Besides its extreme climate conditions, the Caatinga a type of tropical seasonal forest hosts an impressive faunal and floristic biodiversity. In the last 50 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies in the area. Here we aimed to present a review of these studies, focusing on four main fields: vertebrate ecology, plant ecology, human ecology, and ethnobiology. Furthermore, we identify directions for future research. We hope that the present paper will help defining actions and strategies for the conservation of the biological diversity of the Caatinga. What is the current status of biodiversity research in the Brazilian Caatinga?
|Published (Last):||18 January 2008|
|PDF File Size:||10.15 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||8.94 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Sixty six species were found in the park 47 reptiles and 19 amphibians ; the rarefaction curve for lizards, although not fully stabilized in an asymptote, indicates that the sampling effort was enough to reveal most lizard species occurring in the area; and richness estimators recovered values close to observed. For amphibians, the curve shows a weak tendency to stabilization with richness estimators indicating that additional records could be done.
Field work carried out at PNSCo has highlighted an unique herpetofauna: five new species were described and there are three candidates as new species. The cluster analysis recovered the Cerrados's units and Caatinga's ones, in separate clusters evidencing a species turnover between domains, despite its geographical proximity. Thus, although there is widespread fauna throughout region shared by the units, each reserve holds its own faunal identity, harboring a singular assemblage of species.
For many years, our limited knowledge of the herpetofaunal diversity present in the Brazilian Cerrado and Caatinga biomes led us to the erroneous idea these open formation areas were characterized by low endemism rates Sick , Vanzolini , , However, extensive field work carried out in last two decades showed the opposite, with elevated local diversity recorded throughout their extension Cerrado: Colli et al. Such efforts also resulted in the description of several new species for the region Cerrado: Colli et al.
The Caatinga domain, on the other hand, presents more homogeneous drier habitats, and a singular fauna that is associated with these phytoecological conditions Rodrigues a. Both Cerrado and Caatinga biomes lost extensive areas of original vegetation, mostly due to fast expansion of agricultural enterprises Myers et al.
With this continuous process of habitat loss, it seems imperative to prioritize faunal inventories within both biomes in order to fill the geographical gaps in our knowledge, allowing more accurate decisions when defining areas for conservation Brooks et al. Finally, we compare the herpetofaunal composition of PNSCo with other local lists from the Caatinga and neighboring biomes. Climate is considered to be tropical semi-arid. The plateau is locally known as "Chapada da Serra Grande," contains most of the area belonging to the park, and is dissected on its southwestern portion by the intermittent Santana River drainage Rodrigues et al.
The top of the plateau, averages m a. The plateau is dissected by the intermitent Itaueira River in its central portion and by the "Lagoa do Jacu" depression created by erosive processes in its northern portion. The southern and western borders of the park are deeply dissected, with scattered rocky outcrops over sandy soil originated from the erosion of the Chapada da Serra Grande plateau. Lowland areas are characterized by dense rocky outcrops with low arboreal Caatinga growing over a sandy soil.
This vegetation is widespread on the open lowlands. Several canyons, dissected by intermittent rivers with an evergreen forest and a dense leaf litter, are also present, but account for only a minor portion of the area. Sampling was carried out in two campaigns in the years and , one at the end of the dry season September 26 th to October 10 th and other during the rainy season January 10 th to 26 th The main physiognomic subunits present in the region were sampled using pitfall traps with drift fences, complemented by active visual searches.
Twelve lines of pitfall traps were installed, each composed of 10 sampling units that consisted of four 30 liters buckets arranged in Y-shape, with a central one connecting to three peripherals by 4 m long plastic fences. Habitat types, geographic coordinates, campaigns and the total sampling effort are summarized in Table 1.
The following habitats were sampled:. Dry Forest Lagoa do Jacu - Line 1. Mesophitic forest, growing on sandy soil, embedded within the river valley. Dominated by arboreal elements, with canopy reaching about 20 m and understory with sparse shrubs.
Forest with variable width, reaching 25 m wider sections. Vegetation on top of the plateau, consisting of arboreal and shrubby elements, characterized by Euphorbiaceae and Leguminosae such as "mimosa" Anadenanthera macrocarpa.
