The Amazon, with its seven million sq km of surface
area, has a wide variety of ecosystems and transition areas that
combine to make the region the planet's chief storehouse of diversity.
The different human uses and practices to which these ecosystems
have been subject in the last few decades put some of them in
a more fragile position than others.
The Amazon can be broken down into two vegetation
groups according to their water regime: the terra firma
ecosystems, and those undergoing periodic flooding. Amongst the
former, the primary terra firma forests still account for
most of the region's forest cover. Most of the Amazon's biological
diversity is located there; yet there are major differences amongst
the terra firma forests in different parts of the Amazon.
In addition to primary forests, there are a large number of plant
formations in the terra firma which are very significant
for the region's pool of endemism and biodiversity (bamboo groves,
prairies, liana forests, rocky plants, bramble woods, Roraima
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