Transition Ranges of Morphoclimatic Domains

Transition Ranges of Morphoclimatic Domains

Intermediate areas between morphoclimatic domains that have complex physical characteristics are called transition bands , that is, a set of ecological conditions that individualize them, making it impossible to classify them as morphoclimatic domains.

They are complex landscape units that present physical characteristics of two or more morphoclimatic domains, that is, they mix or group physical characteristics of the surrounding morphoclimatic domains, being important ecotone environments, resulting from the contacts between the different border biomes.

There are three main Brazilian transition strips: the Mata dos Cocais , the Agreste and the Complexo do Pantanal .

Cocais Forest

The Mata dos Cocais is a transition area that covers the states of Piauí and Maranhão, with the presence of carnauba and babassu vegetation, located between the morphoclimatic domains of the Caatinga , to the east, with a semi-arid climate; the Cerrado , to the south, with typical tropical or semi-humid; and Amazon, to the west, with an equatorial climate and Amazon forest.

The relief of this strip is formed by Plateaus and Chapadas of the Parnaíba Basin, with the Parnaíba River standing out in this area, which, in addition to dividing the two States, has a delta mouth.

According to Insidewatch, plant extractivism is an important economic activity in this region, which is experiencing a strong expansion of soy cultivation.


The Agreste presents itself as an important transition area between the Zona da Mata, to the east, with a humid coastal tropical climate and Tropical Atlantic forest , and the Sertão , to the west, with the presence of the Caatinga Domain.

The relief is marked by the presence of the Borborema Plateau.

The economy is structured around small polyculture farms and dairy cattle, in addition to areas with cotton.

Pantanal Complex

The Pantanal Complex extends through the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, presenting an extensive relief of plain that suffers periodic flooding.

The relief is classified by Jurandyr Ross as Plain and Pantanal Mato-Grossense, with recent formation, in the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic Era.

The region is drained by the Paraguay hydrographic basin and the climate is typical tropical or semi-humid, with complex vegetation formed by several species, including cerrado, forests, fields, palm trees, xeromorphic, hydrophilic, etc., corresponding to a botanical mosaic.

The diversity of fauna species has made the Pantanal known worldwide as an Ecological Sanctuary, in addition to being recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.

In terms of economy, the region mainly features extensive beef cattle raising, followed by vegetal extraction from quebracho and poaia, as well as agricultural expansion of soy and corn, and tourism.


The expansion of agriculture over the transition strips is the main activity of environmental degradation, especially with regard to the Cerrado-Amazônia and Cerrado-Caatinga ecotones, which are located in areas of expansion of the agricultural frontier with soybean and corn crops and cotton, for example.


The protection of transition strips urgently needs to be expanded to preserve ecotone systems, and can be done through the National System of Conservation Units for Sustainable Use Units.

This protection is aimed at maintaining and expanding the integration between ecosystem and population communities of quilombolas, rubber tappers, chestnut trees, riverside dwellers, indigenous peoples, among others, such as the creation of Integral Protection Units with biological reserves, ecological stations, national parks, natural monuments and wildlife refuges.

Transition Ranges of Morphoclimatic Domains