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Hotels of Atlantic Forest

A hotel in Atlantic Forest is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Atlantic Forest hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Atlantic Forest are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Atlantic Forest hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Atlantic Forest hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Atlantic Forest have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Atlantic Forest
An upscale full service hotel facility in Atlantic Forest that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Atlantic Forest hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Atlantic Forest
Full service Atlantic Forest hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Atlantic Forest
Boutique hotels of Atlantic Forest are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Atlantic Forest boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Atlantic Forest may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Atlantic Forest
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Atlantic Forest travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Atlantic Forest focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Atlantic Forest
Small to medium-sized Atlantic Forest hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Atlantic Forest traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Atlantic Forest hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Atlantic Forest
A bed and breakfast in Atlantic Forest is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Atlantic Forest bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Atlantic Forest B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Atlantic Forest
Atlantic Forest hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Atlantic Forest hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Atlantic Forest
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Atlantic Forest hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Atlantic Forest lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Atlantic Forest
Atlantic Forest timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Atlantic Forest often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Atlantic Forest on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Atlantic Forest
A Atlantic Forest motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Atlantic Forest for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Atlantic Forest motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Atlantic Forest

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Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica)
Forest
Baía de Antonina vista da Serra do Mar2.JPG
Atlantic Forest in Serra do Mar.
Countries Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina
Part of South America
River Paraná River
Area 1,315,460 km (507,902 sq mi)
Atlantic Forest WWF.jpg
Map of the Atlantic Forest ecoregions as delineated by the WWF. Yellow line approximately encloses the Atlantic Forest distribution.
Satellite image from NASA.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves
Criteria Natural: (ix), (x) Edit this on Wikidata
Reference 892
Inscription 1999 (23rd Session)
[edit on Wikidata]

The Atlantic Forest (Portuguese: Mata Atlântica) is a South American forest which extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil from Rio Grande do Norte state in the north to Rio Grande do Sul state in the south, and inland as far as Paraguay and the Misiones Province of Argentina, where the region is known as Selva Misionera.

The Atlantic Forest has ecoregions within the following biome categories: seasonal moist and dry broad-leaf tropical forests, tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, and mangrove forests. The Atlantic Forest is characterized by a high species diversity and endemism.

It was the first environment that the Portuguese colonizers encountered over 500 years ago, when it was thought to have had an area of 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 km (390,000 to 580,000 sq mi), and stretching an unknown distance inland. Over 85% of the original area has been deforested, threatening many plants and animals with extinction

Atlantic Forest: Ecology

The Atlantic Forest region includes forests of several variations:

  • Restinga is a forest type that grows on stabilized coastal dunes. Restinga Forests are generally closed canopy short forests with tree density. Open Restinga is an open, savanna-like formation with scattered clumps of small trees and shrubs and an extensive layer of herbs, grasses, and sedges.
  • Seasonal tropical moist forests may receive more than 2000 mm of rain a year. These include Tropical Moist: Lowland Forests, Submontane Forest, and Montane Forests.
  • Tabuleiro forests are found over very moist clay soils and Tabuleiro Savannas occur over faster-draining sand soils. These are humid areas that rely on water vapor from the ocean.
  • Further inland are the Atlantic dry forests, which form a transition between the arid Caatinga to the northeast and the Cerrado savannas to the east. These forests are lower in stature; more open, with high abundance of deciduous trees and lower diversity when compared to tropical moist forests. These forests have between 700–1600 mm of precipitation annually with a distinct dry season. This includes Deciduous and Semideciduous Seasonal Forest each with their own lowland and montane regions.
  • Montane forests are higher altitude wet forests across mountains and plateaus of southern Brazil.
  • The Mussununga forests occur in southern Bahia and northern Espirito Santo states. The Mussununga ecosystem ranges from grasslands to woodlands associated with sandy spodosols. The word Mussununga is Amerindian Tupi-Guarani meaning soft and wet white sand.
  • Shrubby montane savannas occur at the highest elevations, also called Campo rupestre.

The Atlantic Forest is unusual in that it extends as a true tropical forest to latitudes as far as 24°S. This is because the trade winds produce precipitation throughout the southern winter. In fact, the northern Zona da Mata of northeastern Brazil receives much more rainfall between May and August than during the southern summer. The Atlantic forest is a rain forest.

