The CERRADO (pronounced ) is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of
Brazil , particularly in the states of
Mato Grosso do Sul ,
Mato Grosso ,
Minas Gerais . The
Cerrado biome core
areas are the plateaus in the center of Brazil. The main habitat types
Cerrado include: forest savanna, wooded savanna, park savanna
and gramineous -woody savanna.
Savanna wetlands and gallery forests
are also included. The second largest of Brazil's major habitat
types, after the Amazonian rainforest, the
Cerrado accounts for a full
21 percent of the country's land area (extending marginally into
Paraguay and Bolivia).
The first detailed account of the Brazilian cerrados was provided by
Eugenius Warming (1892) in the book Lagoa Santa , in
which he describes the main features of the cerrado vegetation in the
state of Minas Gerais.
Since then vast amounts of research have proved that the
one of the richest of all tropical savanna regions and has high levels
of endemism . Characterized by enormous ranges of plant and animal
World Wide Fund for Nature named it the biologically
richest savanna in the world, with about 10,000 plant species and 10
endemic bird species. There are nearly 200 species of mammal in the
Cerrado, though only 14 are endemic.
* 1 Climate
* 2 Flora
* 3 Fauna
* 4 History ">
Cerrado vegetation of Brazil. See also:
Category:Flora of the
Cerrado is characterized by unique vegetation types. It is
composed of a shifting mosaic of habitats, with the savanna-like
cerrado itself on well-drained areas between strips of gallery forest
(closed canopy tall forest) which occur along streams. Between the
cerrado and the gallery forest is an area of vegetation known as the
wet campo with distinct up- and downslope borders where tree growth is
inhibited due to wide seasonal fluctuations in the water table.
The savanna portion of the
Cerrado is heterogeneous in terms of
canopy cover. Goodland (1971) divided the
Cerrado into four categories
ranging from least to most canopy cover: campo sujo (herbaceous layer
with occasional small trees about 3 m tall), campo cerrado (slightly
higher density of trees about 4 m tall on average), cerrado sensu
stricto (orchard-like vegetation with trees about 6 m high) and
cerradao (canopy cover near 50% with general height 9 m).
Probably around 800 species of trees are found in the Cerrado. Among
the most diverse families of trees in the
Cerrado are the Leguminosae
Melastomataceae (32) and
Rubiaceae (30). Much of the
Cerrado is dominated by the Vochysiaceae
(23 species in the Cerrado) due to the abundance of three species in
Qualea . The herbaceous layer usually reaches about 60 cm
in height and is composed mainly of the
Rubiaceae . Much of the
vegetation in the gallery forests is similar to nearby rainforest;
however, there are some endemic species found only in the Cerrado
Soil fertility, fire regime and hydrology are thought to be most
influential in determining
Cerrado soils are
always well-drained and most are oxisols with low pH and low calcium
and magnesium. The amount of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus has
been found to be positively correlated with tree trunk basal area in
Cerrado habitats. Much as in other grasslands and savannas, fire is
important in maintaining and shaping the Cerrado's landscape; many
plants in the
Cerrado are fire-adapted, exhibiting characters like
thick corky bark to withstand the heat.
Cerrado vegetation is believed to be ancient, stretching back perhaps
as far in a prototypic form during the
Cretaceous before Africa and
South America separated. A dynamic expansion and contraction between
cerrado and Amazonian rainforest has probably occurred historically,
with expansion of the
Cerrado during glacial periods like the
Pleistocene . These processes and the resulting fragmentation have
probably contributed to the high species richness both of the Cerrado
and of the Amazonian rainforest.
See also: Category:Fauna of the
The insects of the
Cerrado are relatively understudied. A yearlong
survey of the
Cerrado at one reserve in
Brazil found that the orders
Isoptera accounted for 89.5% of
all captures. The
Cerrado also supports high density of leaf cutter
ant ("saúvas") nests (up to 4000 per hectare) which are also very
diverse. Along with termites, leaf cutter ants are the primary
herbivores of the
Cerrado and play an important role in consuming and
decomposing organic matter, as well as constituting an important food
source to many other animal species. The highest diversity of galling
insects (insects that build galls ) in the world is also found in the
Cerrado, with the most species (46) found at the base of the Serro do
Cipó in southeast Brazil.
