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The variety of climates together with soil and drainage conditions are reflected in Brazil's vegetation. In the Amazon Basin and in those places along the Atlantic coast where the rainfall is very heavy, there is tropical rain forest composed of broadleaf evergreen trees growing luxuriantly. The rain forest is made up of a great many different species- as many as 3,000 in a sq. mile (2.6 sq. km). In the lowlands and plateaus of the eastern coast where rainfall is slightly less and the dry season is really dry, there is semi-deciduous forest. Here the trees are smaller than in the rain forest and they lose their leaves in the dry season. In the semi-arid northeast, the caatinga, a dry bush, predominates. The greater portion of central part of Brazil is covered with a woodland savanna known as the cerrado. This is a special type of land combining sparse scrub trees and dryness-resistant grasses. In the south, needle-leaved pinewoods (Paraná-pine or Araucaria) cover the highlands; grassland covers the sea-level plains.
The Mato Grosso swamplands (Pantanal Matogrossense), a plain which covers 88,803 sq. miles (203,000 sq. km) in the western portion of the center of the country, is covered in tall grasses, weeds, and widely dispersed trees. It is submerged during the rainy season.*

*Source: "Brazil in Brief" , published by The Brazilian Embassy, Cultural Section. Information provided by Permanent Mission of Brazil to the OAS.


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Updated: 19 March 2008

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