Atlantic Forest: Geography

Atlantic Forest: History

During glacial periods in the Pleistocene, the Atlantic Forest is known to have shrunk to extremely small fragmented refugia in highly sheltered gullies, being separated by areas of dry forest or semi-deserts known as caatingas. Some maps even suggest the forest actually survived in moist pockets well away from the coastline where its endemic rainforest species mixed with much cooler-climate species. Unlike refugia for equatorial rainforests, the refuges for the Atlantic Forest have never been the product of detailed identification.

Atlantic Forest: Biodiversity

Despite so little forest remaining, the Atlantic Forest remains extraordinarily lush in biodiversity and endemic species, many of which are threatened with extinction. Approximately 40 percent of its vascular plants and up 60 percent of its vertebrates are endemic species, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world. The official threatened species list of Brazil contains over 140 terrestrial mammal species found in Atlantic Forest. In Paraguay there are 35 species listed as threatened, and 22 species are listed as threatened in the interior portion of the Atlantic Forest of Argentina. Nearly 250 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals have become extinct due to the result of human activity in the past 400 years. Over 11,000 species of plants and animals are considered threatened today in the Atlantic Forest.

Over 52% of the tree species and 92% of the amphibians are endemic to this area. The forest harbors around 20,000 species of plants, with almost 450 tree species being found in just one hectare in some occasions.

New species are continually being found in the Atlantic Forest. In fact, between 1990 and 2006 over a thousand new flowering plants were discovered. Furthermore, in 1990 researchers re-discovered a small population of the black-faced lion tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara, previously thought to have been extinct. A new species of blonde capuchin (Cebus queirozi), named for its distinguishing bright blonde hair, was discovered in northeastern Brazil at the Pernambuco Endemism Center in 2006. A species of endangered three-toed sloth, named the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) because of its long hair, is endemic to the Atlantic Forest.

Atlantic Forest: Conservation

Atlantic Forest: Human impact

Atlantic Forest Fragmentation
Deforestation of Atlantic Forest in Rio de Janeiro

The incorporation of modern human societies and their needs for forest resources has greatly reduced the size of the Atlantic Forest, which has resulted in species impoverishment. Almost 88% of the original forest habitat has been lost and replaced by human-modified landscapes including pastures, croplands, and urban areas. This deforestation continues at an annual rate of .5% and up to 2.9% in urban areas.

Agriculture: A major portion of human land use in the Atlantic Rain Forest is for agriculture. Crops include sugar-cane, coffee, tea, tobacco and more recently soybean and biofuel crops.
Pasture: Even more common than using land for agriculture is the conversion of forest to cattle pastures. This is commonly done by method of slash and burn which increases a forest chance of human-induced burning.
Hunting: Species in a fragmented forest are more susceptible to decline in population size because they are in an confined area that is more accessible to hunters. Larger animals make up the highest percentage of biomass. These animals are also the most rewarding to hunters and are heavily hunted in accessible fragments. This results in a change in species interactions such as seed dispersal and competition for resources.
Logging: Logging removes 10 to 80% of the canopy cover of a forest making that habitat more susceptible to natural elements such as wind and sunlight. This causes an increase in forest heating and desiccation. Large amounts of organic litter and debris builds up which results in an increase in forests vulnerability to fires. Additionally, logging roads create accessibility for humans; and therefore increases the amount of human land disturbances and decreases the amount of natural forest.
Fire: Human activity such as logging causes an increase in debris along forest floors that makes the Atlantic Forest more susceptible to fires. This is a forest type that is not accustomed to regular fire activity, so human induced fires dramatically affect the forest understory because plants do not have fire adaptations. In result, the forest becomes even more vulnerable to secondary fires, which are far more destructive and kill many more species including large trees.

