BCI, Panama

Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama

BCI is a 15 km² island located in Lake Gatún, an artificial water body created by the construction of the Panama Canal, covered with semi-deciduous tropical lowland rainforest. Estimations on the minimum forest age range between 300 to 1500 years. The climate is characterized by average daily maximum and minimum temperatures of 30.8 and 23.4 °C and an annual precipitation values of around 2600 mm with a dry season from January to April. Since the establishment of the 50 ha rainforest observation plot in the early 1980s, each tree with a DBH ≥ 1 cm has been measured during censuses in five years intervals. The 500 × 1000 m² area is located on the central plateau of the island, with terrain altitudes between 120 and 160 m above sea level. Estimates of mean canopy height are 24.6 ± 8.2 m and mean above ground biomass are 281 ± 20 t/ha.