Canopy at about 6 m, growing over sandy soil. Canopy reaching 15 m in height with understory undeveloped. Low Arboreal Caatinga Lowland - Lines 8 and 9. Sandstone outcrops, covered by xeromorphic vegetation, dominated by Cactaceae, Bromeliaceae and Velloziaceae. Grooved Forest Lowland - Line It remains constantly in the shade, and accumulates large layers of leaf litter over sandy soil.
High arboreal Caatinga Lowland - Lines 11 and High arboreal elements, with canopy at 10 m above sandy soil rich in organic matter and closed understory.
This type of vegetation predominates in the valleys. The remaining individuals were marked by toe clipping and released near the capture site. The effectiveness of the sampling effort was estimated based on rarefaction curves, through This analysis was performed using EstimateS v. We also estimated species richness with the Chao2 and Jacknife1 estimators.
Snakes were excluded from this analysis because capture rates were low, and the resulting list for the group may be underestimated, which could compromise the behavior of the rarefaction curves.
An additional motivation in using these listings is the similar latitude in which these areas are located, forming a Cerrado-Caatinga transect. Sixty six species of reptiles and amphibians were found at PNSCo: 47 reptiles 21 lizards, 20 Snakes, 2 turtles and 4 amphisbaenids and 19 amphibians 18 anurans and one caecilian Table 2 , Figures 3 , 4 , 5. For lizards, the rarefaction curve showed a tendency to asymptote, with decreasing standard deviation after 34 sampling days two campaigns together Figure 6A , same pattern found in each campaign separately Figure 6B.
The richness estimators Chao2 and Jacknife1 recovered 19 and 20 species, respectively. For amphibians, the rarefaction curve for the two campaigns together showed only a weak tendency towards stabilization Figure 7A , differently from the results attained for each campaign separately Figure 7B.
The richness estimators Chao2 and Jacknife1 recovered 17 and 18 species, respectively. A - after 34 sampling days two campaign together ; B - for each campaign separately. The complex PNSCo-PNSCa Caatinga's units harbors at least 74 species, and share 30 species, as follows: 52 reptiles 24 lizards, 4 amphisbaenas, 22 snakes and 2 turtles and 22 amphibians 20 anurans and two caecilians.
The same pattern was recovered for lizards and amphibians when analyzed separately Data not shown. The herpetofauna of PNSCo is one of the most diverse of the Caatinga biome, except for the fauna from the isolated forest patches of northeastern Brazil, usually referred as "Brejos Nordestinos". Part of the high diversity found in the PNSCo and PNSCa taken together can be explained by landscape heterogeneity, which, in turn, also characterizes the Cerrado units and strongly differs from Caatinga sensu stricto areas where the landscape physiognomy is far more homogeneus.
This results in high species diversity, with species typical from Cerrado e. Hoplocercus spinosus, Coleodactylus brachystoma, Colobosaura modesta and Caatinga e. Epicrates assisi, Dermatonotus mulleri, Physalaemus albifrons, Corythomantis greeningi, Rhinella jimi, Proceratophrys cristiceps coexisting in the area. The observed richness of lizards and amphibians might be close to the real diversity in PNSCo since species rarefaction curves for both groups tend toward an asymptote after 34 sampling days stronger for lizards and richness estimators recover close values to those obtained.
Sampling efforts at PNSCo resulted in the discovery and description of five new species: Calyptommatus confusionibus Rodrigues et al. Another three are candidates to new species. Adenomera sp. This species also occurs at EEUU, being probably distributed along the northern Cerrado and ecotonal areas between this domain and the neighbors.
Leptodactylus aff. Ameivula sp. Five additional species are worthy of comment. Although quantitatively more similar to T. Sampled specimens in PNSCo could either be an undescribed species or represent a large distribution extension for Trilepida fuliginosa and the first record of the species for the Caatinga domain.
