Hydrographic region distribution
Phytogeographic Domains Amazon rainforest Found in northern and central-western Brazil, and comprising a great variety of vegetation forms, of which the flooded and tall “terra firme” lowland forest predominate (Ter Steege et al. 2003). Covers 49.3% of the Brazilian territory, extending well beyond Brazil through to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas (Kress et al. 1998). Caatinga Xerophilous thorny forest and scrub of the drylands of northeastern Brazil. Covers 9.9% of the Brazilian territory, exclusively Brazilian (Andrade-Lima 1981). Central Brazilian Savanna Predominantly a grassland with woody elements and comprising a diverse mosaic of vegetations known as campos rupestres (Giulietti and Pirani 1988). Covers 23.9% of the Brazilian territory, with marginal continuous extensions in northeastern Paraguay and Bolivia (Ab’Sáber 1983, Mendonça et al. 2008). Atlantic Rainforest A narrow strip of forest from sea level to the eastern highlands of Brazil, becoming broader toward the south. Covers 13% of the Brazilian territory, and 95% of it occurs within Brazil (Stehmann et al. 2009). Pampa Grasslands from southern Brazil. Covers 2.1% of the Brazilian territory, found also in Argentina, Uruguay, and eastern Paraguay (Boldrini 2009). Pantanal Periodically flooded grasslands by the rivers Paraná and Paraguay in central-western Brazil. Covers 1.8% of the Brazilian territory, continuing into Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina (Pott and Pott 1997).
Anthropic area Areas where the original vegetation was disturbed or destroyed and bears little or no resemblance to its initial plant coverage, including plantations, pastures (active or abandoned) and urban areas. Caatinga (stricto sensu) Xerophitic type of savanna occurring within the semi-arid climate region of Northeastern Brazil. Is a type of sparse vegetation that covers massifs and plateaus where rivers are mostly seasonal. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Leguminosae, Asteraceae, Cactaceae Euphorbiaceae and Malpighiaceae. Campinarana Low, sparse vegetation growing on sandy soils mostly within terra firme land in the Amazon. It can be of the ‘forested’ type, similar to a gallery forest, ‘wooded’ where the trees are shorter, and finally ‘grassy-woody’, where it occurs in wet plains near rivers and lakes. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Arecaceae, Bromeliaceae, Clusiaceae, Humiriaceae, Marantaceae, Meliaceae and Rapateaceae. High Altitude Grassland Open fields found at the highest altitudes of the Serra do Mar, Mantiqueira and Serra Geral, mostly above 900m. The substrate is frequently igneous or metamorphic (granite/gnaisse) rock, and this vegetation type is associated to the Mata Atlântica. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Melastomataceae, Orchidaceae and Poaceae. Várzea Field Open vegetation where a continuous carpet of tall grasses and sedges that grows in temporarily flooded areas near rivers and lakes. It is generally associated to Várzea Inundated Forests. The more frequent plant families are the Poaceae and Cyperaceae. Grassland Open vegetation where there is a generally continuous carpet of grasses and subshrubby dicots while trees and robust shrubs are almost absent, found within the Cerrado and Pampa Biomes. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Poaceae, Asteraceae, Cyperaceae and Leguminosae. Rocky Field Altitude open fields found mostly above 900 m de altitude on quartzitic, arenitic or iron and manganese rich rocky soils. It is mostly associated to the Cerrado and Caatinga Biomes. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Asteraceae, Eriocaulaceae, Cyperaceae, Poaceae, Melastomataceae, Orchidaceae, Velloziaceae and Xyridaceae. Carrasco Vegetation Dense, tall xerophilous scrub with many lianas and discontinuous canopy, emergent trees sparse. Within the Caatinga Biome it occurs over deep, distrophic quartzitic sands while in the Cerrado it grows on litossoils. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Leguminosae, Apocynaceae, Combretaceae, Solanaceae. Cerrado (lato sensu) An assemblage of different profiles that occurs within the Cerrado Biome, where forested (Cerradão), savannas (Cerrado stricto sensu) and grasslands (Campo Sujo) share a xeromorphic flora. Amongst the more frequent plant families are Asteraceae, Leguminosae, Malpighiaceae, Poaceae, Rubiaceae e Vochysiaceae. Riverine Forest and/or Gallery Forest Forest associated to intermittent water courses, which can be wide (riverine) or narrower and with the canopy meeting over the river (gallery). More often associated to the Cerrado and Caatinga Biomes, is found throughout Brazil under various names. