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Biota Neotropica

Print version ISSN 1806-129XOn-line version ISSN 1676-0611

Biota Neotrop. vol.18 no.4 Campinas  2018  Epub Aug 23, 2018 

Identification Key

Plant Species in a tract of insular Atlantic Forest in Ilhabela (SP): Floristics, photographic documentation, and identification keys of arboreal dicotyledons based on vegetative characteristics

Espécies vegetais em um trecho de Mata Atlântica insular em Ilhabela (SP): Florística, documentação fotográfica e chaves de identificação de dicotiledôneas arbóreas baseadas em características vegetativas

Andrea Garafulic Aguirre1  *

Juliana Teixeira1 

João Paulo Fernandes Zorzanelli3 

Gabriel Dalla Colletta2 

Daniela Sampaio4 

1Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Rio Claro, SP, Brasil

2Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Departamento de Biologia vegetal, Campinas, SP, Brasil

3Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Departamento de Ciências Florestais e da Madeira, Jerônimo Monteiro, ES, Brasil

4Universidade Estadual Júlio de Mesquita Filho, Departamento de Zoologia e Botânica, São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brasil


The Ilhabela State Park (PEIb, for Parque Estadual Ilhabela in Portuguese)-located between 23º 46' 28" south latitude and 45º 21' 20" west latitude-is responsible for the conservation of one of the most important, and most devastated, fragments of insular Atlantic Forest. To catalog the arboreal species along the trails of the Conservation Unit, and to provide a practical instrument to facilitate the recognition of these species, we aimed with this work to conduct a floristic and photographic survey of distinct life forms and create an identification key for arboreal dicotyledonous species based on vegetative characters. We cataloged 123 species belonging to 99 genera and 46 botanical families. The best-represented families were Rubiaceae (15 spp.), Fabaceae (10), Piperaceae (10), Myrtaceae (8), Melatomataceae (7) and Lauraceae (7). We found three species threatened with extinction, two new occurrences for the state of São Paulo, and one plant species new to science, demonstrating the floristic importance of the region. We developed three vegetative dichotomous identification keys: to species with compound leaves; simple and opposite leaves; and alternate simple leaves. The dichotomous keys presents 97 arboreal species, distributed among 37 families, and was based on vegetative characters such as phyllotaxis, composition and shape of the limbus, presence or absence of stipules, exudate, lenticels, indument, glands and dots. We also elaborated a photographic board with 118 species as a supplementary material to support the use of the identification key.

Keywords: Insular environments; dichotomous keys; Atlantic Forest; Ilhabela State Park


O Parque Estadual de Ilhabela - PEIb (23º 46' e 28" de latitude sul e 45º 21' 20" de latitude oeste) é responsável pela conservação de um dos mais importantes e devastados fragmentos de Mata Atlântica insular. Como forma de listar as espécies arbóreas nas trilhas da Unidade de Conservação e fornecer um instrumento prático para auxiliar no reconhecimento dessas espécies, objetivamos nesse trabalho realizar um levantamento florístico e fotográfico com distintas formas de vida para elaborar uma chave de identificação das espécies de Dicotiledôneas arbóreas com base em caracteres vegetativos. Listamos 123 espécies, presentes em 99 gêneros e 46 famílias botânicas. As famílias mais bem representadas foram Rubiaceae (15 spp.), Fabaceae (10), Piperaceae (10), Myrtaceae (8), Melatomataceae (7) e Lauraceae (7). Encontramos três espécies ameaçadas de extinção, duas novas ocorrências para o estado de São Paulo e uma nova espécie de planta para a ciência, demonstrando a importância florística do local. Elaboramos três chaves dicotômicas vegetativas de identificação sendo elas: para espécies com folhas compostas; folhas simples e opostas; e folhas simples e alternas. As chaves apresentando 97 espécies arbóreas, distribuídas em 37 famílias, baseadas em caracteres vegetativos tais como filotaxia, composição e formato do limbo, presença ou ausência de estípulas, exsudado, lenticelas, indumento, glândulas e pontuações. Nós também elaboramos pranchas fotográficas como um material suplementar de auxílio à utilização da chave de identificação.

