More than 25 thousand species of plants, algae and fungi native to Brazil are endemic, that is, they only exist naturally in the country. This represents 55% of the total of native Brazilian species, which reach 46,900. The data are the study Flora do Brasil 2020, coordinated by the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro.
According to the survey, the Atlantic Forest is the biome there are more species (17,150 or 36.5% of the Brazilian flora), followed by the Amazon (13,056 or 27.8% of the species) and the Cerrado (12,829 or 27.3 %). With less biodiversity, Caatinga appears, with 4,963 species (10%), Pampa, with 2,817 (6%) and Pantanal, with 1,682 (3.6%).
Among the species, 32,696 are angiosperms (vascular plants that have fruits, such as palm trees), 23 are gimnospermans (vascular plants that do not have fruits, such as pines), 1,584 are bryophytes (that is, mosses), 1,380 are ferns, 6,320 are fungi and 4,972 are algae.
In addition to the 46,900 native species, 680 exotic species that were naturalized (that is, which today spread naturally throughout the country) and 2,336 exotic plants that are cultivated were also identified.
The study is the result of a country's commitment to the United Nations (UN) Global Strategy for the Preservation of Plants (GSPC), and was produced with the help of almost 1,000 scientists 25 countries. In addition to the list of species, the study provides a description of them, synonyms, their condition of endemism, biomes, types of vegetation and states they can be found.
The data are open to the public and are available on the internet. According to the study's coordinator, Rafaela Campostrini Forzza, the platform is a source of information not only for botanists, but can also assist in government planning and environmental impact studies.
“One of the things that decision makers ask is: how many species are there in my state? Or how many species are there in the biome? For you to make a conservation plan for the biome, it is important to know how many species there are, how many only occur there. Are these areas a priority for creating conservation units? ”Asks Rafaela.
According to the researcher, in the last five years, an average of one species per day has been described in Brazil. This shows that there are still many species to be discovered or described in the country.