Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]


Ryan Pjesky



Download Full Text (569 KB)

Publication Date

September 2001


This study was completed in Monteverde, Costa Rica on the diversity of medicinal plants in: premontane wet/moist and premontane wet forest. The purpose of this study was to find overall plant diversity and medicinal plant diversity within these two forests. After finding medicinal plant diversity, a conservation value could then be applied for each life zone accordingly. This was done by surveying three, 10-meter square plots in both life zones. It was hypothesized that plant diversities would be different within the two life zones. This hypothesis was not supported: the two plant communities had similar richness (S), diversity (H'), and evenness (E) for overall plant diversity and medicinal plant diversity. On a family level, premontane wet/moist medicinal plant diversity had richness of 21 families, H' = 2.2, and E = 0.37. On a family level, premontane wet medicinal plant diversity resulted in a richness of 19 families, H' = 2.4, and E = 0.39. These results were also reflected on genera and species levels for medicinal plant diversity and overall plant diversity. One explanation for this equivalence of diversity is perhaps the two life zones sampled were successionally similar forests. Another explanation is that it is possible these two areas were actually the same life zone due lack of elevation differentiation. In order to allow for assurance in results and proper conservation values more studies need to be done, on a larger scale, with more exhaustive sampling.


Esta investigación analizó la diversidad de plantas medicinales en dos zonas de vida: premontano mojado/húmedo y premontano mojado. El propósito es mostrar que la diversidad total de plantas en relación a la diversidad de plantas medicinales. Después de esto, es posible aplicar un valor de Conservación. Este análisis fue hecho investigando tres parcelas de diez-metros cuadrados en ambas zonas de vida. Mi suposición es que la diversidad de plantas es diferente en cada zona de vida. Mis datos no apoyan mi suposición pues ambas comunidades tuvieron riquezas similares (S), diversidad (H’) y uniformidad (E) en la relación de diversidad de plantas y plantas medicinales. A nivel de familia, la zona premontano mojado/húmedo la diversidad de plantas medicinales tuvo 21 familias, H’ = 2.2, y E = 0.37. En una nivel de familia en la zona premontano húmedo la diversidad de plantas medicinales tuvo 19 familias, H’ = 2.4, y E = 0.39. Estos resultados fueron parecidos a los niveles de géneros y especies en el total de diversidad de plantas y plantas medicinales. Una explicación por la similitud en la diversidad es que las parcelas fueron en zonas de regeneración. Otra explicación es que los bosques fueron similares. Es necesario más estudios durante periodos más largos para mostrar que el valor de las plantas medicinales en Conservación.


10 pages

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





A medicinal plant analysis in premontane wet/moist and premontane wet life zones in Monteverde, Costa Rica, September 2001



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.