Floristic composition of an urban coastal forest fragment at the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil

Raianna Oliveira Araujo Eliseu Marlônio Pereira de Lucena Oriel Herrera Bonilla Maria Isabela Cavalcante Vieira Valéria da Silva Sampaio About the authors

Abstract

The urban areas have suffered with the loss in their biodiversity along the years due to the decrease of green areas by civil construction or by the urban population growth. Therefore, this work aimed at registering the angiosperms diversity in an urban forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil. The sampling was carried out from May/2018 to April /2019 through walks during the rainy and dry seasons. 160 species distributed in 128 genera and 49 families were registered. Fabaceae (27 spp.), Asteraceae (13 spp.), Convolvulaceae and Malvaceae (11 spp. each), Rubiaceae e Poaceae (9 spp. each), and Euphorbiaceae (8 spp.) were the richest families, accounting for 55% of the sampled flora. The herbaceous plants (36.65%) were the most represented habit after which the sub-shrubs and shrubs (17,50% each), arboreal (16,25%) and climbing plants (13.12%) were classified. Among the total species 94.37% are natives, 15,62% are endemic to Brazil and 5,62% are exotic. Of the identified species, 10 spp. are in the Red List of the Flora Conservation National Center and 30 spp. are in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It can be concluded that the studied fragment has an important richness of plant species in an urban area, therefore it is necessary to create a Conservation Unity and a management plan in order to guarantee the conservation of the area.

Key words
coastal zone; flora; Northeastern Brazil; urban vegetation

Resumo

As áreas urbanas sofrem no decorrer dos anos com a perda da sua biodiversidade, devido à redução das áreas verdes pela construção civil ou pelo crescimento populacional urbano. Desse modo, o presente trabalho objetivou registrar a diversidade de angiospermas de um fragmento florestal urbano ocorrente no Campus Itaperi da Universidade Estadual do Ceará, em Fortaleza, Ceará. As coletas foram realizadas de maio/2018 a abril/2019, por meio de caminhadas realizadas nas estações seca e chuvosa. Foram registradas 160 espécies distribuídas em 128 gêneros e 49 famílias. Fabaceae (27 spp.), Asteraceae (13 spp.), Convolvulaceae e Malvaceae (11 spp. cada), Rubiaceae e Poaceae (9 spp. cada), e Euphorbiaceae (8 spp.) foram as famílias mais ricas, respondendo por 55% da flora amostrada. As plantas herbáceas (36,65%) foram o hábito mais representado, após o qual foram classificados os subarbustos e arbustos (17,50% cada), arbóreos (16,25%) e trepadeiras (13,12%). Dentre o total de espécies 94,37% são nativas, 15,62% são endêmicas do Brasil e 5,62% são exóticas. Das espécies identificadas, 10 spp. estão na Lista Vermelha do Centro Nacional de Conservação da Flora e 30 spp. na Lista Vermelha da União Internacional para a Conservação da Natureza. Podemos concluir que o fragmento estudado possui uma importante riqueza de espécies de plantas em área urbana, sendo necessário a criação de uma Unidade de Conservação e de um plano de manejo de modo a garantir a conservação da área.

Palavras-chave
zona costeira; flora; Nordeste do Brasil; vegetação urbana

Introduction

Great areas of the Earth surface are being altered by human activities (Pardini et al. 2017Pardini R, Nichols E & Püttker T (2017) Biodiversity response to habitat loss and fragmentation. In: DellaSala D & Goldstein M (eds.) Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene. Elsevier. Pp. 229-239.). The lost and fragmentation of the habitats are the main causes of species extinction besides increasing the fragment vulnerability to the invasion of exotic and native ruderal species (Primack & Rodrigues 2001Primack RB & Rodrigues E (2001) Biologia da Conservação. Editora Planta, Londrina. 328p.; Mullu 2016Mullu D (2016) A review on the effect of habitat fragmentation on ecosystem. Journal of Natural Sciences Research 6: 1-15.).

Currently, all the vegetal formations are altered by anthropic actions in a bigger or smaller degree especially due to agricultural and cattle raising activities and the industrialization and urbanization impacts, leaving only a few patches where the original vegetation is present (Silva 2019Silva SM (2019) Os impactos do desmatamento na vegetação brasileira. Expansão Acadêmica 6: 118-132.). The urban areas, especially in big metropolises, have suffered along the years with their biodiversity loss due to the decrease in the green areas by civil construction or by the urban population growth (Alencar et al. 2017Alencar VB, Meira AS & Mendes LMS (2017) Áreas de preservação permanente no Campus do Itaperi e seu entorno (Fortaleza, Ceará): o uso de técnicas de geoprocessamento no auxílio à proteção ambiental. Planeta Amazônia: Revista Internacional de Direito Ambiental e Políticas Públicas 9: 45-59.).

