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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Native trees thrive in teak plantations and may protect the Panama Canal

August 12, 2020

Teak often underperforms on poor soils. By planting valuable native trees in existing teak plantations, researchers will evaluate the potential increase in timber value, biodiversity value and ecosystem services provided.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Biodiversity may limit invasions: Lessons from lizards on Panama Canal Islands

August 10, 2020

Lizards transplanted from the mainland to small islands in Lake Gatun, Panama, took their parasitic mites with them. What happened next provides great experimental evidence for the enemy release hypothesis.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

New fossil catfish species identified through 3D visualization technology

August 07, 2020

Through the use of new tools and techniques, paleontologists can better advance our understanding of the paleodiversity of different geological periods

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Two decades among the birds of Panama

August 05, 2020

Between 1944 and 1966, Dr. Alexander Wetmore, a legendary ornithologist and Sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, investigated the avifauna of the Isthmus of Panama. This became the basis of his four-volume ‘The Birds of the Republic of Panama’. In this webinar, STRI anthropologist Dr. Stanley Heckadon-Moreno takes us for a historical and photographic journey across Dr. Wetmore’s...

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Invasive lionfish may be a selective predator

July 30, 2020

By evaluating the diet choices of this species in a semi-natural environment, scientists could improve predictions of how it might affect newly invaded communities

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Have vessels cooperated with whale conservation efforts in the Gulf of Panama?

July 24, 2020

Several years after the International Maritime Organization adopted Traffic Separation Schemes to reduce the risk of collision between vessels and migratory whales in the Gulf of Panama, scientists assessed whether these conservation management actions are being effective

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Lightning strikes more than 100 million times per year in the tropics

July 23, 2020

Tropical storms often begin with an impressive display of pyrotechnics, but researchers have largely overlooked the role of lightning strikes in tropical ecosystems.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Two Panamanians in the service of the common good in Bocas del Toro

July 21, 2020

Carolina César and Viviana Bravo radically changed their work rhythm: from going out daily to the archipelago, to keeping a research station afloat.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Isolation led white-faced capuchin monkeys into the Stone Age.

July 21, 2020

After 14 thousand years of living in confinement and without the threat of predators, the white-faced capuchin monkeys on the Coiba National Park islands have begun to exhibit behaviors that have not been recorded in the mainland populations. For example, they are highly terrestrial and have learned to use stones as tools. Listen to doctoral student in animal behavior and former STRI fellow,...

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Long-term consequences of river damming in the Panama Canal

July 10, 2020

As the demand for hydroelectricity and water increases in the tropics, a team of scientists explored the natural impacts of one of the oldest tropical dams in the world

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