Palavras-chave: Ambientes insulares; chaves dicotômicas; Floresta Atlântica; Parque Estadual de Ilhabela


Large-scale conservation planning is based on information about vascular plants, because they provide the structure for ecosystems (Kreft & Jetz 2007, Marques 2015). This information depends on taxonomic studies and cataloging of flora, primarily at local and regional scales, and is then extrapolated to understand global patterns of distribution (Kreft et al. 2008, Myers et al. 2000).

Within this perspective, insular environments are significant for their importance to the conservation of biological diversity around the world, as a quarter of all known vascular plant species are endemic to these ecosystems (Kier et al. 2009). As biodiversity hotspots, they are extremely vulnerable to human activities, especially concerning biological invasions and climate changes (Braje et al. 2017, Hofman & Rick 2017, Nogue et al. 2017), which leads to biodiversity loss at an accelerated rate relative to the pace of registration and documentation of species distribution and diversity (Kier et al. 2009, Kreft et al. 2008).

In Brazil, one of the centers of global priority for conservation (Brooks et al. 2006) and of vascular plant richness (IUCN 1997), this situation is grave, because vegetation is restricted to small landscape fragments, especially for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Ribeiro et al. 2009, Haddah et al. 2015), and many plant species still await formal description (Trias-Blasi & Vorontsova 2015). According to the federal government's database on Brazilian biodiversity, Sistema de Informação sobre a Biodiversidade Brasileira (, only an estimated 11% of the nation's total biodiversity is known, and 1.821% of this total is represented by recorded species of angiosperms. However, there are few inventories of the biodiversity and stages of conservation of biota in geographic isolation (Gibson et al. 2017), such as the vegetation of the Ilhabela State Park (PEIb).

Among the more recent studies conducted in insular environments of southeastern Brazil, Nunes-Freitas and collaborators (2009) assessed the status of knowledge on the family Bromeliaceae in Ilha Grande, RJ; Ferreira et al. (2007) did a floristic survey covering several families on Franceses Island, Espírito Santo State; Kurtz et al. (2017) described the vascular flora and vegetation on Ilha Queimada Grande, São Paulo; and Bovini et al. (2014) studied the floristic diversity of the Ilhas Cagarras natural monument in Rio de Janeiro.

The creation of identification keys is instrumental in advancing the knowledge of Brazil's wide biodiversity while it still exists, being of fundamental importance to the knowledge of insular flora. As one of the recent concerns of scientists, these keys become even more relevant when based on vegetative morphological characteristics (Braz et al. 2004, Duarte 2003, Eltink et al. 2011, Rejmanek & Brewer 2001, Urbanetz et al. 2010), because they present simplified information, making them fast and easy to use, and they do not depend mainly on one specific period of the year. Therefore, our objective was to create a dichotomous key based on vegetative characters, using the species collected in an archipelago-park that has 92% of its territory covered by native vegetation in different stages of conservation, and is the largest and most populous on the southeast coast of Brazil (Galetti et al. 2016), the Ilhabela State Park.

Material and Methods

We collected fertile botanical materials during semiannual field expeditions between 2012 and 2014, along three trails in the PEIb, in São Sebastião municipality, São Paulo (geographic coordinates 23º 46' 28" south latitude and 45º 21' 20" west latitude), ranging from 200 to 500 m in altitude. All fertile materials were photographed and incorporated into the collections Instituto Florestal (SPSF) and the Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESA) Herbariums (Acronyms according to Thiers 2017).

The trails where we collected the botanical materials are, specifically, the most vulnerable of the Conservation Unit due to the large volume of visitors. The names of these trails are "Cachoeira da Laje", "Três Tombos", "Praia dos Castelhanos" and "Cachoeira da Água Branca".

