Brazil Geography Overview
Time Zones in Brazil
Due to the great longitudinal extension (east-west), Brazil has more than 1 time zone in its territory. These time zones lag behind areas to the east, including the Greenwich Meridian.
Thus, if the Brazilian oceanic islands are considered, one arrives at the conclusion that Brazil has four time zones, all behind in relation to Greenwich, since the country is located entirely in the western hemisphere.
In the first Brazilian time zone, two hours behind Greenwich, only our oceanic islands are located (Fernando de Noronha, Penedos de São Pedro and São Paulo, Trindade, Martim Vaz and Atol das Rocas).
The second time zone is the most important, as it covers the portion with the highest population concentration and the most economically important. Three hours late in relation to London, it constitutes the legal time in Brazil (Brasilia time) and in it are located all the coastal Brazilian states plus the interior states of Minas Gerais, Goiás and Tocantins. The state of Pará, which was previously divided into 2 different time zones, has been in this time zone since 2008.
The third Brazilian time zone, one hour behind Brasília, comprises the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondônia, Amazonas (except its extreme west) and Roraima.
The fourth and newest time zone in Brazil, in force since 11/10/2013, is five hours behind London and two hours from Brasília, comprising Acre and the extreme west of the State of Amazonas.
– 2 hours GMT: Covers the Brazilian territorial sea and the national oceanic islands, including Fernando de Noronha.
– 3 hours GMT: It is Brasília time, covering the states of Amapá, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás, Distrito Federal and the states of the Northeast, Southeast and South regions.
– 4 hours GMT: includes Roraima, most of the state of Amazonas, Rondônia, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.
– 5 hours GMT: Acre and the westernmost part of Amazonas, comprising only 13 municipalities in this state.
We can observe that all zones have defined times in relation to Greenwich (GMT). Thus, if a location is located 3 time zones (45°) west of GMT, it will be 3 hours behind GMT time.
According to Thenailmythology, the Mangrove is a coastal biome, that is, it is in the transition between the terrestrial and marine environment. It is uncontaminated by high tides and is observed from Amapá to the Golfão Maranhense, appearing, even, at intervals, in other stretches of the coast, mainly along the bays or river mouths.
Mangrove is the vegetation that predominates in the mangrove.
Due to the extremely saline soil and oxygen deficiency, due to the constant fluctuations of the tide, pneumatophore (aerial roots) and halophilic plants predominate .
Due to the few conditions found in this environment, it is possible to find only three species of plants: red mangrove, seriba mangrove and white mangrove, which, in some parts of the world, can reach up to 20 meters in height.
- Mangue Vermelho:It has roots that come out from various heights of the stem (aerial roots) and use the soil to achieve better support;
- Mangue Seriba, Siriúba or Preto:It has vertical branches that serve to collect oxygen from the air, and develop in greater numbers;
- White Mangrove:Found on higher ground and firmer ground. It is similar to the black mangrove, however, it develops in a smaller amount.
These last two types of mangroves have a respiratory root system (pneumatophores), which absorb oxygen during low tide.
The mangroves form an ecosystem with incredible complexity, the mangrove formations have pneumatophore roots, such as those observed in Itanhaém, SP.
Due to the strength of the tides the mangrove has little diversity of species, but on the other hand it has a high primary productivity, abundance of life and biomass. They function as a kind of nursery for local species, in addition to playing a fundamental role in protecting against coastal erosion, promoting the retention of sediments transported by the sea in continental lands by fixing plants.
Brazil has the longest strip of mangroves on the planet, covering an area of about 20,000 km 2 , stretching from the northeast to the south of the country, from Cabo Orange, in Amapá, to the municipality of Laguna, in Santa Catarina
Mangrove exploration started in Asia, here they are economically used for the extraction of tannin, from the wood used in constructions (rafters) and also in crab fishing. However, this exploration has expanded more and more, being a danger to the ecosystem. Many mangroves have already been destroyed as a result.
To recognize the importance of mangroves, in 1965 the Forest Code defined these areas as areas of permanent protection. However, urbanization in its vicinity has gradually destroyed these habitats and, even with the protection of the law, these areas continue to be threatened, mainly caused by real estate speculation.
Seas of Hills
The morphoclimatic domain of the seas of forested hills stands out as the second largest complex of biodiverse forests in the Brazilian territory.
It appears in the eastern portion of the Brazilian territory, especially in the area dominated by the mountains and plateaus of the East-Southeast Atlantic with crystalline formation (Serra do Mar, da Mantiqueira, Espinhaço, Geral, Caparaó).
The chemical weathering caused the emergence, in these lands, of hills with well rounded shapes called sugar loaves , which are mamelona formations with the appearance of half an orange, hence the name of this domain being seas of hills. The region is mistakenly called the mountain range, but it is actually the eastern edge of the Atlantic Plateau .
Originally it covered an area of 1 million km 2 that stretched along the Atlantic coast, from north to south. However, this domain coincides with the oldest areas of economic occupation in Brazil and also, currently, with the regions with the greatest population density and greatest industrial development. Such aspects led to the devastation of the Atlantic Forest , to the point where only 7% of its original area remained.
The local relief, marked by half-orange-shaped hills and their altimetric unevenness, contributes to seasonal variations in temperatures, distribution of rain and humidity, in addition to the incidence of solar radiation. These factors are responsible for creating different natural conditions that generate great diversity of vegetation . Because of this, the Mares de Morros domain has remarkable plant biodiversity, with about 27% of the planet’s species. Of the twenty thousand species of flora cataloged in the area, eight thousand are endemic, that is, exclusive to this domain.
On the slopes of the plateaus and mountains of the east-southeast Atlantic, the humidity of the air is high due to the entry of oceanic winds, which favors the proliferation of mosses and lichens that settle on the branches of trees. In high altitude areas, because of low temperatures and humidity, the forest gives way to high-altitude fields with shrubs and herbaceous plants. In areas of high altitudes and latitudes, araucaria can appear.
The soils that stand out are the massapé , originating from the decomposition of granite and gneiss in the Zona da Mata Nordestina, and the brine , originating from the weathering of granite in the Southeast. They are very deep, resulting from accentuated chemical weathering (water action), a fact that, currently, due to the absence of much of the original vegetation, causes landslides and rocky blocks collapse on the steeper slopes.
In the Southeast, the areas of occurrence of this vegetation are interiorized, reaching the Paraná River Valley, in the western portion of the state of São Paulo, forming the interior tropical forests and, in the river valleys, gallery or riparian forests. The best known tree species are peroba, cedar, jacaranda, aroeira, quaresmeira and jequitibá, among others.