Jan. 5 – Living among the leaves

In the heart of Las Cruces Biological Station, we spent the last couple days living in Casa Wilson surrounded by hundreds of bromeliads and other exotic plants from the botanical gardens. This was our second stop in our Field Ecology adventure. While Monteverde had its breathtaking views and peaceful atmosphere, Las Cruces had its own charm with its extensive collection of plant species from across the world. Here, we got the chance to perform faculty led research as well as the chance to work on our own independent projects. For our faculty led projects we got the pleasure to work with Dr. Erin Kuprewicz and Dr. Carlos García-Robledo from the University of Connecticut. Both projects utilizing the garden space and some of the species found within – the fluffy little agoutis and the vibrant rolled-leaf beetles. In our independent projects we were given the chance to branch out and come up with our own questions about our surroundings within the tropical ecosystem. My project focused on the same bromeliads surrounding our lodging and what characteristics of these plants are important for frogs seeking refuge (some frogs take shelter in these plants during the day). It was rewarding to get the chance to execute our own research projects and to hear about all the other student projects!

-Amanda Deguire, University of Connecticut

View of Casa Wilson and the surrounding garden
An Emerald Glass Frog (Espadarana prosoblepon) seeking refuge in a bromeliad plant

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