VALUE OF AN URBAN FRAGMENT FOR THE CONSERVATION OF CERRADO IN THE FEDERAL DISTRICT OF BRAZIL
Keywords:Diversity, Fragmentation, Phytosociology, Plants, Stepping stones
The Brazilian Federal District (FD) has 25% of the total woody flora of the Cerrado biodiversity hotspot, but has lost most of its vegetation cover and 30% of its plant species are considered extinct. Here we evaluate the conservation potential of an urban Cerrado fragment in FD that is strategically located between key protected areas. The study was conducted in two sites within the Gama e Cabeça de Veado Environmental Protection Area: the "urban fragment" and a "control site". We found a high floristic and structural similarity between the sites, suggesting that in the past they formed a continuous landscape. The fragment was floristically diverse, with indices that are considered high and typical for Cerrado. The studied fragment, therefore, can help reduce the ongoing deterioration of FD's biodiversity, due to its vegetation representativeness and strategic location, potentially acting as a stepping stone between key protected areas. The study gives support to ongoing efforts to transform the studied area into a protected area.