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Doyle's Delight Expedition 2007

Expedition to the Belize's Highest Point - Ecosystems

Jan Meerman 2007

Jan Meerman

The principal purpose on this expedition (apart from gathering floristic, herpetologic and lepidopteristic data) was to verify the variation within ecosystems.

Technically, the ecosystem at Doyle's Delight is classified in the Belize Ecosystems Map as Tropical Evergreen Broad-Leaved Lower Montane Palm Forest. But this is quite a variable ecosystem. The most noticeable aspect of this ecosystem is that many of the plants grow epiphytically, and the palms Colpothrinax cookii and Euterpe precatoria dominate the scene and often extend above the general canopy of the forest. Other typical plant species are Cyrilla racemiflora, Ilex guianensis, Clusia spp., Magnolia sp., Myrcia splendens and Synechantus fibrosus.

As a whole the ecosystem can be subdivided into:

  • Ridge habitat dominated by Colpothrinax cookii and Euterpe precatoria
  • Stream bed habitat with a wider variety of broadleaf trees and
  • Slope habitat connecting the two.


Typical Ridge Habitat with Colpothrinax cookii, Euterpe precatoria and Synechantus fibrosus.
The palm Colpothrinax cookii is the principal emergent tree
Cyrilla racemiflora is a common component of the ridge habitat and occasional specimens have grown to huge sizes.
Some ridges have near monospecific stands of a Clusia sp.
The valleys between the ridges are rife with little waterfalls.
Occasionally there are isolated patches with Pinus oocarpa.

To be expanded.

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Last modified: October 14, 2007