Cerrado has a high diversity of vertebrates; 150 amphibian
species, 120 reptile species, 837 bird species, and 161 mammal species
have been recorded. Lizard diversity is generally thought to be
relatively low in the
Cerrado compared to other areas like caatinga or
lowland rainforest although one recent study found 57 species in one
cerrado area with the high diversity driven by the availability of
Ameiva ameiva is the largest lizard found in the
Cerrado and is the most important lizard predator where it is found in
the Cerrado. There is a relatively high diversity of snakes in the
Cerrado (22-61 species, depending on site) with
Colubridae being the
richest family. The open nature of the cerrado vegetation most likely
contributes to the high diversity of snakes. Information about
Cerrado amphibians is extremely limited, although the
has a unique assemblage of species with some endemic to the region.
The frog species
Physalaemus nattereri is found in the open cerrado
but not in adjacent gallery forests.
Most birds found in the
Cerrado breed there although there are some
Austral migrants (breed in temperate
South America and winter in the
Amazon basin) and Nearctic migrants (breed in temperate North America
and winter in the Neotropics) that pass through. Most breeding birds
Cerrado are found in more closed canopy areas like gallery
forests although 27% of the birds breed only in open habitats and 21%
breed in either open or closed habitats. Many of the birds in the
Cerrado, especially those found in closed forest, are related to
species from the Atlantic rainforest and also the Amazon rainforest.
The crowned solitary eagle , hyacinth macaw , toco toucan ,
buff-necked ibis , dwarf tinamou , and
Brazilian merganser are
examples of birds found in the Cerrado.
Gallery forests serve as primary habitat for most of the mammals in
the Cerrado, having more water, being protected from fires that sweep
the landscape and having a more highly structured habitat. Eleven
mammal species are endemic to the Cerrado. Notable species include
large herbivores like the
Brazilian tapir and
Pampas deer and large
predators like the maned wolf , cougar , jaguar , giant otter , ocelot
and jaguarundi . Although the diversity is much lower than in the
adjacent Amazon and Atlantic Forest, several species of monkeys are
present, including black-striped capuchin , black howler monkey and
black-tufted marmoset .
HISTORY -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
* ^ " VASCONCELOS, Vitor Vieira; VASCONCELOS, Caio Vieira;
VASCONCELOS, Davi Mourão Phyto-Environmental Characterization of
Savanna (Cerrado) and Brazilian Atlantic Forest, with the
Research of Stone Lines and Paleosols Geografia. Ensino & Pesquisa
(UFSM), v. 14, p. 3, 2010."
* ^ A B C D Conservation International. "Archived copy". Archived
from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-09. . Access date:
May 5, 2011
* ^ Warming, E. (1892) Lagoa Santa: Et Bidrag til den biologiske
Plantegeografi med en Fortegnelse over Lagoa Santas Hvirveldyr.
Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Skrifter - Naturvidenskabelig
og Mathematisk Afdeling, 6. Rk. vol. 6 (3): 153-488. Later French and
* ^ A B Oliveira S., Paulo, and Robert Marquis J. The Cerrados of
Brazil : Ecology and Natural History of a Neotropical Savanna.
Columbia University Press, 2002. eBook.
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O RATTER, J.A.; RIBEIRO,J.F. &
BRIDGEWATER, S. (1997) The Brazilian
Cerrado vegetation and Threats to
its Biodiversity. Annals of Botany, 80: pp. 223-230
* ^ A B VIERRA, E.M. BARROSO, G.M.; RIZZO J.A. & RIZZINI C.T. 1977.
A Flora do Cerrado. In FERRI M.G. ed. IV SimpoUsio sobre o cerrado.
São Paulo, Brazil. 211-232
* ^ FURLEY P.A. & RATTER, J.A. 1988. Soil resources and plant
communities of the Central Brazilian cerrado and their development.
Journal of Biogeography 15: 97-108
* ^ GOODLAND, R & POLLARD, R. 1973. The Brazilian Cerrado
Vegetation: A Fertility Gradient. Journal of Ecology 61: 219-224
* ^ RATTER, J.A. & RIBEIRO, J.F. 1996. Biodiversity of the flora of
the cerrado. In: PEREIRA, R.C. BURBRIDGE, R. DINIZ, I.R.; COELHO, D. &
BANDEIRA, M.P.S. 2002. Seasonal pattern of insect abundance in the
Brazilian cerrado. Austral Ecology 27: 132-136
* ^ LEAL, I.R. & OLIVEIRA, P.S. 2000. Foraging ecology of attine
ants in a Neotropical savanna: seasonal use of fungal substrate in the
cerrado vegetation of Brazil. Insectes Sociaux 47: 376-382
* ^ OLIVEIRA, P.S. & FREITAS, A.V.L. 2004. Ant-plant-herbivore
interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna. Naturwissenschaften
* ^ LARA, A.C.F. MITTERMEIER, R.A.; MITTERMEIER, C.G.; DA FONESCA,
G.A.B. COLLI, G.R. MESQUITA, D.O.; NOGUEIRA, C.C. SAWAYA, R.J.;
KIEFER, M.C. & MARTINS, M. 2005. Amphibians of an open cerrado
fragment in southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica 5
* ^ A B DA SILVA, J.S.C. 1997. Endemic birds species and
conservation in the
Cerrado region, South America. Biodiversity and
Conservation 6: 435-450
* ^ DA SILVA, J.S.C. 1996. Distribution of Amazonian and Atlantic
birds in gallery forests of the cerrado region, South America.
