Cerrado Biome and Ecoregion (South America)

Cerrado Biome and Ecoregion (South America)

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 16:36
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The Cerrado is the largest savanna region in South America and the largest ecoregion in the Americas. It encompasses central Brazil as well as small portions of northeastern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia. Biologically the richest savanna in all the world, it contains an extraordinary amount of biodiversity.

The Cerrado is the largest savanna region in South America and the largest ecoregion in the Americas. It encompasses central Brazil as well as small portions of northeastern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia. Biologically the richest savanna in all the world, it contains an extraordinary amount of biodiversity.

The Cerrado biome core areas are the plateaus in the center of Brazil. The main habitat types of the 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 Amazon Rainforest, the Cerrado accounts for a full 21% of the country's land area.

The Cerrado's climate is typical of the wetter savanna regions of the world, with a semi-humid tropical climate. The Cerrado is limited to two dominant seasons throughout the year, wet and dry.

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. Over 10,400 species of vascular plants are found here, 50 of which are endemic.

This savanna contains about 200 species of mammal, 860 species of birds, 180 species of reptiles, 150 species of amphibians, 1,200 species of fish, and 90 million species of insect. Giant anteaters and armadillos are among its 60 vulnerable animal species, 12 of which are critically endangered.

Of its more than 11,000 plant species, nearly half are found nowhere else on Earth, and local communities rely on many of them for food, medicine, and handicrafts.