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The dry forest of guanica and the caribbean

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  • 1. The Dry Forest of Guanica and the Caribbean National Forest “El Yunque” Group#1: Félix Vallés Rey Díaz Yanielis Rodriguez Javier Zavala Leyda Villagrasa Lizbeth Pérez
  • 2. Introduction On the days of June 17 and July 5, we had two separate field trips to two completely different areas of Puerto Rico. We traveled to the National Forest of “El Yunque” on June 17, then to Dry Forest of Guanica on July 5. This experience gave us the opportunity to make a comparison between these two sceneries.
  • 3. National Forest “El Yunque” The name “El Yunque” comes from an Indian spirit, Yuquiye. Yunque means sacred or “Forest of Clouds” because of its peek is covered by clouds. It is the only Tropical Forest in the United States National Forest System.
  • 4. Location  El Yunque is located at 40km southeast of San Juan (latitude 18’19”W) in the rugged Sierra de Luquillo.  It is found on the East of the island and it covers 28,000 acres.
  • 5. Climate  The average temperature is at 25.5 °C in the lowest parts.  In the highest regions, the temperature can reach up to18.5 °C over 3,200 feet.  Most of the time it is rainy. Annually, it receives over 200 inches of rain.
  • 6. Topography  The soil contains more than 50% of silica and alumina, it is classified as clay soil.
  • 7. Flora  El Yunque has around 240 species of native trees, in which 26 are endemic species, 47 introduced species and 88 are considered rare species.  It also has 50 different species of orchid and 150 fern species.  The flora can be divided by height and can be subdivided in 4 forests: The Tabonuco Forest or Pluvial Forest, Palo Colorado Forest, Palma de Sierra Forest and Dwarf Forest or Elfin Forest.
  • 8. Tabonuco Forest or Pluvial Forest  The lowest slopes of this forest has a soil slightly good or moderated. The trees in this part of the forest can grow to measure 125 feet. Some trees found are: 1. Tabonuco (Dacryodes excelsa) 2. Ausubo (Manilkara bidentata) 3. Yagrumo (Cecropia peltata) 4. Laurel sabino (Magnolia splendens)
  • 9. Palo Colorado Forest  The Paolo Colorado Forest has a poor drainage soil. The trees in this area of the forest can grow to be 100 years old. Some trees are: 1. Palo colorado (Cyrilla racemiflora) 2. Caimitillo (Micropholis garcinifolia) 3. Caimitillo verde (Micropholis garciniaefolia)
  • 10. Palma de Sierra Forest  The most open forest of the four subdivision forest is Palma de Sierra Forest.  Its ground or soil is superficial (not deep) and unstable. 1. Palma de Sierra (Prestoea montana)
  • 11. Elfin Forest or Dwarf Forest  In this forest, the soil is acid and has poor drainage. The vegetation receives strong winds and most of the rain makes the trees grow no more than 12 feet. The mist and clouds cover this area most of the time. 1. Roble de Sierra ( Tabebuia rigida) 2. Fern 3. Bromeliad 4. Orchids
  • 12. Fauna or Wildlife  There are 120 different vertebrate species that include amphibians and birds.  There are 11 different species of bats (mammals).  The most common invertebrates are snails and the Puerto Rican Boa.  Puerto Rico’s most important native animal is the “Coqui” (now an endangered specie).
  • 13. Coquí Puerto Rican Boa Has a dark brown coloration. It grows to about (6-9 feet) in total length. It feeds on small mammals ,birds, and lizards. More than 16 different species live in the island, 13 of which occur in the Caribbean National Forest.
  • 14. Flourescent Limpet (lapa fluorescente)
  • 15. Consequences of contamination
  • 16. Consequences of contamination (continue)
  • 17. Dry Forest of Guanica
  • 18. Climate and Location  The Guánica Dry Forest zone covers most of our arid island.  It is located in the southwest coast of Puerto Rico and covers Guánica, Guayanilla, Yauco, Peñuelas and Ponce.  It covers about 11,000 acres of land.