The studied areas are included in the category of Submontane Dense Ombrophilous Forest (IBGE, 2012), with stages of conservation varying from middle to advanced, usually presenting a closed canopy structure and three strata. Although these areas share the same vegetation formation, they present a configuration of differentiated species. This condition may be influenced by several factors such as variation in distinct soil types, slope, face and altitude. There is not much illegal logging in the park, but it suffers constant fires in the areas nearest the protective boundary zone, and hunting of wildlife occurs. The regional climate, according to the Köppen classification approximated for Brazil (Alvares et al. 2013), is classified as regional humid tropical without a dry season, type Cfb, and with an average annual temperature of 18-22 °C.

The taxonomic identification of the specimens was performed using specialized bibliography, consultation with specialists, and comparison with the collections deposited in the Instituto Florestal (SPSF) and the Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESA) Herbariums. The classification of the botanical families was made based on the system proposed by the APG IV (2016). Correct spelling, authorship and synonyms of the species were consulted in the online database Flora do Brasil 2020 under construction ( The taxonomic key was elaborated after all the materials has been identified. We started observing each voucher species collected by us for elaborated an initial diagnosis for each specie, based on their main morphological characteristics, with terminologies following Harris & Harris (1994), Souza & Lorenzi (2008), Gonçalves & Lorenzi (2007). After the initial diagnosis, we consulted in literature which main characteristics was used by taxonomists to describe the species. Than we compare these information with the initial diagnosis elaborated with the materials collected by us to create characteristic components for elaborate the vegetative dichotomous key. We consult the volumes in the Flora Fanerogâmica de São Paulo (Wanderley et al. 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2016, Melhem et al. 2007) in all the steps to develop the identification key. Our last step to create the keys was separate the species into three main groups based on their phyllotaxis and leaf type. Thus, we made three keys: Key one representing the species with compound leaves; Key two for the species with opposite or subopposite simple leaves; and Key three for species with simple alternate leaves. In addition of the identification keys we produced photographic boards with general images of species sampled highlighting some morphological detail when necessary, as a detailed graphic material to support the use of the keys.

Threatened species have been categorized according to three distinct lists: a general list with international information, realized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); a national list that includes all threatened species in Brazil, the Brazilian Flora (CNCFlora); and a list of threatened species of the State of São Paulo (Resolution SMA n. 57/2016), which published the second revision of the official list of endangered flora species in the State of São Paulo.

Results and Discussion

We collected and identified 123 species (trees, shrubs, arborescent herbs, and herbs) distributed among 99 genera and 46 botanical families (Table 1, Figures 1 to 30). The best-represented families were Rubiaceae (15 spp.), Fabaceae (10), Piperaceae (10), Myrtaceae (8), Melatomataceae (7) and Lauraceae (7). This study's samples included one specie new to science, belonging to the genus Eugenia (Myrtaceae) (Mazine et al. in prep.); four species threatened with extinction (Phyllostemonodaphne geminiflora, Ficus pulchella, Trichilia casaretti and Nectandra barbellata - The IUCN Red List 2017); and two new occurrences for the state of São Paulo, Phyllostemonodaphne geminiflora and Simira glaziovii.

Table 1 List of species found, with their respective collection numbers in the herbariums of the Instituto Florestal (SPSF) and the Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESA); and information on the threatened species, obtained from the lists of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “Livro Vermelho da Flora do Brasil” - CNCFlora (Matinelli & Moraes 2013) and the Secretariat of Environment of the State of São Paulo (SMA 057/2016), respectively. Conservation status levels: EN (In Danger); LC (Least Concern); VU (Vulnerable); DD (insuficiente data). 

