CAATINGA (Portuguese pronunciation: ) is a type of desert
vegetation, and an ecoregion characterized by this vegetation in
* 1 Geography * 2 Climate * 3 Conservation
* 4 Ecology
* 4.1 Vegetation * 4.2 Fauna * 4.3 Possible anthropogenic origins
* 5 Economic exploitation
* 6 Agriculture
* 6.1 Irrigation
* 7 Deforestation * 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 References
* 11 Further reading
* 11.1 History
* 12 External links
Approximate vegetation map of Brazil. The
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The caatinga does not correspond to a single type of vegetation, but is a broad mosaic of types. Towards the coast, the caatinga is replaced by remnants of the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica); inland, the caatinga merges with no clear limits into the cerrado (see CPD Site SA21). Interspersed with the caatinga are low mountains with uplands that are much more humid, containing elements ("brejos de altitude") of the Atlantic and Amazonian forests, with trees 30–35 m tall.
General characteristics of the caatinga elements include total loss of leaves during the dry season, small and firm (xeric) leaves, intense branching of the trees from the base (giving them a shrubby appearance) and the presence of succulent and crassulaceous species (Romariz 1974). Most authors recognize two main types of caatinga: dry caatinga ("sertão") located in the interior and more humid caatinga ("agreste") toward the coast. Eiten (1983) divided the caatinga into the following eight categories:
1. CAATINGA FOREST, or low (8–10 m) xerophytic deciduous tropical broadleaved forest, with closed canopies, and the trees having a ground coverage over 60%. This robust formation occurs where there is sufficient rain and the soil is deep enough.
2. ARBORESCENT CAATINGA, with the shrubby subcanopy not closed, and tree coverage 10-60%.
3. ARBORESCENT-SHRUBBY CLOSED CAATINGA, or low xerophytic deciduous open tropical broadleaved forest with closed scrub, where the tree coverage is 10-60%. This is the most common form of undisturbed caatinga, sometimes called "carrasco".
4. ARBORESCENT-SHRUBBY OPEN CAATINGA, with the total ground coverage of trees, shrubs, cacti, bromeliads, etc. between 10-60%.
5. SHRUBBY CLOSED CAATINGA, or xerophytic deciduous or semi-deciduous closed tropical broadleaved scrub; the thoroughly deciduous scrub is more common.
6. SHRUBBY OPEN CAATINGA, or xerophytic open tropical scrub, which can be composed of deciduous broadleaved species, cacti and bromeliads, or mixtures of the same. Coverage varies between 10-60%. Common throughout the caatinga on very shallow soil or rocky outcrops.
7. CAATINGA SAVANNA or xerophytic short-graminose tropical savanna with deciduous broadleaved scrub; this formation is usually called "seridó".
8. ROCKY CAATINGA SAVANNA or xerophytic sparse tropical scrub, in which both scrub and graminose elements have ground coverage of less than 10%. This formation occurs on pavements and outcrops of massive rock, with the plants interspersed in cracks and hollows.
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Endemic mammal species include:
* eleven rodents - Caatinga vesper mouse , Wiedomys pyrrhorhinos , Trinomys yonenagae , Trinomys albispinus minor, Trinomys albispinus sertonius, Thylamys karimii , Dasyprocta sp. n. , Oryzomys sp. n. , Oxymycterus sp. n. , Rhipidomys sp. n. ssp. 1 , and Rhipidomys sp. n. ssp. 2 * one primate - Callicebus barbarabrownae * two bats - Xeronycteris vieirai and Chiroderma sp. n
POSSIBLE ANTHROPOGENIC ORIGINS
Based on radiocarbon dating of potsherds , proponents of historical
ecology such as
William Denevan and William Balee have suggested that
large sections of the
People use many plant species from the
Meliponiculture is also a well-developed and traditional activity in the region. One of the most productive species Melipona subnitida , known locally as jandaíra, produces up to 6 liters a year, resulting in economic profit for the population.
Around 26 million people live in the
São Francisco River , the
Some regions are being irrigated, most notably the São Francisco River . While this is very good news for some farmers, it has also had serious consequences for people who have always depended on the natural flow of the river. Big dams have brought an end to the high tides in the rainy season, which used to spread fertile mud over the fields creating a rich ground that could be used for agriculture during the dry season. Salinization of the soil is becoming a threat since large areas of the land are irrigated with saline water, thus sterilizing the soil.
Having and using all these resources has some negatives. Intensive agriculture, along with excessive grazing by cattle and goats , is affecting the population structure of some important plant and animal species. Deforesting for industrial uses like fuel and charcoal destroys the vegetation. The combination of drought and misuse of the land is becoming a major threat. Harvesting of the caraiba woodland for lumber has reduced its size. This reduction may have contributed to the endangerment of the Spix's Macaw.
* ^ There is no evidence, however, that the bird formerly known as Caatinga woodpecker occurs in Caatinga.
* ^ http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/presidencia/noticias/21052004biomashtml.shtm * ^ Salcedo, I.H., Menezes, R.S.C. (2009): Agroecosystem functioning and management in semi-arid Northeastern Brazil, in: Tiessen, H., Stewart, J.W.B. (eds.): Applying Ecological Knowledge to Landuse Decisions. Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research - IICA-IAI-Scope, Paris, pp. 73–81. * ^ Santos, J.C.; Leal, I.R.; Almeida-Cortez, J.S.; Fernandes, G.W.; Tabarelli, M. (2011). "Caatinga: the scientific negligence experienced by a dry tropical forest". Tropical Conservation Science. 4 (3): 276–286. * ^ http://botany.si.edu/projects/cpd/sa/sa19.htm * ^ Balée, William (2013-08-20). Cultural Forests of the Amazon: A Historical Ecology of People and Their Landscapes. University of Alabama Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780817317867 . * ^ Cortopassi-Laurino, Marilda; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia; Roubik, David Ward; Dollin, Anne; Heard, Tim; Aguilar, Ingrid; Venturieri, Giorgio C.; Eardley, Connal; Nogueira-Neto, Paulo (22 June 2006). "Global meliponiculture: challenges and opportunities". Apidologie. 37 (2): 275–292. doi :10.1051/apido:2006027 . * ^ Bonnatti, Vanessa; Luz Paulino Simões, Zilá; Franco, Fernando Faria; Tiago, Mauricio (3 January 2014). "Evidence of at least two evolutionary lineages in Melipona subnitida (Apidae, Meliponini) suggested by mtDNA variability and geometric morphometrics of forewings". Naturwissenschaften. doi :10.1007/s00114-013-1123-5 . Missing or empty url= (help ) * ^ Untied, B. (2005): Bewässerungslandwirtschaft als Strategie zur kleinbäuerlichen Existenzsicherung in Nordost-Brasilien? - Handlungsspielräume von Kleinbauern am Mittellauf des São Francisco. Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg.
* Llosa, Mario Vargas - The War of the End of the World
* Marcgrav (1638) * Spix & Martius (1817-1820)
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