Species found around the Itaparica reservoir in the lower São Francisco river (Brazil)
The Itaparica Reservoir is located between the states of Bahia and Pernambuco in the northeastern Brazil. It is one of in
total 9 reservoirs for flood regulation and hydroelectric power generation in the São Francisco River Basin. The vegetation in
the surrounding region is of the so-called Caatinga type, characterized by xeric shrubland and thorn forest, which consists primarily
of small, thorny trees that shed their leaves seasonally. Cacti, thick-stemmed plants, thorny brush, and arid-adapted grasses make up the ground layer.
The Caatinga has only two distinguishable seasons: The very hot dry season from June to December when hardly any foliage remains on shrubs and trees and
no green undergrowth persists. In rainy season lasting from January to May total precipitation accumulates to about 400 mm. Immediately after the first
rains, the grey, desert-like landscape starts to transform and becomes completely green within a few days. Small plants start growing in the now moist soil
and trees grow back their green leaves.
The joint Brazilian-German research project INNOVATE (Interplay among multiple uses of water reservoirs
via innovative coupling of substance cycles in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems) focuses on this region.