Big Brazilian metropolises as the city of Fortaleza, capital of Ceará state, Brazilian Northeast, the 5th biggest metropolis in the country, has 312,353 km² of urbanized area and an estimated population of 2,669,342 inhabitants (IBGE 2019IBGE - Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (2019) Fortaleza - infográficos: dados gerais do município. Available at <https://cidades.ibge.gov.br>. Access on 26 June 2020.
https://cidades.ibge.gov.br...
). Located in the Atlantic coast, Fortaleza has its native forest vegetation reduced and considerably degraded due to urban expansion causing an irrecoverable damage to the fauna and flora biodiversity of the region. Likewise, the hydric resources suffer with the deforestation of the riparian vegetation which has a crucial role in feeding and sheltering the local fauna (Fortaleza 2003Fortaleza (2003) Inventário ambiental de Fortaleza. Prefeitura Municipal de Fortaleza, Fortaleza. 40p.).

In extremely altered and degraded landscapes, the remaining vegetational becomes even more important. The coastal vegetation in Ceará presents a richness of species and aspects considered a diversified vegetational collection subjected to very differentiated ecological conditions, from dunes vegetation, semideciduous forest, through coastal cerrados to mangroves (Moro et al. 2015Moro MF, Macedo MB, Moura-Fé MM, Castro ASF & Costa RC (2015) Vegetação, unidades fitoecológicas e diversidade paisagística do estado do Ceará. Rodriguésia 66: 717-743.).

The coastal ecosystems suffer a strong anthropic pressure in Fortaleza, for example, more than 90% of the original vegetation has already been lost (Fortaleza 2003Fortaleza (2003) Inventário ambiental de Fortaleza. Prefeitura Municipal de Fortaleza, Fortaleza. 40p.; Moro 2020Moro MF (2020) Vegetação da região costeira do Ceará. Available at <https://marcelomoro.tumblr.com/post/152662979455/vegeta%C3%A7%C3%A3o-da-regi%C3%A3o-costeira-do-cear%C3%A1>. Access on 23 July 2020.
https://marcelomoro.tumblr.com/post/1526...
). There are only few patches of native vegetation left and they are in urgent need of public politics to establish the areas protected by Conservation Units (Moro et al. 2011Moro MF, Castro ASF & Araújo FS (2011) Composição florística e estrutura de um fragmento de vegetação savânica sobre os tabuleiros pré-litorâneos na zona urbana de Fortaleza, Ceará. Rodriguésia 62: 407-423.).

Allied to the vegetal biodiversity conservation, the floristic surveys are fundamental and provide subsidies to the conservation of the remaining ones that host a high richness of native and endemic species, mainly for the Caatinga phytogeographical domain that has less than 2% of its territory protected by conservation units (Fernandes et al. 2020Fernandes MF, Cardoso D & Queiroz LP (2020) An updated plant checklist of the Brazilian Caatinga seasonally dry forests and woodlands reveals high species richness and endemism. Journal of Arid Environments 174: 1-8.). Thus, the knowledge about the biodiversity present in the remaining vegetation of the region is increasingly necessary besides the importance of the beneficial effects that the contact with nature generates to human health, especially in the big metropolises where the vegetation alleviates the impacts caused by the anthropic action (Melo et al. 2011Melo AGC, Carvalho DA, Castro GC & Machado ELM (2011) Fragmentos florestais urbanos. Revista Científica Eletrônica de Engenharia Florestal 17: 58-79.; Amato-Lourenço et al. 2016Amato-Lourenço LF, Moreira TCL, Arantes BL, Silva Filho DF & Mauad T (2016) Metrópoles, cobertura vegetal, áreas verdes e saúde. Estudos avançados 30: 113-130.; Pereira et al. 2018Pereira HS, Kudo SA & Silva SCP (2018) Topofilia e valoração ambiental de fragmentos florestais urbanos em uma cidade amazônica. Ambiente & Sociedade 21: 1-16.).

Therefore, the present work aimed at registering the angiosperms diversity in an urban forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará (UECE), in Fortaleza, Ceará, as well as verifying which taxon are native to Brazil and which are exotics, with habit information, endemism, new registers and conservation status information in order to broaden the knowledge about the local flora and evaluate its potential for the conservation of the local biodiversity.

Material and Methods

Study area

The floristic survey was made in an urban fragment of coastal forest located inside the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará (UECE). The fragment is located in the municipality of Fortaleza, state of Ceará, Northeastern Brazil. The study area extends across 25.83 ha, a varying altitude from 15 to 31 m, located between the geographic coordinates 03°47’49”S, 38°33’21”W and 03°48’10”S, 38°33’35”W (Fig. 1).

