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Complete Tree Species of Panama


Condit, Richard; Pérez, Rolando; Aguilar, Salomón (2019), Complete Tree Species of Panama, DataONE Dash, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.15146/R3M97W


29 Apr 2019

This data archive presents a complete compilation of the tree species of Panama, including the full geographic range and local abundance of each. The species list is based on the most recent monographs, especially the Flora Mesoamericana, along with herbarium records, especially those online at the Missouri Botanic Garden, and our tree census plots, mostly in the forests around the Panama Canal, including the 50 ha plot at Barro Colorado. The full set of occurrence records was collected from the BIEN database, as of October 2018, plus our tree plots, and a geographic range was calculated as the minimum convex polygon around all occurrences. There are many questionable occurrences, based on approximate coordinates, and ranges are subject to errors. This archive will be updated during 2019 by thorough screening of ranges, especially for the smallest ranges, those < 20,000 km2.

Species were included based if they root in the ground as free-standing woody plants, and reach a height of at least 3 m as reproductives. Epiphytes, lianas, and herbs were excluded. Species were included broadly, thus even if only occasionally terrestrial and free-standing while usually not; this aspect forces a loose gray area between trees and non-trees. The category shrub or descriptor shrubby were never considered, as they are poorly defined and used in inconsistent ways. An online version of the database (http://conditdatacenter.tech/PanamaTrees/) includes range maps and notes on growth form for marginal species.


  • Condit, R., Perez, R., Aguilar, S. In prep. Tree species of Panama: geographic ranges and local abundance
  • Condit, R., Engelbrecht, B. M. J., Pino, D., Pérez, R., and Turner, B. L. 2013. Species distributions in response to individual soil nutrients and seasonal drought across a community of tropical trees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110:5064–5068. pdf http://conditdatacenter.org/pdfs/ConditEtAlPNAS2013.pdf
  • Condit, R., Chisholm, R. A., and Hubbell, S. P. 2012. Thirty years of forest census at Barro Colorado and the importance of immigration in maintaining diversity. PLoS ONE 7:e49826. pdf http://conditdatacenter.org/pdfs/ConditChisholmHubbell2012.pdf
  • Condit, R., Pérez, R., Aguilar, S., Lao, S., and Hubbell, S. P. 2017. Demographic trends and climate over 35 years in the Barro Colorado 50 ha plot. Forest Ecosystems 4:1–13. pdf http://conditdatacenter.org/pdfs/Condit_et_al-2017-Forest_Ecosystems.pdf
  • Davidse, G. M.; Sousa, M. S.; Knapp, S.; Chiang, F. & Ulloa, C. U. (Eds.) 1994-2018. Flora Mesoamericana (6 Volumes).


The data was initiated with the published checklist from the Missouri Botanical Garden, then expanded and corrected from published monographs. A complete bibliography is under construction and will be uploaded later in 2019.

Usage Notes

Table 1. PanamaTreeSpecies.tsv. A tab-delimited ascii table including a record for 3019 tree taxa we consider native to Panama. Those taxa are include 3009 at the species level, with Latin binomials, with 10 of those species having two different subspecies each. The subspecies are included because our plot data recognize them as distinct. All BIEN data, Missouri Botanical data, range sizes, and maximum heights only include the species level. As a result, pairs of subspecies have distinct plot abundances but identical ranges and heights. Taxa in the table are identified by the Family, Latin name, and taxonomic authority, and include the following columns of data:

  • Maximum height in meters according to taxonomic monographs
  • Number of countries observed, ostensibly in a natural state
  • Total number of BIEN (Oct 2018) records, counting only unique locations
  • Number of records in our own plots and inventories in Panama
  • Number of records in our own plots and inventories in Panama
  • Extent of range, in thousands of square km, calculated as minimum convex polygon around BIEN records

Table 2. PanamaTreeNameLookup.tsv. A tab-delimited ascii table including a record for 4420 Latin names which we found to be associated with the native tree species of Panama, including the 3009 currently accepted names plus 1411 synonyms. (The subspecies names do not appear in this table.) These are the most relevant recent synonyms, those appearing in BIEN or other recent monographs, but are far from every synonym every used. For all the current names, the valid name listed matches the Latin name, otherwise, the table provides the valid name we use for any Latin name. In principle, users can look up our valid name for names that appear in recent sources. The columns are:

  • Maximum height in meters according to taxonomic monographs
  • Number of countries observed, ostensibly in a natural state
  • Either accepted or synonym


SW 7.079088, -82.880859
NW 9.730714, -77.145996