Family/Scientific name ESA SPSF IUCN CNCFlora SMA
Aphelandra longiflora (Lindl.) Profice. 128869 47329
Avicennia schaueriana Stapf & Leechm. ex Moldenke. 128890
Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi. 52235
Annona dolabripetala Raddi. 128846 47332
Guatteria australis A.St.-Hil. 47321
Aspidosperma olivaceum Müll.Arg. 128865 47370
Ilex taubertiana Loes. 52246
Anthurium sellowianum Kunth. 128862 47317
Monstera adansonii Schott. 128877 47368
Dendropanax monogynus (Vell.) Seem. 128828 47377
Geonoma elegans Mart. 47365
Eremanthus erythropappus (DC.) MacLeish. 47343
Stifftia parviflora (Leandro.) D.Don. 47471 DD
Vernonanthura lindbergii (Baker.) H.Rob. 128876 DD
Begonia convolvulacea (Klotzsch.) A.DC. 47337
Cordia taguahyensis Vell. 51836
Varronia curassavica Jacq. 128901
Trema micrantha (L.) Blume. 128909 47473
Cheiloclinium cognatum (Miers.) A.C.Sm. 128895
Monteverdia ardisiifolia (Reissek.) Biral. 128829 47379
Salacia grandifolia (Mart. ex Schult.) G.Don. 51841
Hirtella racemosa Lam. 51847
Clethra scabra Pers. 51855
Clusia criuva Cambess. 52237 LC
Dichorisandra hexandra (Aubl.) C.B.Clarke. 47347
Scleria latifolia Sw. 47316
Sloanea hirsuta (Schott.) Planch. ex Benth. 128859 47462
Algernonia brasiliensis Baill. 51849
Croton floribundus Spreng. 51853
Bauhinia forficata Link. 51852
Dalbergia frutescens (Vell.) Britton. 128904 47369
Erythrina crista-galli L. 128898 47457
Inga marginata Willd. 128870 47362 LC
Inga striata Benth. 128866 47364 LC
Machaerium nyctitans (Vell.) Benth. 128875 47353
Piptadenia gonoacantha (Mart.) J.F.Macbr. 128913
Senna multijuga (Rich.) H.S.Irwin & Barneby. 52234
Swartzia langsdorffii Raddi. 51845
Zollernia ilicifolia (Brongn.) Vogel. 51851
Aegiphila integrifolia (Jacq.) Moldenke. 128903 47452
Aniba viridis Mez. 47354
Endlicheria paniculata (Spreng.) J.F.Macbr. 47355
Licaria armeniaca (Nees.) Kosterm. 128881 47356
Nectandra barbellata Coe-Teix. 52245 VU VU VU
Nectandra membranacea (Sw.) Griseb. 128914 47469
Ocotea dispersa (Nees & Mart.) Mez. 51844
Phyllostemonodaphne geminiflora (Mez.) Kosterm. 50435 EN
Spigelia beyrichiana Cham. & Schltdl. 47323
Strychnos brasiliensis Mart. 52243
Eriotheca pentaphylla (Vell. & K.Schum.) A.Robyns. 52241
Quararibea turbinata (Sw.) Poir. 128841 47376
Luehea divaricata Mart. & Zucc. 128873 47319
Leandra ionopogon (Mart.) Cogn. 128855 47345
Miconia cinnamomifolia (DC.) Naudin. 128883 47315
Miconia dodecandra Cogn. 128888 47330
Miconia fasciculata Gardner. 128833 47346
Miconia tristis Spring. 128826 47344
Tibouchina clavata (Pers.) Wurdack. 128905 47477
Tibouchina pulchra Cogn. 51842
Cabralea canjerana (Vell.) Mart. 52236
Trichilia casaretti C.DC. 128916 47467 VU
Ficus insipida Willd. 128868 47313
Ficus pulchella Schott. VU
Sorocea racemosa Gaudich. 47464
Eugenia sp. (Mazine et al. in prep.) 128843
Eugenia fusca O.Berg. 51837
Calyptranthes lanceolata O.Berg. 47350
Campomanesia guaviroba (DC.) Kiaersk. 47349
Marlierea excoriata Mart. 128852
Myrcia hebepetala DC. 52244
Myrcia spectabilis DC. 47351
Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC. 47455
Guapira opposita (Vell.) Reitz. 47348
Ouratea parviflora (A.DC.) Baill. 47314
Heisteria silvianii Schwacke. 52240
Gallesia integrifolia (Spreng.) Harms. 52242
Seguieria langsdorffii Moq. 52238
Peperomia pseudoestrellensis C.DC. 128858 47336
Peperomia urocarpa Fisch. & C.A.Mey. 47338
Piper arboreum Aubl. 128845 47334
Piper amplum Kunth. 128879
Piper hispidum Sw. 128836 47359
Piper lepturum Kunth. 128880 47310
Piper morisonianum C.DC. 47360
Piper rivinoides Kunth. 128915 47468
Piper solmsianum C.DC. 47361
Piper umbellatum L. 47358
Myrsine coriacea (Sw.) R.Br. ex Roem. & Schult. 128871 47339
Myrsine guianensis (Aubl.) Kuntze. 128874 47357
Myrsine venosa A.DC. 47322
Stylogyne pauciflora Mez. 51850
Prunus brasiliensis (Cham. & Schltdl.) D.Dietr. 51857
Alseis floribunda Schott. 51839
Chomelia pedunculosa Benth. 51840
Cordiera myrciifolia (K.Schum.) C.H.Perss. & Delprete. 51858
Coussarea meridionalis (Vell.) Müll.Arg. 128840 47372
Coussarea nodosa (Benth.) Müll.Arg. 128848 47374
Coutarea hexandra (Jacq.) K.Schum. 128902 47453
Faramea truncata (Vell.) Müll.Arg. 128886 47328
Manettia gracilis Cham. & Schltdl. 128839 47335
Psychotria carthagenensis Jacq. 128835 51854
Psychotria leiocarpa Cham. & Schltdl. 128847 47327
Psychotria patentinervia Müll.Arg. 128834 47325
Psychotria suterella Müll.Arg. 51848
Rudgea jasminoides (Cham.) Müll.Arg. 47371 VU
Rustia formosa (Cham. & Schltdl.) Klotzsch. 47456
Simira glaziovii (K.Schum.) Steyerm. 128878 47373
Esenbeckia grandiflora Mart. 52239
Neoraputia magnifica (Engl.) Emmerich ex Kallunki. 47320
Zanthoxylum caribaeum Lam. 128912 47470
Casearia sylvestris Sw. 128863 47312
Allophylus petiolulatus Radlk. 50434
Cupania oblongifolia Mart. 128882 47363
Pouteria venosa (Mart.) Baehni. 128883
Picramnia ciliata Mart. 128864 47340
Siparuna brasiliensis (Spreng.) A.DC. 128830 47333
Cestrum intermedium Sendtn. 128867 47342
Cestrum schlechtendalii G.Don. 51856
Solanum swartzianum Roem. & Schult. 128850 47366
Cecropia pachystachya Trécul. 128910 47472
Coussapoa microcarpa (Schott.) Rizzini. 51846
Urera nitida (Vell.) P.Brack. 128887 47367
Noisettia orchidiflora (Rudge.) Ging. 47318