Figure 1
Location of the urban coastal forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE.

The climate in the region is characterized as Tropical Warm and Sub-humid presenting an average rainfall of 1.338 mm with an average annual temperature from 26 to 28 oC, with rainy season from January to May. Its relief is classified as Coastal Plain and Pre-coastal Semideciduos Forest, with the presence of Marine Quartzite Sands, Solodic Planosoil, Red-Yellow Podzolic and Solonchak soils types (IPECE 2018IPECE - Instituto de Pesquisa e Estratégia Econômica do Ceará (2018) Perfil Municipal 2017: Fortaleza. Available at <https://www.ipece.ce.gov.br/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2018/09/Fortaleza_2017.pdf>. Access on 9 February 2020.
https://www.ipece.ce.gov.br/wp-content/u...
). According to Moro et al. (2015)Moro MF, Macedo MB, Moura-Fé MM, Castro ASF & Costa RC (2015) Vegetação, unidades fitoecológicas e diversidade paisagística do estado do Ceará. Rodriguésia 66: 717-743., the coastal region of Ceará has a recent geological origin (Tertiary-Quaternary), with a diversity of vegetation types, such as Semi-fixed and Mobile Dunes Vegetation, Fixed Dunes Vegetation, Coastal Semideciduos Forest (Mata de Tabuleiro), Cerrado and Coastal Forested Savanna, Cerradão.

The typical vegetation of the study area is Coastal Semideciduos Forest, under the influence of Barrier Formations which comprises a Seasonal Semi-deciduos Forest of medium size that gathers species from the Caatinga and Cerrado phytogeographical domains, although they are very anthropized (Castro et al. 2012Castro ASF, Moro MF & Menezes MOT (2012) O complexo vegetacional da zona litorânea no Ceará: Pecém, São Gonçalo do Amarante. Acta Botanica Brasilica 26: 108-124.; Moro et al. 2015Moro MF, Macedo MB, Moura-Fé MM, Castro ASF & Costa RC (2015) Vegetação, unidades fitoecológicas e diversidade paisagística do estado do Ceará. Rodriguésia 66: 717-743.).

In order to elaborate a map of the study area a QGIS version 3.4.8 software was used and the vegetation classification followed the phytoecological units available at the IPECE website (<http://www.ipece.ce.gov.br/>) and described by Figueiredo (1997)Figueiredo MA (1997) A cobertura vegetal do Ceará (Unidades Fitoecológicas). In: Atlas do Ceará. Governo do Estado do Ceará, IPLANCE, Fortaleza. 65p..

Floristic survey

The floristic samplings were carried out from May/2018 to April/2019 during the dry and rainy seasons. The walking method was the one used (Filgueiras et al. 1994Filgueiras TS, Nogueira PE, Brochado AL & Guala II GF (1994) Caminhamento: um método expedito para levantamentos florísticos qualitativos. Cadernos de Geociências 12: 39-43.) in all the study area (Fig. 2). All the fertile plant species (i.e.: those with flowers and/or fruit) were photographed in the field and collected for taxonomic identification. The samples were herborized according to the usual botanic techniques (Mori et al. 1985Mori SA, Mattos Silva LA, Lisboa G & Coradin L (1985) Manual de manejo do herbário fanerogâmico. Centro de Pesquisa do Cacau, Ilhéus. 104p.) and deposited in the Prisco Bezerra Herbarium (EAC) of the Federal University of Ceará (UFC).

Figure 2
a-f. Physiognomies of the urban coastal forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE – a. aquatic vegetation of the ponds and swamps; b-c. vegetation of Coastal Semideciduos Forest; d-f. Vegetation of Coastal Cerrado.

