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Flora of the Pantanal

Plants of the Pantanal

The vegetation of the Pantanal ecosystem is not a typical homogeneous formation, but is rather formed by a mosaic of the biomes of five neighboring regions; Amazon Rainforest, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, Caatinga, and Chaco (Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia) and is known as the Pantanal Complex.

Recent studies point to the identification of more than 1,600 species of plant, some endemic to the Pantanal.

There are different patterns of plants according to the soil and especially according to the altitude, determining factor to the extent and duration of submergence of the soil and vegetation during the periodic flooding.
The higher lands are not flooded and therefore contain a Cerrado vegetation or forest.
On the lowlands, submerged during the rainy season, grasses and small shrubs form the predominant vegetation.

In the bays, which are temporary or permanent ponds, we find floating or submerged aquatic plants. These plants are of crucial importance to the survival of aquatic fauna, which in turn forms the main food source of much of the Pantanal's terrestrial fauna.