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The Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, highly threatened areas rich in species found nowhere else. The long, narrow strip of forest spans over 23 degrees of latitutde and over 4000 km along the coast of Brazilzthe equivalent of Nova Scotia to Cuba. As a result, it comprises many different kinds of forest, each with its own flora and conservation problems. Compared to the forests farther south, the northeastern coastal forests are more divers, more endangered, and less understood. This volume unites information on the vegetation and flora of the forests of northeastern and eastern Brazil in 18 chapters written by 33 scientists.
While most of the papers address the forests of a specific area, the authors place their conclusions in the context of the entire region. The first paper surveys and describes the forest vegetation types found in northeastern Brazil. Eleven papers describe specific forest sites, from the tabuleiro forest on Tertiary sediments to the diverse forest of southern Bahia and the gallery forests of high-elevation meadows. Two are survey papers, one of the moist mountain-top forests of Pernambuco and Paraba and the other of the forests of the Linhares Reserve in Esprito Santo. Four papers describe the human impact on coastal forest and its plants: one through satellite imagery of land use, one through studies of regeneration in secondary forests, one describing an urban forest, and one compiling the common names of forest plants in southern Bahia.