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Leguminosae, Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Clusiaceae and Rubiaceae. Inundated Forest, Igapó Amazonian forest where the soil remains either wet or flooded for most of the year, often associated to sandy soils. When compared to Terra Firme and Várzea Inundated Forests it is generally the less tall of them. Terra Firme Forest Dense and tall Amazonian forest growing above the river valleys, in higher ground that does not get flooded by the rivers. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Leguminosae, Lecythidaceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Sapotaceae and Burseraceae. Inundated Forest, Várzea Amazonian forest subject to periodical inundation during the floods, mostly associated to clay soil. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Arecaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Malvaceae, Moraceae and Polygonaceae. Seasonally Deciduous Forest Forest where marked alternate dry and wet seasons determine the almost complete (90%) loss of leaves, occurring mostly on higher ground between river valleys. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Apocynaceae and Sapindaceae. Seasonal Evergreen Forest Found at the southern border of the Amazon (Alto Xingu region) this forest occurs on latossoils and is markedly seasonal, with a dry season varying from four to six months. Despite this seasonality, the plant species maintain their leaves as water is constantly avaible, due to the almost flat topography. Its floristic composition is exclusive and dissimilar to the surrounding forests (Ombrophylous Forest and Seasonally Deciduous and Semideciduous Forest). Seasonally Semideciduous Forest Forest where marked alternate dry and wet seasons determine partial (10–50%) loss of leaves, occurring mostly on higher ground between river valleys. Leguminosae is one of the most frequent families. Ombrophylous Forest (=Tropical Rain Forest) Forest ocurring in regions with high rainfall and average temperatures, with tall trees and palms. Generally tall, it can be subdivided in categories depending on the altitude where it is sited into ‘lowland’, ‘submontane’ and ‘montane’. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Leguminosae, Arecaceae, Moraceae, Myrtaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae, Bromeliaceae, Araceae and Orchidaceae. Mixed Ombrophylous Forest Pluvial, tall forest characterized by the presence of Araucaria pines growing together with dicot trees and palms. Depending on topography, it can be subdivided into ‘submontane’ and ‘montane’. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Araucariaceae, Podocarpaceae, Lauraceae, Myrtaceae and Euphorbiaceae. Mangrove Tidal, low growing mixture of perennial trees and shrubs comprising a low number of species that are able to live in sea and brackish water, in river estuaries and deltas stretching from Santa Catarina northwards up to the coast of Amapá and beyond. The important families are Rhizophoraceae, Acanthaceae, Combretaceae and Pteridaceae. Palm vegetation Dominated by a single species of palm with low frequency of trees, this vegetation type is associated to ecotones between Amazon, Caatinga and Cerrado Biomes. The genus that often form these pure stands are Attalea, Copernicia, Euterpe, Mauritia and Orbignya. Restinga Vegetation complex ocurring in the seaside lowlands of Brazil, establishing over sea deposits of sandy sediment. It comprises open or scrubby profiles nearer the beaches, while inland it is forms tall forests. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Arecaceae, Lauraceae, Myrsinaceae, Myrtaceae, Bromeliaceae, and Rubiaceae. Amazonian Savanna Open vegetation found within the Amazon Biome, both in well drained and waterlogged, generally sandy soils, including a mixture of shrubby savanna and open grassland. It presents similarities with the Cerrado lato sensu, but its flora is poorer. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Vochysiaceae, Leguminosae, Malpighiaceae, and Rubiaceae. Aquatic vegetation Found both in lotic and lentic environments, this vegetation includes floating plants, rooted plants with floating leaves and plants with submerged leaves. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Araceae, Cyperaceae, Nymphaeaceae, Pontederiaceae, Alismataceae and Poaceae. Rocky outcrops vegetation Inselbergs or rock outcrops surrounded by vegetation with contrasting profile and characteristics. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Araceae, Bromeliaceae, Cactaceae, Orchidaceae, and Malvaceae. References
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