Atlantic Forest: Results of human activity

Habitat fragmentation leads to a cascade of alterations of the original forest landscape. For example, the extent of human disturbances, including habitat destruction, in the Atlantic Forest has led to an extinction crisis. The endemic species in this region are especially vulnerable to extinction due to fragmentation because of their small geographic ranges and low occurrence. In a study of the Atlantic Forest fragments, community level biomass was reduced to 60% in plots less than 25 hectares. Key ecological processes such as seed dispersal, gene flow, colonization and other processes are disturbed by fragmentation. With many key vertebrate seed dispersers going extinct, it is predicted that many regional, fruit-bearing tree species in the Atlantic forest will become extinct due to failure of seedling recruitment and recolonisation. With all these species already threatened, it is predicted that with the persistence of current deforestation rates the Atlantic forest will see continued extinction of species.

Atlantic Forest: Conservation by nongovernmental organizations

Due to the Atlantic Forest’s vast diversity of endemic plants and animals as well as the fragmentation affecting these species, many groups and organizations are working towards the restoration of this unique ecosystem. Non-governmental organizations (NGO) are huge benefactors in Brazil, providing funding as well as professional help to the Atlantic Forest due to the Brazilian Environmental Movement. One organization, called BirdLife International, is using their research to preserve bird biodiversity of the area by primarily working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.

Some organizations are receiving grants from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) if they abide by their directions. These include:

  • Species protection program
  • The Program for Supporting Private Natural Heritage Reserves
  • The Institutional Strengthening Program

Another strategy being implemented to maintain biodiversity within the Atlantic Forest is creating wildlife corridors. The World Bank is donating $44 million to create a corridor, which will be known as the Central Biodiversity Corridor, in the Atlantic Forest and one in the Amazon. The Brazilian Development Bank has been financing, with non-reimbursable loans, 16 to 18 ecosystem restoration projects totaling 3,500 hectares and costing approximately $22 million under the so-called Iniciativa BNDES Mata Atlântica. In order to preserve diversity, the state of Sao Paulo has created the Restinga de Bertioga State Park, a 9.3 thousand hectares park which is also serves as a wildlife corridor linking the coastal regions to the Serra do Mar mountain range. Some organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy, are planning to restore parts of the forest that have been lost and to build corridors that are compatible with the lifestyles of the native people. The Amazon Institute is active in reforestation efforts in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, Brazil. During 2007, Joao Milanez and Joanne Stanulonis have planted 5,500 new trees in the mountains commencing with Gravata, adding to the precious little, ancient forest left.

The Pact for Atlantic Forest Restoration has assembled over 100 businesses, nongovernmental and governmental organizations around the goal of having 15 million hectares of the original ecosystem restored by 2050.

The Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul keeps a private reserve of the Araucaria moist forest ecoregion of approximately 3.100 ha called Pró-Mata, near the city of São Francisco de Paula in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, that is used for research.

Atlantic Forest: Ecoregions

Atlantic forest in Curitiba (Brazil).

Terrestrial ecoregions within the Atlantic Forest Biome include:

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
  • Araucaria moist forests
  • Atlantic Coast restingas
  • Bahia coastal forests
  • Bahia interior forests
  • Caatinga enclaves moist forests
  • Paraná-Paraíba interior forests
  • Pernambuco coastal forests
  • Pernambuco interior forests
  • Serra do Mar coastal forests
Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests
  • Atlantic dry forests
Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
  • Campos rupestres
Mangrove forests
  • Bahia mangroves
  • Ilha Grande mangroves
  • Rio Piranhas mangroves
  • Rio São Francisco mangroves

Atlantic Forest: See also

  • Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve
  • List of plants of Atlantic Forest vegetation of Brazil
  • Biodiversity hotspot
  • List of ecoregions in Brazil