The identifications were carried out from specialized bibliography (Barroso et al. 2004Barroso GM, Peixoto AL, Ichaso CLF, Guimarães EF & Costa CG (2004) Sistemática de Angiospermas do Brasil. Vol. 1. Ed. UFV, Viçosa. 309p.; Souza & Lorenzi 2019Souza VC & Lorenzi H (2019) Botânica sistemática: guia ilustrado para identificação das famílias de fanerógamas nativas e exóticas no Brasil, baseado em APG IV. Jardim Botânico Plantarum, Nova Odessa. 768p.), key identifications, experts’ consultation, comparison with exsiccates of the specimens deposited in the EAC herbarium and BFG (2018)BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2018) Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Rodriguésia 69: 1513-1527. and SpeciesLink (CRIA 2020CRIA (2020) SpeciesLink. Available at <http://www.splink.org.br/>. Access on 10 July 2020.
http://www.splink.org.br/...
) websites. The origin, endemism and new registers information are in agreement with the data from the BFG website (2018). The registered species were classified in families according to APG IV (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2016APG IV - Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016) An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 181: 1-20.), except for the Turneraceae family, which was considered a separate family of Passifloraceae, according to Souza & Lorenzi (2019)Souza VC & Lorenzi H (2019) Botânica sistemática: guia ilustrado para identificação das famílias de fanerógamas nativas e exóticas no Brasil, baseado em APG IV. Jardim Botânico Plantarum, Nova Odessa. 768p.. To determine the Fabaceae subfamily the Leguminosae Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG 2017LPWG - The Legume Phylogeny Working Group (2017) Anew subfamily classification of the Leguminosae based on a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny. Taxon 66: 44-77.) identification key was used. The taxon names and authors are in agreement with The International Plant Names Index (IPNI 2020IPNI - The International Plant Names Index (2020) The international plant names index. Available at <http://www.ipni.org>. Access on 9 February 2020.
http://www.ipni.org...
).

Results and Discussion

A total of 160 angiosperms species were registered distributed in 128 genera and 49 families in the UECE coastal vegetation fragment (Tab. 1). The floristic list produced in this study had, practically, all species identified up to a specific level, with the exception of two species that were identified up to their generic name. The richness of species found in this study is bigger than the one surveyed in the UECE urbanized area by Oliveira et al. (2020)Oliveira GGL, Lucena EMP & Sampaio VS (2020) Levantamento florístico da área urbanizada do campus Itaperi da Universidade Estadual do Ceará. Revista Brasileira de Geografia Física 13: 1177-1193., who registered 135 species; Diogo et al. (2014)Diogo IJS, Holanda AER, Oliveira-Filho AL & Bezerra CLF (2014) Floristic composition and structure of an urban forest remnant of Fortaleza, Ceará. Gaia Scientia 8: 266-278., in turn, registered 116 species registered in the Semideciduos Forest in the Pici Campus of the Federal Universtiy of Ceará (UFC); Castro et al. (2011)Castro ASF, Moro MF & Rocha FCL (2011) Plantas dos espaços livres da Reitoria da Universidade de Fortaleza (UNIFOR), Ceará, Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Biociências 9: 126-129. registered 93 species present on the free areas of the rectory of the Fortaleza University (Unifor); and Moro et al. (2011)Moro MF, Castro ASF & Araújo FS (2011) Composição florística e estrutura de um fragmento de vegetação savânica sobre os tabuleiros pré-litorâneos na zona urbana de Fortaleza, Ceará. Rodriguésia 62: 407-423. registered 151 species in the savanna vegetation fragment belonging to the Brazilian Telegraph Post Company and the Brazilian Army; all in Fortaleza urban zone.

Table 1
Table 1 – List of angiosperm species registered of the urban coastal forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE, including family/species, habit (H = herbaceous; SU = sub-shrub; S = shrub; T = tree; C = climber), species endemic to Brazil (END), Prisco Bezerra Herbarium voucher number (EAC), collector and collector number (COLLECTOR, CN). * = exotic species; ¹ = species of the Red List of the National Center for Flora Conservation (CNCFLORA 2016CNCFlora (2016) Lista vermelha da flora brasileira. Centro Nacional de Conservação da Flora. Available at <http://cncflora.jbrj.gov.br/portal>. Access on 21 February 2020.
http://cncflora.jbrj.gov.br/portal...
) classified as Least Concern; 2 = species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List (IUCN 2020IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature (2020) The IUCN Red list of threatened species. Version 2019-3. Available at <http://www.iucnredlist.org>. Access on 9 February 2020.
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
) classified as Least Concern; 3 = species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List (IUCN 2020IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature (2020) The IUCN Red list of threatened species. Version 2019-3. Available at <http://www.iucnredlist.org>. Access on 9 February 2020.
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
) classified as vulnerable.

