Costa Rica

Greg Coffta
Bio190/Costa Rican Adventures

Part I
Banana: Bananas were most likely picked up by the European traders in Southeast Asia when in search for spices. Soon, as the discovery of the Tropics arrived, traders took bananas to Central America.
Breadfruit: this fruit commonly grows among the southern Pacific islands, and it probably found its way to Costa Rica when the natives started to explore on boat.
Chocolate: as far as I could find, chocolate is native to Central America. It comes from the fruit of the Cacao Tree, and was traditionally used by the Aztecs.
Coconuts: Coconuts also come from Tropical Pacific islands, and the actual coconut itself probably floated across the ocean, only to land on the shores of Costa Rica.
Coffee: Coffee is speculated to have grown initially somewhere around Arabia. Its first recorded use was in 675 B.C., by the Red Sea. Most likely picked up along spice trading expeditions, the Europeans once again brought coffee to the Americas. Finding it grows well in that particular climate, the commercial cultivation began.
Mango: Another fruit Native to the eastern part of the world, traders such as Columbus and Vespucci also brought this to the Americas.
Papaya: During the slave trade, Slave traders often picked up some of the fruit from southern Africa. Possibly on accident, this fruit was spread to Central America and is now commercially grown.
Quinine: Being a Tropical country, Costa Rica had its problems with malaria. One of the drugs used to treat malaria was Quinine, derived from the South American Cinchona trees. Traded by natives throughout the region, Quinine was used as a natural remedy before Europeans discovered it.
Sugar Cane: Sugar cane is native to the Middle East, Kazakhstan and India, used by Europeans as a sweetening agent, it soon was commercially grown and exported from many of the newly discovered Tropical nations, most likely by slave labor.
Tomatoes: Indigenous to South America, the Tomatoes was once though by the Patagonians to be poisonous. After discovering they were not, it became a widely traded commodity throughout the world. Growing best is warm, humid regions of the earth with sandier soil, there is no doubt as to why tomatoes are cultivated in Costa Rica.
Material Sited From Includes: Encarta Interactive Encyclopedia 1998, and various Internet search engine results.

Arboreal: Of or living in the trees.
Biome: A major regional biotic community, such as a grassland or desert.
Biodiversity: each biome being different
Canopy: the uppermost layer in a forest
Carbon Cycle: only a certain amount of carbon is circulated throughout the environment, appears in many different forms.
Climax Community: An established ecosystem in which the area allows for the maximum animal occupation.
Community: A group of plants and animals living together in an area.
Consumer: a buyer of goods and services, or crops produced especially for consumption
Decomposer: any organism that breaks down organic matter into its basic elements.
Decomposition: the process of breaking organic matter down into its basic elements.
Ecology: the science of the relationship between organisms and their environments
Ecosystem: an ecological community together with its environment functions as a unit.
Epiphyte: a plant such as Spanish moss or a Tropical orchid living on an independent plant.
Erosion: washing away the topsoil of the region either by wind or water.
Ethnobotany: studying the relationship between a race of people and the plants they use.
Forest: a growth of trees, plants and underbrush that cover a large area, living symbiotically with other organisms.
Habitat: the area or environment in which an organism lives.
Hydrologic Cycle: only a certain amount of water is circulated throughout the environment, takes many different phases, very little water has been created or destroyed.
Leaching: water running off of the topsoil, carrying many different chemicals and sediment
Liana: vines
Litter: discarding waste products carelessly
Monoculture: the cultivation of a single crop in an area
Niche: an animal’s best-suited environment
Photosynthesis: the process carried out by a plant that turns sunlight and water into energy
Pollination Vector: pollen from plants being distributed throughout the environment by other living organisms
Producer: one who creates or produces something, consumer goods
Rain Forest: a dense evergreen forest usually in tropics with an annual rainfall of at least 2.5-m.
Sedimentation: settling of the sediments in a liquid, like soil in water.
Species: narrowest group, to which an organism can be classified, produces similar and fertile offspring.
Stratification: soil depositing in distinct layers.
Subsoil: layer of earth beneath the topsoil.
Primary Succession: a group of people following things