The Atlantic Forest region includes forests of several variations.
The Atlantic Forest is unusual in that it extends as a true tropical rainforest to latitudes as high as 24°S. This is because the trade winds produce precipitation throughout the southern winter. In fact, the northern Zona da Mata of northeastern Brazil receives much more rainfall between May and August than during the southern summer.
The Atlantic Forest is now designated a World Biosphere Reserve, which contains a large number of highly endangered species including the well known marmosets and lion tamarins. It has been extensively cleared since colonial times, mainly for the farming of sugar cane and for urban settlements. The remnant is estimated to be less than 10% of the original and that is often broken into hilltop islands.
The Amazon Institute is active in reforestation efforts in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, Brazil. During 2007, Joao Milanez and Joanne Stanulonis have planted 5,500 new trees in the mountains commencing with Gravata, adding to the precious little, ancient forest left.
During glacial periods, however, the Atlantic Forest is known to have shrunk to extremely small refugia in highly sheltered gullies, with most of the land area more recently occupied by the characteristic Atlantic Forest being occupied by dry forest or even semi-desert. Some maps even suggest the forest actually survived in moist pockets well away from the coastline, where its endemic rainforest species mixed with much cooler-climate species. Unlike refugia for equatorial rainforests, the refuges for the Atlantic Forest have never been the product of detailed identification.
INSIDE THE FORGOTTEN FOREST ; Parts of the Atlantic Forest Are Richer in Life Than Any Other Rainforest on the Planet. but Only about 8 per Cent of This Previously Immense Temperate Zone Survives. Steve Connor Reports from Bahia, Brazil, on a Pioneering Scheme to Save It ++ Vanishing Habitats
May 22, 2007; Walking through the ancient Atlantic Forest of southern Bahia in Brazil is like taking a pilgrimage through a living version of a...
Responses of five small mammal species to micro-scale variations in vegetation structure in secondary Atlantic Forest remnants, Brazil.(Research article)
May 05, 2008; Authors: Thomas Püttker (equal contributor) ; Renata Pardini (equal contributor) ; Yvonne Meyer-Lucht (equal contributor)...
Atlantic forest in more peril than Amazon: A new report calls spot where Portuguese landed in 1500 one of planet's 5.(World)(Brazil's Pillaged Coastline)
Apr 19, 2000; Over the past few years, this small beach community on Brazil's northeastern coast has gained a new airport, a convention center,...