Nectandra Institute and Nectandra S.A. jointly support scientific research in the preserve. Progressive climate shifts in the last ten years in the preserve have left noticeable changes. The critical cloud cover is receding and the dry season lengthening. At the same time, land use changes have left a scarring impact on the fauna and flora of the cloud forest, even before in-depth scientific exploration could be accomplished.
Our research programs have two primary objectives. The first is to inventory the animals and prominent plant groups in the Nectandra Preserve. The latter includes the bryophytes, ferns, bromeliads and orchids. The second objective is to develop a molecular identification scheme for bryophytes, an important plant group of cloud forests that has received relatively little attention. The ability to recognize specific mosses and liverworts in their ecologic niches would advance our limited knowledge and understanding of their critical roles.
The thrust of our program is to propagate in vitro the rare and endangered wild species of the cloud forest as an insurance program for the future of horticulture.
To optimize the Institute’s watershed restoration efforts with local communities, research was instituted six years ago to find the most effective reforestation procedures applicable to local conditions. The variables studied include suitable native plant species, non-chemical weed control and companion planting.