Geography

Coastal Vegetation


Brazil has a continuous 8,000 km long Atlantic coastline, one of the largest in the world. Along this coast it is possible to identify a great diversity of landscapes, such as dunes, islands, reefs, rocky shores, bays, estuaries, marshes and cliffs.

Even the ecosystems that repeat themselves along the coast (beaches, restingas, lagoons and mangroves) have different animal and plant species. This is due to climatic and geological differences. However, much of the coastal zone is threatened by overpopulation (concentrating more than half of the country's population) and agricultural and industrial activities.

The Amazonian coastline, which runs from the mouth of the Oiapoque River to the Parnaíba River, is muddy and in some stretches more than 100 km wide. It has a large expanse of mangroves, as well as tidal floodplain forests. Alligators, guarás and many species of birds and crustaceans are some of the animals that live in this stretch of the coast.

The northeastern coast starts at the mouth of the Parnaíba River and goes to the Recôncavo Baiano. It is marked by calcareous reefs and sandstones, as well as dunes that, when they lose their vegetation cover, move with the action of the wind. There are also restingas and woods in this mangrove area. In the waters of the northeastern coast live the manatee and turtles (both endangered).

Pollution of rivers and seas, along with real estate speculation in coastal regions, has significantly affected this vegetation type, causing a reduction in size and affecting the ecosystem of this region. Local workers, especially those who live on hunting and trading in crabs, have suffered from the decline of these animals in the mangroves.