Collections are of immense importance because they are the main source of the information generated and disseminated by INBio in different formats, such as scientific papers, books and field guides, manuals, species web pages and other electronic publications, databases, documents and technical reports, courses, workshops, lectures, presentations and consulting services for national and international users and customers.
These collections are critical to document the enormous biological diversity of Costa Rica, the distribution of species in different regions and ecosystems, elevation bands and season. This is very important because species are not evenly distributed in the territory and time and they rather vary greatly in these respects.
Another relevant aspect is natural history: the life cycle of species, from the spore (fungi), seeds (plants) or the egg (insects and arachnids) to the adult stage, its requirements and interrelationships with the environment and with other organisms and their role within an ecosystem.
The collection is a valuable reference source for studies in systematics, ecology, physiology, genetics, conservation, monitoring of environmental changes caused by global warming, pollution, fragmentation of forests and other environmental disturbances; as well as for species identification of agriculture pests, the vectors of diseases, invasive species, native and exotic or introduced species, or species only found in our country with very limited distributions (endemic species) or those that are under some degree of threat to their conservation into perpetuity.
INBio Biological Collections are distinguished by its high standard of curation and because all the specimens bear printed locality labels and individual barcodes that link each specimen to its correspondent record in the Biodiversity Information Management System Atta developed by INBio staff.
Access to the INBio collections is free and open to interested scholars and advanced students, by appointment with the responsible personnel.
The online version of Atta is available online at the INBio website.