Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests (SDTF) are gaining recognition as a significant biome and poorly conserved tropical biodiversity refuge. Understanding floristic relationships within SDTF is essential for their effective conservation. This study examines the floristic variation within SDTF of the Caatinga Biogeographic Domain, in north-eastern Brazil. SDTF trees, shrubs and arborescent cacti were sampled in six localities in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Bahia. A number of soil chemical attributes were also measured to analyse vegetation-soil relationships across the study sites. Five floristically distinct SDTF communities were delineated. Differences in these communities are attributable to influences from adjacent savanna and rain forest surrounding the study sites, and also to soil properties such as Al3 , base saturation and gravel content. The high species richness of, and species dissimilarity between communities reflect the need for judicious conservation planning for SDTF that account for biodiversity values and forest structural integrity.
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