  • 19. Climate and Location(continue)  The temperature varies from 24ºC – 28ºC with an average of 25ºC, and with a maximum temperature of 39 ºC.  Humidity varies between 65 to 80%.  The lack of rainfall, the high temperatures, the soils with little accumulation of organic material and the absence of permanent rivers make this ecosystem inhospitable.
  • 20. Fauna or Wildlife  This ecosystem is home to both wildlife, marine and land of great importance.  They have recorded 136 species of birds. 12 of them are endemic (8 in the list of endangered species).  Furthermore, the forest contains a wide range of insects that provide food for many birds.
  • 21. Fauna(continue)  On the marine fauna, there has been 150 species of marine fish, 60 species of corals and 13 species of crabs identified.  There has been a very valuable herpetofauna which includes 21 species of reptiles and 6 species of amphibians.  In Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands there are 8 species of endemic lizards .
  • 22. Fauna: Amphibians Crested Toad (Pelthophryne lemur)
  • 23. Fauna: Reptiles Blue-Tailed Ground Lizard (Ameiva wetmorei) Dry Worm Lizard (Amphisbaena xera) Garden lizard of Ponce (Anolis poncensis)
  • 24. Fauna: Birds Puerto Rican nightjar (Caprimulgus vociferus noctitherus) Yellow- shoulderes blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus) American Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)
  • 25. Flora  The flora of the Guanica Dry Forest has adapted to very extreme conditions.  There has been 550 species of plants found that can be represented in 85 families. Nearly180 are native and introduced trees. Around 19 are endemic.  45 of these species have been reported in danger by the DRNA.
  • 26. Flora (Continue)  In the Guánica Dry Forest, the flora modifies its activities for the principal goal of all, to conserve water. Some of the adaptations are: vertical orientation of the leave to avoid direct sunlight, stems that carry out the photosynthesis and plants with thorn.  Most of the vegetation is semi deciduous (plants that lose their foliage for a very short period).
  • 27. Flora Guayacan (Caesalpinia paraguariensis) Sebucan (Leptocereus Quadricostatus) Cone-like Turk’s cactus (Melocactus conoideus)
  • 28. Serious treat in dry forests
  • 29. Consequences of the destruction of tropical forests  Throughout this century only we have lost aporximately 50% of our forests and each minute we loose 40 hectors more.  Protecting these forests is of extreme importance for the continuity of the biodiversity and because of their great economical and social value.  Most importantly these forests regulate our planet’s climates and maintain an ever important stablility.
  • 30. Victor Gonzalez Barahona has been in charge throughout the years of removing trees and terrain in forest areas, with the excuse of positioning energy providing wind mills. These wind mills will supposedly provide energy for a large amount of population but we cannot sacrifice our forests for clean energy. Removing these terrains will negatively affect our natural integrity.
  • 31. The newspaper El Vocero reported an alert given by the Ornitologic Society of Puerto Rico. The society was denouncing that “El Monte Barinas” in Guayanilla is a dry forest that was being misused and deprived of 50 acres of terrain. These acres were eliminated in order to progress with the solar energy proyect, “Estancias de Santa Rosa”.
  • 32. About 200,000 trees were lost in the process. These trees represented a healthy continuity for this forest. Also this forest is home to the “Concho Frog” and the Guabairo, both species in a very precarious state.
  • 33. Benefits that the forests provide:  Clean water.  A home for species that need to reproduce.  Control of the erosion and inundations.  An oportunity for recreation and exploration.  A Great diversity in species.  Consequences: The forests influence general and local climate, they also moderate gama rays, air tempedrature, the levels of atmospheric humidity, absorb the carbon in the atmosphere and replace the oxygen needed in the atmosphere.
  • 34. Importance of Forests
  • 35. Importance of Forests
  • 36. Importance of Forests
  • 37. Conclusion The field trips to El Yunque National Pluvial Forest and the Guánica Dry Forest helped us compare the differences between these two ecosystems. According to our observations, we saw evidence of the adaptations of plants on both forests. We can also see evolutionary variation results from disturbance of organisms in their environment. We recommend to use the same measurement equipment in both forests so the comparison between them will be precise. In conclusion, these trips enriched us with experience because they allowed us to explore some of the natural resources of our Island form a scientific perspective.