In this study, the richest families were: Fabaceae (27 spp.), Asteraceae (13 spp.), Convolvulaceae and Malvaceae (11 spp. each), Poaceae and Rubiaceae (nine spp. each) and Euphorbiaceae (eight spp.), which comprise 55% of the sampled flora (Fig. 3). These families, except for Convolvulaceae, are among the ten main families in Brazil’s angiosperms in which we can highlight the Fabaceae family as the richest in species in the Caatinga phytogeographic domain (BFG 2015BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2015) Growing knowledge: an overview of seed plant diversity in Brazil. Rodriguésia 66: 1085-1113.), and registered with the greater richness in the Ceará Floristic Costal survey (Moro et al. 2011Moro MF, Castro ASF & Araújo FS (2011) Composição florística e estrutura de um fragmento de vegetação savânica sobre os tabuleiros pré-litorâneos na zona urbana de Fortaleza, Ceará. Rodriguésia 62: 407-423.; Castro et al. 2012Castro ASF, Moro MF & Menezes MOT (2012) O complexo vegetacional da zona litorânea no Ceará: Pecém, São Gonçalo do Amarante. Acta Botanica Brasilica 26: 108-124.; Diogo et al. 2014; Oliveira et al. 2020Oliveira GGL, Lucena EMP & Sampaio VS (2020) Levantamento florístico da área urbanizada do campus Itaperi da Universidade Estadual do Ceará. Revista Brasileira de Geografia Física 13: 1177-1193.). The species richness attributed to Fabaceae corroborates with BFG (2015)BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2015) Growing knowledge: an overview of seed plant diversity in Brazil. Rodriguésia 66: 1085-1113., which states that the leguminous family presents the greatest richness of the angiosperms species in Brazil (BFG 2015BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2015) Growing knowledge: an overview of seed plant diversity in Brazil. Rodriguésia 66: 1085-1113.).

Figure 3
Most representative botanical families identified during the survey of the urban coastal forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE.

Regarding the other families, Asteraceae is the third family in species richness in Brazil and is among the richest families in the Cerrado phytogeographical domain (BFG 2015BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2015) Growing knowledge: an overview of seed plant diversity in Brazil. Rodriguésia 66: 1085-1113.; Pereira et al. 2019Pereira FC, Souza LF, Guilherme FAG, Freire JC & Teles AM (2019) Diversidade de Asteraceae em um campo de murundus no sudoeste de Goiás, Brasil. Rodriguésia 70: 1-11.). Convolvulaceae, in turn, has registers in various Brazilian phytogeographic domains; however the majority of the species are found in Cerrado, Caatinga and Atlantic Forest (Alencar et al. 2019Alencar J, Cordeiro WPFS, Staples G & Buril MT (2019) Convolvulaceae no Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades, Estado do Piauí, Brasil. Hoehnea 46: 1-10.). Now the Malvaceae family is the tenth one in species richness in Brazil, being the seventh richest family in the Caatinga (BFG 2015BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2015) Growing knowledge: an overview of seed plant diversity in Brazil. Rodriguésia 66: 1085-1113.).

Poaceae is considered the second family in richness in Brazil and in the Caatinga, and the fourth richest one in the Cerrado (BFG 2015BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2015) Growing knowledge: an overview of seed plant diversity in Brazil. Rodriguésia 66: 1085-1113.). Rubiaceae is the fourth richest family in Brazil showing a great diversity of forms, sizes and colors in its flowers, the same for its fleshy fruits, being visited and dispersed by different animals (Taylor et al. 2007Taylor CM, Campos MTVA & Zappi D (2007) Flora da reserva Ducke, Amazonas, Brasil: Rubiaceae. Rodriguésia 58: 549-616.). While the Euphorbiaceae family is the ninth one in species richness in Brazil being the fourth richest in the Caatinga (BFG 2015BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2015) Growing knowledge: an overview of seed plant diversity in Brazil. Rodriguésia 66: 1085-1113.), hosting highly diversified and complex groups (Lucena & Alves 2010Lucena MFA & Alves M (2010) Notas taxonômicas para Euphorbiaceae s.l. do nordeste do Brasil. Hoehnea 37: 71-85.) and placed among the most economically significant (Sátiro & Roque 2008Sátiro LN & Roque N (2008) A família Euphorbiaceae nas caatingas arenosas do médio Rio São Francisco, BA, Brasil. Acta Botânica Brasilica 22: 99-118.).

The families with greatest genera richness were Fabaceae with 18 genera, Asteraceae with 13, Convolvulaceae, Malvaceae and Poaceae with seven each. The genera that presented the biggest number of species were: Mimosa L. (Fabaceae) and Sida L. (Malvaceae) with 5 spp. each, Borreria G.Mey. (Rubiaceae) with four spp. and Ipomoea L. (Convolvulaceae) with three spp., these four genera together have 10,62% of the total sampled species and 13,28% of genera, where all of them are part of the species richest families. Other floristic surveys also registered the Mimosa and Sida genera among the most representative of the Ceará Coastal region (Santos-Filho et al. 2011Santos-Filho FS, Almeida-Jr EB, Bezerra LF, Lima LF & Zickel CS (2011) Magnoliophyta, restinga vegetation, state of Ceará, Brazil. Check List 7: 478-485.; Castro et al. 2012Castro ASF, Moro MF & Menezes MOT (2012) O complexo vegetacional da zona litorânea no Ceará: Pecém, São Gonçalo do Amarante. Acta Botanica Brasilica 26: 108-124.).