Figure 1 Acanthaceae: (A) Aphelandra longiflora, inflorescence in detail; (B) Avicennia schaueriana. Anacardiaceae: (C) Schinus terebinthifolius, details of the fruit and the winged compound leaf are highlighted. Annonaceae: (D) Annona dolabripetala, details of the fruit are highlighted. 

Figure 2 Annonaceae: (A) Guatteria australis, details of the inflorescence and fruits are highlighted. Apocynaceae: (B) Aspidosperma olivaceum. Araceae: (C) Anthurium sellowianum; (D) Monstera adansonii

Figure 3 Araliaceae: (A) Dendropanax monogynus, details of the fruits are highlighted. Arecaceae: (B) Geonoma elegans. Asteraceae: (C) Eremanthus erythropappus, details of the inflorescence are hightlighted; (D) Stifftia parviflora

Figure 4 Asteraceae: (A) Vernonanthura lindbergii. Begoniaceae: (B) Begonia convolvulacea, details of inflorescence are highlighted. Boraginaceae: (C) Cordia taguahyensis; (D) Varronia curassavica

Figure 5 Cannabaceae: (A) Trema micrantha. Celastraceae: (B) Cheiloclinium cognatum; (C) Monteverdia ardisiifolia; (D) Salacia grandiflora, details of the inflorescence are highlighted. 