Atlantic Forest: References

  1. Dafonseca, G. 1985. The Vanishing Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Biological Conservation 34:17-34.
  2. Por, Francis Dov. 1992. Sooretama: the Atlantic rain forest of Brazil. The Hague: SPB Academic Pub.
  3. "The Atlantic Forest". The Nature Conservancy.
  4. "Atlantic Forests, South America". WWF.
  5. Thomas, William Wayt, and Elizabeth G. Britton. 2008. The Atlantic coastal forest of Northeastern Brazil. Bronx, N.Y.: The New York Botanical Garden Press.
  6. Galindo Leal, Carlos, and Ibsen de Gusmão Câmara. 2003. The Atlantic Forest of South America: biodiversity status, threats, and outlook. Washington: Island Press.
  7. .
  8. Tabarelli, Marcelo, Antonio Venceslau Aguiar, Milton Cezar Ribeiro, Jean Paul Metzger, and Carlos A. Peres. "Prospects for Biodiversity Conservation in the Atlantic Forest: Lessons from Aging Human-modified Landscapes." Biological Conservation 143.10 (2010): 2328-340.
  9. World Wildlife Fund: Atlantic Forest. World Wildlife Fund. 29 November 2011.
  10. Reaka-Kudla, Marjorie L, Don E. Wilson, and Edward O. Wilson. Biodiversity Ii: Understanding and Protecting Our Biological Resources. Washington, D.C: Joseph Henry Press, 1997.
  11. Pontes, A., A. Malta, and P. Asfora. 2006. A new species of capuchin monkey, genus Cebus erxleben (Cebidae, Primates): found at the very brink of extinction in the Pernambuco Endemism Centre. Zootaxa:1-12.
  12. Cassano, C., M. Kierulff, and A. Chiarello. 2011. The cacao agroforests of the Brazilian Atlantic forest as habitat for the endangered maned sloth Bradypus torquatus. Mammalian Biology 76:243-250.
  13. Tabarelli, Marcelo; José Maria Cardoso Da Silva & Claude Gascon (June 2004). "Forest Fragmentation, Synergisms and the Impoverishment of Neotropical Forests". Biodiversity and Conservation. 13 (7): 1419–1425. doi:10.1023/B:BIOC.0000019398.36045.1b.
  14. IIzquierdo, Andrea E.; Carlos D. De Angelo & T. Mitchell Aide (2008). "Thirty Years of Human Demography and Land-Use Change in the Atlantic Forest of Misiones, Argentina: an Evaluation of the Forest Transition Model". Ecology and Society. 13 (2): 3. (online).
  15. Laurance, William F., and Diana C. Useche. "Environmental Synergisms and Extinctions of Tropical Species." Conservation Biology 23.6 (2009): 1427-437.
  16. Brooks, Thomas M., Mittermeier, Russell A., Mittermeier, Cristina G., Da Fonseca, Gustavo A. B., Konstant, William R., Flick, Penny, Pilgrim, John, Oldfield, Sara, Magin, Georgina, Hilton-Taylor, Craig. “Habitat Loss and Extinction in the Hotspots of Biodiversity.” Pérdida de Hábitat y Extinciones en Áreas Críticas para la Biodiversidad 16.4 (2002).
  17. Patterson, B.D. & W. Atmar. "Analyzing species composition in fragments." Bonner Zoologische Monographen 46 (2000): Pp. 9-24.
  18. Pütz, J. Groeneveld, L.F. Alves, J.P. Metzger, A. Huth. "Fragmentation drives tropical forest fragments to early successional states: A modelling study for Brazilian Atlantic forests." Ecological Modelling, 222. 12 (2011), pp. 1986-1997.
  19. Biodiversity Hotspots - Atlantic Forest - Conservation Action Archived March 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Biodiversity Hotspots - Home. 03 Oct. 2011.
  20. Iniciativa BNDES Mata Atlântica
  21. São Paulo Expands Atlantic Forest Protection Coverage. WWF Brasil. 03 Oct. 2011.
  22. About the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Nature Conservancy | Protecting Nature, Preserving Life. 03 Oct. 2011.
  23. Pact for Atlantic Forest Restoration

Atlantic Forest: Bibliography

  • Saporetti-Junior, Amilcar Walter; Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto G. Reynaud; de Souza, Agostinho Lopes; Soares, Michellia Pereira; Araújo, Dorothy Sue Dunn; Meira-Neto, João Augusto Alves (21 September 2011). "Influence of Soil Physical Properties on Plants of the Mussununga Ecosystem, Brazil". Folia Geobotanica. 47 (1): 29–39. doi:10.1007/s12224-011-9106-9.
  • official Atlantic Forest Foundation website - preservation of the Atlantic Forest organization.
  • The Nature Conservancy: Atlantic Forest biome - with photos.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves
  • Mongabay: Mata Atlántica

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