Abstract

The geomorphological, climatological and hydrological characteristics of the high Andean wetlands of the Chirripó National Park (PNCh) are analyzed. The PNCh is located in south-central Costa Rica, Central America. This analysis includes a geomorphological survey on a 1: 25 000 scale of the relief forms and processes, particularly those of glacial origin. The National Wetland Inventory carried out by the Wetlands Project (UNDP-SINAC-GEF) was also used, along with different climate change projections corresponding to the scenarios for the 2039-2059 and 2079-2099 horizons. The main objective is to characterize the current state of these ecosystems, to explain how and why they are formed, as well as to assess the possible implications in the hydrological cycle and the water supply of these wetlands due to future climate variations. The results showed the relevance of these natural reservoirs in maintaining the ecological dynamics of the PNCh. We also studied the services of water provision and regulation of the hydrological cycle in the basins that compose this protected area.

Keywords: wetlands, geomorphology, climatology, hydrology, climate change, Central America