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Cerrado - scrublands in the south of Brazil are overlooked natural treasure

It's not even grassy plain, or dense forest. It's something in between - a mixture of grassland, scrubland and sparse forests. Areas called by his neprůstupnosti "Cerrado" is not nearly as well known and protected as Amazon, although now rapidly disappearing, says the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Cerrado vegetation cover more than 20% of the area of ​​Brazil. And now one of the most vulnerable areas in Brazil. They recede in particular the production of soy, eucalyptus and cattle breeding.

Despite its enormous biodiversity Brazilian Cerrado is one of the least protected areas in Brazil. While approximately 46% of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest is under state protection, Cerrado forests are protected only seven% of its area, writes Mongabay .

Naturalists criticize the current Brazilian protectionist policy, which is focused mainly on the fight against climate change and the protection of trees as "traps" carbon emissions, but while forgetting other valuable natural areas. The unfortunate consequences of the current situation illustrates the planting of non-native eucalyptus trees in the area, which in the effort to reduce greenhouse gases was also supported by the UNDP describes Tiffany Roufs on Mongabay website. It turns out, however, that eucalyptus grown as a fuel source have benefits in climate protection minimal. And in other respects they are even harmful, in particular, have a negative impact on biodiversity and the field of water resources, which consume three times more than the original vegetation.

Cerrado itself does not have to play in efforts to mitigate climate change negligible role. According to Mercedes Bustamenteové, a plant physiologist at the University of Brasilia, while plants in the savannah into their biomass nezabudovávají as much carbon as the Amazonian trees, Cerrado is but an ecosystem rich in carbon. "Greenhouse gas emissions from areas Cerrado are now in the same order as those of the Amazon, "he says. Calculated per hectare, according to her, although in the stands of Cerrado stored less carbon, but the rate of deforestation is much greater than in the case of forests.

Brazilian Cerrado is home to jaguars, dogs hřivnatých, large anteaters, armadillos and swamp deer. In typical trees with twisted branches are shelter hundreds of bird species such as Red-legged Seriema or critically endangered Spix's Macaw. Nearly half of the more than 10,000 plant species of plants are found nowhere else in the world.

The second largest biome in South America now protects national parks Emas, Chapada dos Veadeiros, Chapada dos Guimarães, Nascentes do Parnaíba and Serra da Canastra. The first two of them are inscribed on the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Cerrado also protects Jalapão state park or private reserve Serra do Tombador established by two conservation organizations in 2009.

Author: Zdeňka Vítková

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