Ornitologia Neotropical 7: 1-18
* ^ A B REDFORD, K.H. 1986. The role of gallery forests in the
zoogeography of the Cerrado’s non-volant mammalian fauna. Biotropica
* ^ HENRIQUES, R.P.B. & CAVALCANTE, R.J. 2004. Survey of a gallery
forest orimate community in the cerrado of the Distrito Federal,
central Brazil. 12: 78-83
* ^ A B C D A Disappearing Biome? Reconsidering Land-Cover Change
in the Brazilian
Savanna Wendy Jepson, The Geographical Journal. Vol.
171, No. 2 (Jun., 2005), pp. 99-111
* ^ Development for Sustainable Agriculture: The Brazilian Cerrado
* ^ The Economist. Brazilian agriculture: The miracle of the
cerrado. August 26, 2010. http://www.economist.com/node/16886442
* ^ Observatory of Economic Complexity
* ^ Rohter, Larry (October 2, 2007). "Scientists Are Making
Brazil\'s Savannah Bloom". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7,
* ^ Lopes, A. Scheid. "Soils under Cerrado: A Success Story in Soil
Management." Better Crops International. 10.2 (1996): n. page. Print.
* ^ The Cerrado: Brazil’s Other Biodiverse Region Loses Ground
* ^ DW - Secrets of the Brazilian Cerrado
* ^ Conservation International.
Access date: 31/08/2011
* ^ Hilaire, Eric (December 22, 2011). "Disappearing Cerrado:
\'Brazil\'s great untold environmental disaster\' - audio slideshow
Environment guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
* ^ Carlos Klink and Ricardo Machado (2005). "Conservation of the
Brazilian Cerrado". Conservation Biology, Volume 19 #3.
* ^ Mighty Earth - Mystery Meat
* ^ The New York Times: Amazon Deforestation, Once Tamed, Comes
* ^ The Cerrado: Brazil’s Other Biodiverse Region Loses Ground
* Oliveira, Paulo S.; Marquis, Robert J. The Cerrados of Brazil:
Ecology and Natural History of a Neotropical
Savanna (2002) New York
Columbia University Press ISBN 0-231-12043-5
* (in Portuguese) BRANDÃO, M.; GAVILANES, M. L. (1992). Espécies
árboreas padronizadoras do
Cerrado mineiro e sua distribuição no
Estado. Informe Agropecuário 16 (173): 5-11.
* (in Portuguese) BRANDÃO, M.; CARVALHO, P. G. S.; JESUÉ, G.
(1992). Guia Ilustrado de Plantas do Cerrado. CEMIG.
* CASTRO, A. A. J. F., MARTINS F. R., TAMASHIRO, J. Y., SHEPHERD G.
J. (1999). How rich is the flora of Brazilian Cerrados? Annals of the
Missouri Botanical Garden 86 (1): 192-224.
* (in Portuguese) COUTINHO, L. M.
Cerrado São Paulo : University of
São Paulo .
* RATTER, J.A.; RIBEIRO,J.F. FELFILI, J. M.; WALTER, B. M. T.;
SILVA, M. C.; REZENDE, FILGUEIRAS, T. S.; NOGUEIRA, P. E. Flora
vascular do bioma Cerrado. ("Vascular flora of
Cerrado biome") IBGE
* GOTTSBERGER, G.; SILBERBAUER-GOTTSBERGER, I. (2006): Life in the
Cerrado Reta Verlag, Ulm 2006, ISBN 3-00-017928-3 Volume 1, ISBN
3-00-017929-1 Volume 2
Cerrado biodiversity Hotspot (Conservation International)
* The Chapada dos Veadeiros,
Cerrado de Altitude
* (in Portuguese) EMBRAPA (Brazilian Government): Bioma Cerrado