Figure 6 Chrysobalanaceae: (A) Hirtella racemosa, details of the fruit are highlighted. Clethraceae: (B) Clethra scabra. Clusiaceae: (C) Clusia criuva. Commelinaceae: (D) Dichorisandra hexandra

Figure 7 Elaeocarpaceae: (A) Sloanea hirsuta. Euphorbiaceae: (B) Algernonia brasiliensis, details of the fruit are highlighted. Euphorbiaceae: (C) Croton floribundus. Fabaceae: (D) Bauhinia forficata

Figure 8 Fabaceae: (A) Dalbergia frutescens; (B) Erythrina crista-galli; (C) Inga marginata; (D) Inga striata

Figure 9 Fabaceae: (A) Machaerium nyctitans, details of the fruits are highlighted; (B) Piptadenia gonoacantha; (C) Senna multijuga; (D) Swartzia langsdorffii

Figure 10 Fabaceae: (A) Zollernia ilicifolia. Lamiaceae: (B) Aegiphila integrifolia. Lauraceae: (C) Aniba viridis; (D) Endlicheria paniculata, details of the inflorescence are hightlighted. 

Figure 11 Lauraceae: (A) Licaria armeniaca; (B) Nectandra barbellata, details of the fruit are hightlighted; (C) Nectandra membranacea; (D) Ocotea dispersa

Figure 12 Lauraceae: (A) Phyllostemonodaphne geminiflora, details of the inflorescence are hightlighted. Loganiaceae: (B) Spigelia beyrichiana; (C) Strychnos brasiliensis. Malvaceae: (D) Eriotheca pentaphylla

Figure 13 Malvaceae: (A) Luehea divaricata, details of the fruits are highlighted; (B) Quararibea turbinata, details of the fruits are highlighted. Melastomataceae: (C) Leandra ionopogon; (D) Miconia cinnamomifolia

Figure 14 Melastomataceae: A) Miconia dodecandra; (B) Miconia fasciculata; (C) Miconia tristis, details of the fruits are highlighted; (D) Tibouchina pulchra

Figure 15 Melastomataceae: (A) Tibouchina clavata. Meliaceae: (B) Cabralea canjerana;(C) Trichilia casaretti. Moraceae: (D) Ficus insipida

Figure 16 Moraceae: (A) Ficus pulchella. Myrtaceae: (B) Calyptranthes lanceolata, details of the fruits are highlighted; (C) Campomanesia guaviroba; (D) Eugenia fusca

Figure 17 Myrtaceae: (A) Eugenia sp. (Mazine et al. in prep.), details of the fruits are highlighted; (B) Marlierea excoriota; (C) Myrcia hebepetala, details of the fruits are highlighted; (D) Myrcia spectabilis

Figure 18 Myrtaceae: (A) Myrcia splendens. Nyctaginaceae: (B) Guapira opposita. Ochnaceae: (C) Ouratea parviflora; Olacaceae: (D) Heisteria silvianii

Figure 19 Phytolaccaceae: (A) Gallesia integrifolia; (B) Seguieria langsdorffii, details of the inflorescence and fruits are highlighted. Piperaceae: (C) Peperomia pseudoestrellensis; (D) Peperomia urocarpa

Figure 20 Piperaceae: (A) Piper amplum; (B) Piper arboreum; (C) Piper hispidum; (D) Piper lepturum

Figure 21 Piperaceae: (A) Piper rivinoides; (B) Piper solmsianum; (C) Piper umbellatum. Primulaceae: (D) Myrsine coriaceae