Other interesting species is Siphonops paulensis , which is widely distributed in Brazil, with only a few records for the Caatinga biome Taylor , ; Santana et al. The specimen of S. However, it is likely that S. Indeed, Loebmann and Haddad already pointed out the complex taxonomic nature of this species when they registered Siphonops for the "Brejo Nordestino" Planalto de Ibiapaba and considered their record as possibly representing an undescribed species related to S.
A recent phylogenic work of Tropidurus semitaeniatus showed the complexity of the the species, with several lineages candidates to fully species, inclusive, there are two distinct of these lineages that occur in PNSCo, being one of them exclusive to the park; and there is another exclusive lineage to EEUU Werneck et al.
Here, we maintain T. Finally, Hoplocercus spinosus is a typical Cerrado species that also occurs in contact areas with forested biomes. The PNSCo together with other regional conservation units of similar latitude i. Despite the geographical proximity between these Cerrado and Caatinga parks, there is a turnover of congeneric species that seems to be related to the shift of domains e. Our results show that the PNSCo harbors one of the most diverse herpetofauna among the inventoried localities within the Caatinga domain, conferring to the park a strategic role for the conservation of the remaining regions of this vanishing domain.
Our results also indicate that, despite geographical proximity, the northeastern Cerrado and Caatinga units studied still retain high levels of diversity and uniqueness with low faunal similarities between domains, evidencing a high species turnover. We would like to thank the participation in the field work of the colleagues Alexandre R.
Percequillo, Felipe F. Curcio, Giovanna G. Montingelli, Luis F. Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae, Leptodactylus syphax Bokermann, Distribution extension and geographic distribution map.
CheckList, 7 5 Zootaxa, Two new species of Cnemidophorus Squamata: Teiidae of the C. Amphibia-Reptilia, South American Journal of Herpetology, Biota Neotropica, BOUR, R.
A new species of Mesoclemmys , from the open formations of northeastern Brazil Chelonii, Chelidae. Phylogeny and biodiversity: conserving our evolutionary legacy. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Cerrado do Brasil e do Nordeste. In: Benjamin, A. Agricultura e meio ambiente Agriculture and the environment. IMESP, p. CheckList, 10 1
Despite the increase in herpetofaunal inventories in the Caatinga biome, information for many areas is still lacking and new surveys are required. Thirty-seven pitfall trap arrays composed of 4 buckets each, along with glue traps and active searches were used to sample local herpetofaunal diversity. We recorded 21 species of frogs, 25 lizards, 11 snakes, and 1 chelonian. All sampling methods contributed significantly to achieve the amphibian and reptile diversity recovered in the inventory. Rarefaction curves and richness estimators suggest that local biodiversity is still underestimated. We attempted to show the great potential of Catimbau National Park, characterized by the richest herpetofauna surveyed in a core region of the biome, along with the presence of endemic species such as the worm snake Amphisbaena supranumeraria and the limbless lizard Scriptosaura catimbau , underscoring the importance of the area for the conservation and maintenance of the Caatinga herpetofauna biodiversity.
Caatinga Revisited: Ecology and Conservation of an Important Seasonal Dry Forest
Sixty six species were found in the park 47 reptiles and 19 amphibians ; the rarefaction curve for lizards, although not fully stabilized in an asymptote, indicates that the sampling effort was enough to reveal most lizard species occurring in the area; and richness estimators recovered values close to observed. For amphibians, the curve shows a weak tendency to stabilization with richness estimators indicating that additional records could be done. Field work carried out at PNSCo has highlighted an unique herpetofauna: five new species were described and there are three candidates as new species. The cluster analysis recovered the Cerrados's units and Caatinga's ones, in separate clusters evidencing a species turnover between domains, despite its geographical proximity.
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Open Journal Systems. Journal Help. User Username Password Remember me. Notifications View Subscribe. Font Size. Abstract We provide a list of amphibians, lizards, chelonians, and snakes collected during a day expedition to the northern portion of Chapada Diamantina National Park, Palmeiras municipality, Bahia State, Brazil. Thirty-five pitfall trap arrays composed of 4 buckets each, coupled with glue traps, and haphazard searches were used to sample the herpetofaunal diversity.
Serpentes da Caatinga