There is a need for a base map of the vegetation of El Eden
that could serve as the central information base for all the
projects. This project should develop a GIS that may include photos
and images such as:
An initial land and vegetation survey (of terrestrial and
acuatic ecosystems) should be done as soon as possible. This
survey should be able to identify keystone species for different ecosystems.
Permanent plots for precise monitoring of important species.
In depth studies of the vegetation response to disturbance.
Studies on succession and seed banks should be encouraged.
Precise monitoring of the changes in the water levels through
time is a high priority.
Some "temporary" transects to learn more about the
variation of vegetation through soil, humidity and disturbance
gradients. This studies should include:
-species (canopy density & cover)
Topographic and vegetation profiles that include soil, vegetation
and archaeological features. These profiles could be done in
the permanent transects and trails.
A soil survey and soil map. The soil nomenclature used by
the local Maya could be used for the classification.
A management plan for El Eden is a high priority issue that
needs to be done as soon as possible. This plan should encourage
the participation of all users of El Eden facilities. The map
should include a precise zoning of areas used for research, education,
untouched areas, residences, laboratories, agroecological work etc.
and those left alone.
Expanded living facilities to accommodate groups of students
as well as researchers. These facilities should be built to have
a minimal impact on the environment.
Funding to build these facilities may be available from NSF
and other foundations interested in field research.
Well-marked loop trails with descriptions for ecotourists
A network of shelters at El Eden for practical use by many