In the study area it is possible to notice two very distinct main physiognomies, the Mata de tabuleiro vegetation, characterized as a middle sized semideciduos forest with the presence of species from the Cerrado and Caatinga (Castro et al. 2012Castro ASF, Moro MF & Menezes MOT (2012) O complexo vegetacional da zona litorânea no Ceará: Pecém, São Gonçalo do Amarante. Acta Botanica Brasilica 26: 108-124.; Moro et al. 2015Moro MF, Macedo MB, Moura-Fé MM, Castro ASF & Costa RC (2015) Vegetação, unidades fitoecológicas e diversidade paisagística do estado do Ceará. Rodriguésia 66: 717-743.), and the Coastal Cerrado vegetation. Species like Anacardium occidentale L., Hirtella racemosa Lam., Myrcia splendens (Sw.) DC., Tapirira guianensis Aubl. and Zanthoxylum syncarpum Tul., are considered typical of Mata de Tabuleiro (Moro et al. 2015Moro MF, Macedo MB, Moura-Fé MM, Castro ASF & Costa RC (2015) Vegetação, unidades fitoecológicas e diversidade paisagística do estado do Ceará. Rodriguésia 66: 717-743.). Whereas the Annona coriacea Mart., Cyperus chalaranthus J.Presl & C.Presl e Ouratea hexasperma (A.St.-Hil.) Baill. are common in the Cerrado areas (BFG 2018BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2018) Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Rodriguésia 69: 1513-1527.).

Species that frequently occur in the Caatinga domain can also be observed, such as Allamanda blanchetii A.DC., Cochlospermum vitifolium (Willd.) Spreng., Croton blanchetianus Baill., Croton jacobinensis Baill., Cuphea campestris Mart. ex Koehne and Ruellia paniculata L. (BFG 2018BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2018) Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Rodriguésia 69: 1513-1527.). The woody species Campomanesia aromatica (Aubl.) Griseb., Tocoyena sellowiana (Cham. & Schltdl.) K.Schum. and the herbaceous climbing Centrosema brasilianum (L.) Benth. are common in the Northeastern coastal region (Moro et al. 2011Moro MF, Castro ASF & Araújo FS (2011) Composição florística e estrutura de um fragmento de vegetação savânica sobre os tabuleiros pré-litorâneos na zona urbana de Fortaleza, Ceará. Rodriguésia 62: 407-423.).

Regarding the habit, the herbs were represented by 57 spp. (36,65%), the sub-shrubs and shrubs with 28 spp. each (17,50%), trees with 26 spp. (16,25%) and the herbaceous climbing with 21 spp. (13,12%) (Fig. 4). The Struthanthus syringifolius (Mart.) Mart. specie, that is considered an hemiparasite plant (BFG 2018BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2018) Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Rodriguésia 69: 1513-1527.), was found in the area as a parasite of the exotic and cultivated Mangifera indica L. species.

Figure 4
Species distribution based on the habits in the urban coastal forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE.

Among the total of the species 151 (94,37%) are natives, 25 (15,62%) are endemic to Brazil (Fig. 5) and nine (5,62%) are exotic (Tab. 1). From the endemic species, five occur in the Caatinga phytogeographical domain which are: Adenocalymma apparicianum J.C.Gomes, Croton blanchetianus Baill., Croton jacobinensis Baill., Ruellia bahiensis (Nees) Morong, and Varronia leucomalloides (Taroda) J.S.Mill., whereas Lepidaploa araripensis (Gardner) H.Rob is endemic to the Cerrado phytogeographical domain. However, some of the species found in this research present an ample distribution in Brazil, for example, Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze, Celosia argentea L., Tapirira guianensis Aubl., Centratherum punctatum Cass., among others (BFG 2018BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2018) Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Rodriguésia 69: 1513-1527.). As new registers for the Ceará State there are: Cyanthillium cinereum (L.) H.Rob., Cyperus chalaranthus J.Presl & C.Presl, Hydrocotyle bonariensis Lam., Panicum condensatum Bertol and Praxelis clematidea (Griseb.) R.M.King & H.Rob. (Fig. 6) (BFG 2018BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2018) Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Rodriguésia 69: 1513-1527.).

