VEGETATION AND FLORA IN THE CARIRI REGION OF PARAÍBA.
Keywords:Caatinga, diversity, structure, Paraíba.
A study of the flora and vegetation of the Cariri Region of Paraíba was carried out in order to support strategies for conservation and sustainable
use of the region's caatinga. For the floristic survey, the whole Cariri region was considered, but for the study of vegetation structure, two areas in different states of preservation were chosen: a well-preserved site, the Fazenda Almas private reserve (RPPN; 7°2815”S, 36°53'51”W), and a significantly altered site, the São João do Cariri Experimental Station (7º23'48”S and 36º31'55”W). In the floristic survey 396 species were observed, with the family Leguminosae being the most diverse. In São João do Cariri, 26 species of trees or shrubs were observed with the dominants being Caesalpinia pyramidalis, Croton sonderianus, Combretum leprosum and Jatropha mollissima. In Fazenda Almas, 67 species of trees or shrubs were found, with the most prominent being Croton sonderianus, Caesalpinia pyramidalis, and also Manihot catingae. The low diversity found at the São João de Caririri site was reflected in all the structural parameters of the vegetation, indicating a degradation of the local vegetation which has been used for years for grazing goats. The species diversity in the Fazenda Almas RPPN was much higher than that observed in São João do Cariri or other areas of caatinga in Paraíba.