Most research at the reserve is investigator-driven and has covered the range of ecological scale from microscopic organisms to ecosystem-level processes. Investigators have come from Europe, Costa Rica, and the United States. They are making important contributions to our knowledge of the biodiversity and ecosystems of tropical rain forests. Below are some highlighted projects of past and ongoing research at Bijagual.
Pentaclethra macroloba is the dominant tree species in the lowland region of Sarapiquí. Its natural distribution ends abruptly midway through the reserve. Several students and courses from Xavier University, the Organization for Tropical Studies, and Occidental College have examined various hypotheses to explain this pattern. Future projects will examine the genetic structure along the tree’s elevational gradient and test whether dispersal limitation may be explaining the current distribution.
Research is an important component of the work done at the reserve and is part of the organization's mission. Projects at the reserve involve the participation of volunteers, interns, students and scientists from educational institutions in Costa Rica, the United States and Europe. The research results are used to direct our forest management decisions and informs our conservation policies. Here are some examples of the types of research managed by staff at Bijagual.
Cameras have been mounted at various locations within the reserve since January 2011. Images are taken using a Reconyx PC900 HyperFire Professional. These camera traps are set to take one picture at 30-minute intervals and 5 frames when movement with heat is detected. The images from these camera traps provide evidence of wildlife that otherwise would be unseen thereby assisting us with expanding our species lists.