Figure 5
a-l. Endemic species of Brazil in the urban coastal forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza-CE – a. Allamanda blanchetii (Apocynaceae); b. Angelonia pubescens (Plantaginaceae); c. Croton jacobinensis (Euphorbiaceae); d. Dalechampia pernambucensis (Euphorbiaceae); e. Eugenia punicifolia (Myrtaceae); f. Fridericia dispar (Bignoniaceae); g. Jacquemontia gracilima (Convolvulaceae); h. Lepidaploa araripensis (Asteraceae); i. Melochia betonicifolia (Malvaceae); j. Ruellia bahiensis (Acanthaceae); k. Taccarum ulei (Araceae); l. Varronia leucomalloides (Boraginaceae).
Figure 6
a-e. New records for the state of Ceará identified in the urban coastal forest fragment at the Itaperi Campus of the State University of Ceará – a. Cyanthillium cinereum (Asteraceae); b. Cyperus chalaranthus (Cyperaceae); c. Hydrocotyle bonariensis (Araliaceae); d. Panicum condensatum (Poaceae); e. Praxelis clematidea (Asteraceae).

The Celosia argentea L., Cosmos sulphureus Cav., Crotalaria pallida Aiton, Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd., Tilesia baccata (L.f.) Pruski and Setaria adhaerens (Forssk.) Chiov. are considered naturalized exotic species (BFG 2018BFG - The Brazil Flora Group (2018) Brazilian Flora 2020: innovation and collaboration to meet Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). Rodriguésia 69: 1513-1527.). According to Moro et al. (2012)Moro MF, Souza VC, Oliveira-Filho AT, Queiroz LP, Fraga CN, Rodal MJN, Araújo FS & Martins FR (2012) Alienígenas na sala: o que fazer com espécies exóticas em trabalhos de taxonomia, florística e fitossociologia? Acta Botanica Brasilica 26: 981-989. the naturalized exotic species are plants that can establish themselves where they were introduced, however they do not disperse becoming restricted to the nearby areas. Cayaponia racemosa (Mill.) Cogn., Indigofera hirsuta L. and Oeceoclades maculata (Lindl.) Lindl. are considered invasive exotic species. This last one is an orchid bioindicator of anthropic forest fragments by its ease to adapt and environmental colonization in disturbed areas (Quenzer & Pedroso-de-Moraes 2014Quenzer FCL & Pedroso-de-Moraes C (2014) Distribuição espacial de Oeceoclades maculata Lindl. em fragmento florestal estacional semidecidual do “Sítio João XXIII”, Pirassununga, SP, Brasil. Natureza on line 12: 160-163.). The invase exotic plants are able to establish themselves in a consistent way besides dispersing to distant areas, but they can be considered an environmental problem (Moro et al. 2012Moro MF, Souza VC, Oliveira-Filho AT, Queiroz LP, Fraga CN, Rodal MJN, Araújo FS & Martins FR (2012) Alienígenas na sala: o que fazer com espécies exóticas em trabalhos de taxonomia, florística e fitossociologia? Acta Botanica Brasilica 26: 981-989.).

The disturbed forest areas show to be more susceptible to biological invasions just as the small forest fragments show a greater vulnerability to the biological invasion which can be explained by the presence of invader species reproductive structures in the fragment coming from the neighboring areas (Cronk & Fuller 1995Cronk QCB & Fuller JL (1995) Plant invaders. Chapman & Hall, London. 241p., Laurance & Bierregaard-Junior 1997Laurance WF & Bierregaard-Junior RO (1997) Tropical forest remnants. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 632p.; Dislich et al. 2002Dislich R, Kisser N & Pivello VR (2002) A invasão de um fragmento florestal em São Paulo (SP) pela palmeira australiana Archontophoenix cunninghamiana H. Wendl. & Drude. Revista Brasileira de Botânica 25: 55-64.). The Indigofera hirsuta L. and Oeceoclades maculata species were also reported in Ceará coast as well as in an urban area (Castro et al. 2012Castro ASF, Moro MF & Menezes MOT (2012) O complexo vegetacional da zona litorânea no Ceará: Pecém, São Gonçalo do Amarante. Acta Botanica Brasilica 26: 108-124.; Moro et al. 2011Moro MF, Castro ASF & Araújo FS (2011) Composição florística e estrutura de um fragmento de vegetação savânica sobre os tabuleiros pré-litorâneos na zona urbana de Fortaleza, Ceará. Rodriguésia 62: 407-423.).

It was verified that 39 species are classified by their conservation status as LC (Least Concern) but the Campomanesia aromatica (Aubl.) Griseb. specie is considered vulnerable (VU) (CNCflora 2016CNCFlora (2016) Lista vermelha da flora brasileira. Centro Nacional de Conservação da Flora. Available at <http://cncflora.jbrj.gov.br/portal>. Access on 21 February 2020.
http://cncflora.jbrj.gov.br/portal...
; IUCN 2020IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature (2020) The IUCN Red list of threatened species. Version 2019-3. Available at <http://www.iucnredlist.org>. Access on 9 February 2020.
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
).

