa mas alta, directamente por encima del punto, se decide si el hueco tiene por lo menos 2 m x 2m de área – si sí, se busca el próximo nivel de vegetación (él que está directamente abajo) para medir. Si no (si el hueco parece mas pequeño que 2x2m), se evalúa la altura de esa copa mas alta. Si sobrepasa 1500 cm, se apunta como “1500”; si es exactamente de 1500 cm, se escribe “1499”. Si parece menos de 1500 cm (15m), una persona alza el tubón justo contra el tubo (o la estaca, en el caso de puntos sin tubo), y la otra persona dice cuando llegó al nivel de la vegetación mas alta, y se anota la altura en cm (p. ej., 10.43 m se anota como 1043 cm). Se en el punto no hay ninguna vegetación que llega mas alto que 150 cm, se apunta 150 cm.

OJO: Para cada claro (altura <=500 cm) se notará el factor que causó el claro en el campo para COMENTARIOS. Generalmente esto va a ser por caída de un tronco o de una rama. Se debe apuntar o el número del individual muerto o el número del árbol de donde cayó la rama. Si la causa es la caída de una rama noten el diámetro máximo de la rama.

Entre el tubo y el tubo vecino (0:10) se extiende en forma tensa y horizontal la cinta métrica. Se lee la distancia horizontal, y se va al punto exactamente en medio de los dos tubos (la distancia dividida por dos), y se coloca una estaca (provisional) verticalmente en este punto. NOTA: Si es imposible colocar la estaca exactamente donde debería estar, o por un árbol vivo, o por una tuca caída, se corre la estaca lo mínimo posible del sitio deseado, y se miden y se anotan la distancia del tubo y la orientación del tubo del punto donde realmente se ubicó la estaca. Una vez instalada la estaca, se mide la altura de la vegetación más alta sobre la estaca, y se apunta la altura.

Se vuelve al tubo 0:0, y se repite el proceso, para colocar una estaca a 5:0, o sea a la mitad entre los tubo 0:0 y 10:0. Y finalmente, se ubica una estaca a la mitad del diagonal entre tubo 0:0 y 10:10. Se miden las alturas sobre estas 2 estacas, y se remuevan.

Después se procede al tubo 0:10, y se mide la vegetación sobre el tubo, y así sucesivamente, completando bloques de 4 puntos (1 tubo + 3 estacas de enmedio), hasta llegar al tubo 0:100, donde se mide la vegetación sobre ese tubo, y sobre una estaca que se coloca a 5:100. De allí empiezan a volver por la línea 10:xx, haciéndo bloques de 4 tubos, etc.

Se marcan los puntos hechos, en el mapa de la parcela. Al hacer una “subparcela” de 4 tubos, se hace el punto “central” usando la cinta para hacer al diagonal, y poniendo una estaca exactamente en la mitad del diagonal. Y así sucesivamente, se miden las alturas de vegetación a cada 5 m por toda la parcela, incluyendo todas las filas de tubos en la parcela.

Como con todas las otras actividades en las parcelas, se toma mucho cuidado para no estorbar ni la vegetación ni el suelo. Se hacen las 18 parcelas en grupos de 3 (1A, 1L, 1P), para asegurar que siempre tengamos muestras iguales de las 3 clases de parcelas.

Se medirán las parcelas en el siguiente orden: L4, A4,P4; A5,L5,P5; A6,L6,P6; A1, L1, P1; A2,L2,P2; A3,L3,P3.

Cada año se medirán todos los puntos que se pueden en el primer dia como una medición de precisión. Se medirán los mismos puntos dejando por lo menos un día entre las dos mediciones. Estas mediciones se harán en la parcela L4, el máximo de las fajas 0:0-0:50 a 50:0-50:50 que se puede hacer en un día.

Los datos originales se escribirán en formularios de campo. Después estos se pasarán a archivos de Excel llamados Claros_XXX_original.xls y ClaroCal_XXX_original para los datos del censo y de la calibración respectivamente.

NOTA: Datos de serpientes grandes: se notarán observaciones cada vez que se ve un matabuey (Lechesis), terciopelo (Bothrops asper) o béquer (Boa). Esto incluye tanto los animales observados en el bosque como los que se ven a lo largo de los caminos.

Escriban los apuntes en el envés de los formularios con una observación apuntado una referencia permanente cercano, como un marcador de camino, un árbol marcado o un poste de la cuadrícula de La Selva o de las parcelas de CARBONO. Apunte la especie, la dirección lo más precisio posible, una descripción de lo que está haciendo el animal y su tamaño estimado, todo sin acercarse mucho y respetando el peligro potencial de estos animales.


  • clinómetro – tubón – nivel
  • cinta métrica de 25 m, listo para poder amarrar el extremo a un tubo
  • 1-2 palos altos – brújula – 5 estacas (3 para usar, 2 en reserva)
  • binoculares – mapa de los puntos en la parcela
  • hojas de campo para los datos – cinta diamétrica

Download as PDF formatPDF document


Field Data Sheets


Climate data


For analyses of the CARBONO data we use data from the weather station at the La Selva Biological Station: Because the annual plots census starts on 1 September and runs till early November, for many analyses we use average values for a 365 day interval from 1 October of one year till 30 September of the following year. We call this census-based interval “CARBONO years”. The primary source for all La Selva met data should be the La Selva met station. Here we post a 15-year subset of these data summarized by “CARBONO years”.