Soberania National Park, Panama
Situated in central Panama, the park consists of 22,000 hectares of lush, lowland tropical rainforests with distinct wet and dry seasons (2.4 meters of annual rainfall). The forest hosts a rich diversity of plants and animals and is adjacent to the Chagres River which is an important watershed to the Panama Canal. The town of Gamboa is the point of access to Camino del Oleoducto, an old pipeline service road that runs 17km through the middle of the park and provides access to an abundance of gap-loving Cecropia trees. At least four species of Cecropia (C. peltata, C. longipes, C. obtusifolia, and C. insignis) and three species of Cecropia-dwelling Azteca (A. constructor, A. isthmica, and A. alfari) are common in the park and are the focus of many experiments. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) offers robust infrastructure and expertise in the area and throughout Panama.