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Acta Botanica Brasilica
On-line version ISSN 1677-941X
ROLIM, Samir Gonçalves et al. Floristic composition of the tree layer in Atlantic forest on the rio Doce alluvial floodplain, Espírito Santo State, Brazil. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.3, pp. 549-561. ISSN 1677-941X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062006000300005.
The tree and palm flora was studied in the Atlantic forest of the rio Doce alluvial floodplain, in a 20,000ha area, between Linhares (Espírito Santo State) and the Atlantic Ocean. The floristic survey recorded 408 species and 59 families. Floristic composition was compared to other forests of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro states using cluster analysis. The forest flora of the study area was most similar to that of forests in Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, and Bahia. Dozens of species in the study area are restricted and rare in Atlantic forest; this area deserves special attention for biodiversity conservation. The Brazilian government should pay heed to the biological importance of this area and declare it an Environmental Protection Area, a type of conservation unit where sustained exploitation of resources is legal. We understand that, in practical terms, this sort of conservation unit is not very efficient in conserving natural resources, but it would be a start and might contribute to improved awareness, especially by local farmers and politicians.
Keywords : rio Doce; Atlantic forest; floodplain forest; floristic composition; cocoa agroforestry.