Among the sampled species, the presence of 37 spp. in the Red Lists (CNCFlora 2016CNCFlora (2016) Lista vermelha da flora brasileira. Centro Nacional de Conservação da Flora. Available at <http://cncflora.jbrj.gov.br/portal>. Access on 21 February 2020.
http://cncflora.jbrj.gov.br/portal...
; IUCN 2020IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature (2020) The IUCN Red list of threatened species. Version 2019-3. Available at <http://www.iucnredlist.org>. Access on 9 February 2020.
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
) were verified, classified regarding their conservation status as Least concern (LC) and the Campomanesia aromatica (Aubl.) Griseb. (Myrtaceae) specie was classified as vulnerable (VU) (IUCN 2020IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature (2020) The IUCN Red list of threatened species. Version 2019-3. Available at <http://www.iucnredlist.org>. Access on 9 February 2020.
http://www.iucnredlist.org...
), probably due to its use as wood for fence building as cited by Chaves et al. (2014)Chaves EM, Chaves EBF, Júnior EMS & Barros RFM (2014) Conhecimento tradicional: a Cultura das cercas de madeira no Piauí, nordeste do Brasil. Etnobiologia 12: 30-42..

The coastal urban fragment of UECE, despite the presence of exotic species, is predominantly composed by a native vegetation besides presenting species endemic to Brazil and the Caatinga and Cerrado phytogeographical domains. It was also considered as a very anthropized area for its location being inside the UECE campus and by various anthropic activities carried out in the fragment surroundings. However, the area has an elevated ecologic and self-sustainability potential of the local species which is important for the vegetal biodiversity conservation in Fortaleza municipality. In addition to sheltering many vegetal species it also presents many animal species, and according to Carmo et al. (2018)Carmo CC, Lopes CEB, Alves PV, Schwinden GM, Viana DA & Braga RR (2018) Atropelamento de serpente Boa constrictor: ameaça à manutenção do ambiente selvagem no Campus do Itaperi. Ciência Animal 28: 89-98., the Itaperi campus presents itself as a haven for the wild fauna, as shelter, food resource and a favorable environment for reproduction, for example, the Boa constrictor (Linnaeus, 1758) snake, popularly known as jiboia. The creation of a Conservation Unit (CU) in the area will be of extreme importance to keep the native species and the ecological processes which are still present. Furthermore, this area is a source for academic researches, such as scientific initiation, masters degree studies and projects towards the environmental education.

Menezes et al. (2010)Menezes MOT, Araújo FS & Romero RE (2010) O sistema de conservação biológica do estado do Ceará: diagnóstico e recomendações. Revista Eletrônica do Prodema 5: 7-31. states that Ceará state has 81 protected areas with the potential to maintain the fauna and flora species, however, these areas comprise only 7,7% of the state territory. Twenty-two of these are managed by the State Environmental Superintendency (SEMACE), where there are twelve Environmental Protection Areas, three State parks, two Natural Monuments and one Area of Relevant Ecological Interest (SEMACE 2010SEMACE - Superintendência Estadual do Meio Ambiente (2010) Semace atualiza Cadastro Nacional de Unidades de Conservação. Available at <https://www.semace.ce.gov.br>. Access on 11 July 2020.
https://www.semace.ce.gov.br...
).

Thus, it is recommended that the study area be protected and the creation of a municipal Area of Relevant Ecological Interest (ARIE), a Sustainable Use Conservation Unit, seems to be the more indicated for areas with little extension or no human occupation according to the Article 16 Law 9.985/2000. Therefore, considering that the urban coastal forest fragment studied has a small extension of vegetation with the presence of diverse fauna and flora species, the ARIE creation is justified.

So, it can be concluded that the studied fragment has an important richness of native plants species being of extreme importance to be conserved in the Fortaleza municipality urban area. Its flora is composed by various native species common to the Ceará coast besides presenting many species of different vegetation types, showing the local heterogeneity and ecological potentiality. Regarding the exotic species, there is a need to control and manage the non-native species in the area. Despite being very anthropized and the target of many human activities, the study area is feasible for the creation of a Conservation Unit and a management plan to guarantee the area conservation. Therefore, this study can contribute with the future decisions related to its management, besides presenting the floristic diversity of the studied area.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, CAPES, Finance Code 001) for granting the masters degree scholarship to the first author; the State University of Ceará for the logistics support; the Prisco Bezerra Herbarium (EAC) of the State University of Ceará (UFC) for the consultation to their material collection and storage; and the scholarship holders of the Vegetal Ecophysiology Scientific Initiation Laboratory (ECOFISIO) for their support in the field.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    27 Sept 2021
  • Date of issue
    2021

History

  • Received
    19 Apr 2020
  • Accepted
    09 Sept 2020
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