About the project

The South Eastern Bahia Atlantic forest database

is a collaboration between the Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB), the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) and the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew; it was funded and facilitated by the Kew-Rio Tinto partnership.

The data are from field collections made in Bahian interior forests from c. 400-800 m alt., on nutrient-poor, laterized oxisols with metamorphic gneissic, granitic and basic substrata (rich in Aluminium hydroxide minerals) of interest to Rio Tinto due to high concentrations of Bauxite found within them. The database is intended as a tool for those who wish to restore Atlantic forest in this region, at any scale.

The database provides lists of species, images and species descriptions integrated with vegetation composition, plant species distributions, economic botany, ecology, climate change and ecological restoration techniques and provides practical information on selection and management of key ‘framework’ plant species (indigenous, non-domesticated, tree species that help re-establish natural ecological mechanisms and accelerate biodiversity recovery; Elliot et al., 2013  elliot_et_al._2013.pdfwhile ensuring delivery of ecosystem services for stakeholders. Where available, guidance for seed collection, storage and propagation protocols is also provided.

Species information has been obtained from three sources:

1. Botanical collecting and inventories of the flora of this region made during this and other studies. The resulting list of species can be found here:   especies.pdf

2. Surveys of local stakeholders and restoration practitioners:  stakeholder.pdf

3. Quantitative surveys of secondary vegetation in the region highlighting successful pioneers and the response of natural succession to particular elements of disturbance:  secondary_vegetation.pdf

Species lists generated by these approaches were merged and species prioritised according to the following framework species selection criteria: native species; appropriate habit and habitat; pioneer/shade provider; climax/large seeded; of economic value; attractive to wildlife; nitrogen fixing; propagation information is available. Each criterion was scored 1 if it was met and species were ranked by their score. The top 150 species were prioritised and researched in more detail using available literature and specialist knowledge including restoration practitioners.

The taxonomy used follows the Lista da flora do Brasil.


The project was coordinated by Eve Lucas (Kew), Lidyanne Yuriko Saleme Aona (UFRB) and William Milliken (Kew). The stakeholder surveys were undertaken by Jomar Gomes Jardim (UFRN), José Lima da Paixão (Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz) and Daniela Zappi (Kew). The secondary vegetation survey was made by Dary Rigueira (Universidade Federal da Bahia) and Alex Monro (Kew).

The team was additionally supported by Nicola Biggs (Kew), Grênivel Mota da Costa (UFRB), Itayguara Ribeiro da Costa (Universidade Federal do Ceará), Valdomiro Junior Costa (UFRB), Edson Ferreira Duarte (UFRB), William OIiveira Fonseca (UFRB), Márcio Lopes Martins (UFRB), Fiorella Fernanda Mazine-Capelo (UFSCAR), Fernanda Mercês (UFRB), Eimear Nic Lughadha (Kew), Silvana Simões (UFRB).

Generous volunteers Juliana Pile Arnold, Gemma Brock, Alex Hudson, Hannah Serna and in particular Marcelo Tome Kubo donated significant amounts of their time to populate this website.

We are grateful to Josival Santos Souza, director of the Centre of Agricultural, Environmental and Biological Sciences, UFRB for dedication of personnel and equipment to the project. Also to Tiago Mauriz, Senior Environmental Advisor, Rio Tinto Amargosa for tireless logistical assistance.

This work would not have been possible without invaluable support and input from local individuals including Josafá Sampaio de Almeida - guide at the Boa Nova National Park, the team of staff and guards led by Claudio Santos at the Wenceslau Guimarães Ecological Station.