Figura 22 Primulaceae: (A) Myrsine guianensis; (B) Myrsine venosa; (C) Stylogyne pauciflora. Rosaceae: (D) Prunus brasiliensis

Figure 23 Rubiaceae: (A) Alseis floribunda; (B) Chomelia pedunculosa; (C) Cordiera myrciifolia; (D) Coussera meridionalis

Figure 24 Rubiaceae: (A) Coussarea nodosa; (B) Coutarea hexandra, details of the fruits are highlighted; (C) Faramea truncata; (D) Manettia gracilis

Figure 25 Rubiaceae: (A) Psychotria carthagenensis; (B) Psychotria leiocarpa, details of the fruits are highlighted; (C) Psychotria patentinervia, details of the fruits are highlighted; (D) Psychotria suterella

Figure 26 Rubiaceae: (A) Rudgea jasminoides; (B) Rustia Formosa; (C) Simira glaziovii. Rutaceae: (D) Esenbeckia grandiflora

Figure 27 Rutaceae: (A) Neoraputia magnifica, details of the fruits are highlighted; (B) Zanthoxylum caribaeum. Salicaceae: (C) Casearia sylvestris, details of the inflorescence are highlighted. Sapindaceae: (D) Allophylus petiolulatus

Figure 28 Sapindaceae: (A) Cupania oblongifolia, details of the inflorescence are highlighted. Sapotaceae: (B) Pouteria venosa, details of the inflorescence are highlighted. Simaroubaceae: (C) Picramnia cilata. Siparunaceae: (D) Siparuna brasiliensis, details of the fruits are highlighted. 

Figure 29 Solanaceae: (A) Cestrum intermedium; (B) Cestrum schlechtendalii, details of the fruits are highlighted; (C) Solanum swartzianum. Urticaceae: (D) Cecropia pachystachya

Figure 30 Urticaceae: (A) Coussapoa microcarpa, details of the fruits are highlighted; (B) Urera nitida, details of the inflorescence are highlighted. 

The botanical families with the greatest richness in our work are also among the best represented in coastal vegetation in the state of São Paulo, such as Fabaceae, Myrtaceae, Rubiaceae and Lauraceae (e.g. Rochelle et al. 2011, Prata et al. 2011). In the same way, most of the listed species presented a similar pattern being distributed along the Atlantic Forest, suggesting that the distance to the continental shelf does not constitute a physical barrier to the dispersion of these species.

New records of species and new descriptions from the state of São Paulo attest to the existence of knowledge gaps and low sample effort in some locations. This bias is also demonstrated for other states (e.g. Hassemer et al. 2015, Luber et al. 2016) and corresponds basically to the scarcity of floristic knowledge along the Atlantic Forest, where only 0.01% of its total area is sampled (Lima et al. 2015). This information is important to improve our understanding of geographic distribution and to provide references to species that are listed as "deficient data" (Zorzanelli et al. 2017), which are essential for planning and elaboration of conservation policies, especially in environments vegetation.

The three dichotomous key represented 97 tree species, distributed among 37 families. Two species have been incorporated in distinct keys: Esenbeckia grandiflora and Bauhinia forficata. E. grandiflora is considered a specie with compound leaves, but according to the observations in the field the specie shows alternate simple leaves. B. forficata exhibit compound leaves 2-leafleted, but can be confused with simple lobed leaves. For this reason, both species were added into the compound leaves key and alternate simple leaves key.

We also produced 30 boards with general images of 118 sampled species photographed, present on Figure 1 to 30. The boards present photos of branches, flowers and/or fruits, in addition to details of the species fertile structures, such as inflorescence (i.e. Figure 4a, 5d, 19b) and fruits (i.e. Figure 6a, 13b, 24b, 30b).

