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Current State and projection of the probable original vegetation of the São Carlos region of São Paulo State, Brazil

O município de São Carlos, São Paulo, Brasil: vegetação original e situação atual

A map of the native vegetation remaining in São Carlos County was built based on aerial images, satellite images, and field observations, and a projection of the probable original vegetation was made by checking it against soil and relief surveys. The existing vegetation is very fragmented and impoverished, consisting predominantly of cerrados (savanna vegetation of various physiognomies), semideciduous and riparian forest, and regeneration areas. Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol.) Kuntze, found in patches inside the semideciduous forest beginning at a minimum altitude of 850 m, has practically disappeared. By evaluating areas on the map for different forms of vegetation, we obtained the following results for original coverage: 27% cerrado (sparsely arboreal and short-shrub savanna, and wet meadows); 16% cerradão (arboreal savanna); 55% semideciduous and riparian forests; and 2% forest with A. angustifolia. There are now 2% cerrados; 2.5% cerradão; 1% semideciduous forest and riparian forests; 1.5% regeneration areas; and 0% forest with A. angustifolia.

vegetation fragmentation; cerrado; semideciduous forest; Araucaria angustifolia; forest remnant; phytogeography

Instituto Internacional de Ecologia R. Bento Carlos, 750, 13560-660 São Carlos SP - Brasil, Tel. e Fax: (55 16) 3362-5400 - São Carlos - SP - Brazil