Restinga Vegetation on Ilha Comprida: Conservation Conditions and a Comparative Study with other Environmental Protection Areas of São Paulo State - Brazil

Talita Couto Rollo, Mara Angelina Galvão Magenta, Marcus Vinicius Nakasato, Fabio Giordano, Christian Ares Lapo

Abstract


A floristic survey concerning the vascular flora of the physiognomy of beaches and dunes was carried out in two sections of Ilha Comprida, an elongated barrier island on the Southern coast of São Paulo State, in the Southeast of Brazil. The island is 72 Km long and ranges from 2 to 5 km wide. The first section is a private area under special environmental care, whereas the second one is an area where strong anthropogenic disturbances can be observed. To check the degree of degradation to which both areas have been exposed, a comparison was made between them in an attempt to establish a connection between the human impacts on the beaches and dunes and the plant species found in these two areas. In addition, the floristic similarity between the study area and other areas of São Paulo State was calculated with the help of the Sørensen index. The survey on Ilha Comprida resulted in 75 species of vascular plants, distributed in 61 genera and 31 families. Poaceae provided the highest number of species in the survey (18.67%). Plantago catharinea, cited in the list of endangered species of São Paulo, was found in the area that is better preserved. This area shows 74.07% native plants to 25.93% invasive, while the area under stronger anthropogenic impact revealed 51.22% native plants to 48.78% invasive. Amongst the other areas studied, Ilha Comprida exhibited the highest floristic similarity to the study site of Guaraú, in Peruíbe (37.84%), and the lowest similarity to Ubatuba (12.31%). Exotic species, such as the allelopathics Casuarina equisetifolia and Pinus elliottii, have caused a major impact on the restinga vegetation of beaches and dunes. The rapid urban development occurring on the island has led to changes in the richness of species and floristic composition. Many irregular constructions can be observed where the dunes are, showing the urgent need of an assessment of the current situation by the competent authorities.

Key words: floristic, invasive plants, exotic plants, dunes, anthropogenic disturbances.

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