Dichotomous keys based on fertile and vegetative morphological characters are widely disseminated, generally as the final product of cataloging local and regional flora. These tools are fundamental for research in different knowledge areas, because they require primarily the information generated by floristic studies (Eltink et al. 2011) and botanical collections. Although the keys have a broad functionality, their uses are limited by the acquisition of botanical materials in a fertile state, something common in rapid inventory works such as structural and phytosociological surveys. Therefore, the construction of dichotomous keys based only on vegetative characters represents an important tool for the knowledge of plant species where the samples do not have flowers and fruits, especially for local information, where the characters included can be clearly interpreted (Rejmánek & Brewer 2000).

The publication of keys complemented by images of the details of fresh plants, in the laboratory or in situ, is an interesting proposal (Bittrich et al. 2012) and could improve the accuracy of correct plant species determination (Hawthorne et al. 2014). Ensuring and facilitating the process of plant species identification makes nature conservation strategies more effective.

Large islands tend to have high plant species richness, because they present different formations (Callado et al. 2009). Specifically, the archipelago of Ilhabela can be considered one of the leading insular samples of the Atlantic Forest, not only for its size and conservation, but also for its variation of altitudinal gradients and different formations. Therefore, efforts to catalog PEIb flora are necessary because we have little knowledge of this important vegetation until now.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to the publication of this manuscript.


To the employees at the operational base of the PEIb: João Batista Dias, Winny Luiz Midoes da Silva, Paulo Roberto dos Santos Souza, Marcos Aurélio Alves do Nascimento, Dorival Roberto dos Santos, José Francisco dos Santos, Aguinaldo dos Santos, José Cláudio Lucas da Silva, João Ivomar de Araújo, and Park Manager Joana Fava Cardoso Alves. To COTEC, which gave us the authorization to collect materials, n° 015.717/2012. The Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie and Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Halph Alberghini for all the help during the field expeditions. To the taxonomists, for making identifications: Adriana Lobão (Annonaceae), Marcelo Monge (Asteraceae), Leonardo Biral dos Santos (Celastraceae), Julio A. Lombardi (Celastraceae), Gerson Oliveira Romão (Clethraceae), Letícia Lima (Euphorbiaceae), Ines Cordeiro (Euphorbiaceae), Vidal Mansano (Fabaceae), Rubens Queiroz (Fabaceae), Vinicius Castro Souza (Fabaceae), João Batista Baitello (Lauraceae), Fabrício Schmitz Meyer (Melastomataceae), Renato Goldenberg (Melastomataceae), Marcelo Reginato (Melastomataceae), João Aurelio Pastore (Meliaceae), Livia Ribeiro de Mendonça (Moraceae), Fiorella Fernanda Mazine Capelo (Myrtaceae), Osny T. Aguiar (Myrtaceae), Francisco Souza (Nyctaginaceae), Daniele Monteiro (Piperaceae), Maria De Fátima Freitas (Primulaceae), Marcelo A. de Pinho Ferreira (Rubiaceae), Marcela Firens (Rubiaceae), Jose Rubens Pirani (Rutaceae), Katia Freire da Silva (Sapindaceae) and Geraldo Antonio Daher Corrêa Franco (Generalista).

Supplementary Material

The following online material is available for this article:

Identification key 1

Identification key 2

Identification key 3


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Received: December 11, 2017; Revised: June 05, 2018; Accepted: July 26, 2018

*Corresponding author: Andrea Garafulic Aguirre, e-mail:

Author Contributions

Andrea Garafulic Aguirre: substantial contribution in the concept and design of the study; contribution to data collection, analysis, interpretation, and manuscript preparation.

Juliana Teixeira: substantial contribution in the concept and design of the study; contribution to data collection, analysis, interpretation, and manuscript preparation.

João Paulo Fernandes Zorzanelli: substantial contribution in the concept and design of the study, data analysis, interpretation and manuscript preparation.

Gabriel Dalla Colletta: contribution to data collection, analysis and interpretation.

Daniela Sampaio: contribution to manuscript preparation and critical revision, adding intelectual content.

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