Tree composition of urban public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil: A systematic review

Tree composition of urban public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil: A systematic review

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Journal Pre-proof Tree composition of urban public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil: a systematic review ˜ Welington Kiffer de Freitas, Luis Mauro Sampaio Magalhaes, Claudio Alexandre Aquino de Santana, Edson Rodrigues Pereira Junior, La´ıs de Castro Machado de Souza, Rafael Augusto Batista ˜ Toledo, Beatriz Rocha Garc¸ao

PII:

S1618-8667(19)30326-7

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2019.126555

Reference:

UFUG 126555

To appear in:

Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

Received Date:

29 April 2019

Revised Date:

21 September 2019

Accepted Date:

2 December 2019

˜ LMS, Aquino de Santana CA, Pereira Please cite this article as: de Freitas WK, Magalhaes ˜ BR, Tree composition of urban public Junior ER, de Souza LdCM, Toledo RAB, Garc¸ao squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil: a systematic review, Urban Forestry and amp; Urban Greening (2019), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2019.126555

This is a PDF file of an article that has undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the addition of a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but it is not yet the definitive version of record. This version will undergo additional copyediting, typesetting and review before it is published in its final form, but we are providing this version to give early visibility of the article. Please note that, during the production process, errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain. © 2019 Published by Elsevier.

Tree composition of urban public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil: a systematic review



Welington Kiffer de Freitas

Dr. Forest Engeenier, Postgraduate Program in Environmental Technology - PGTA, Fluminense Federal University - UFF, Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Luis Mauro Sampaio Magalhães

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Dr. Forest Engeenier, Postgraduate Program in Practices in Sustainable Development - PPGPDS, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro- UFRRJ, Seropédica, Rio de



Claudio Alexandre Aquino de Santana

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Janeiro, Brazil

Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Edson Rodrigues Pereira Junior

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MSc. Forest Engeenier, Secretary of Environment of the City of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de

DSc. Forest Engeenier, Land Institute of the State of Rio de Janeiro- ITERJ, Rio de



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Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Laís de Castro Machado de Souza

MSc, Biologist, Postgraduate Program in Environmental Technology - PGTA, Fluminense Federal University - UFF, Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Rafael Augusto Batista Toledo

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Graduate Agribusiness Engineering- VEA, Fluminense Federal University - UFF, Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Beatriz Rocha Garção

Graduate Agribusiness Engineering- VEA, Fluminense Federal University - UFF, Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

*Corresponding author: [email protected]

Highlights:



We analyzed the urban forest and note the historical influence of the selection and domestication of species;



Both native and exotic species are also used in the composition of the squares evaluated; More of 20% of the tree species used in the urban races are endemic to the

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Atlantic Forest.

Abstract - This study reports a comparative analysis of trees used in public squares

located in Brazilian cities where the Atlantic Forest is present. This overview uses

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databases including SciVerse Scopus, Web of Science, Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), and Google Scholar using the following descriptors: “vegetation”

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AND “public square” AND “qualitative analysis” AND “Atlantic forest.” Each species had its origin investigated: originating species from the Brazilian biomes (native) or

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species not belonging to the Brazilian biomes (exotic). The Kruskal-Wallis test did not show significant differences between the numbers of species or individuals considering their origins (native or exotic) in the analyzed public squares. More than 15% of the

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species are endemic to the Atlantic Forest including Clusia fluminensis Planch and Triana, Dalbergia nigra (Bojer ex Hook.) Raf., Jacaranda micrantha Cham. Licania tomentosa (Benth.) Fritsch, and others. Four threatened species were found: Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol.) Kuntze, Cariniana legalis (Mart.) Kuntz, Dicksonia sellowiana Hook, and Ocotea odorifera (Vell.) Rohwer. Floristic similarities between surveys were

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generally low, but it was relatively high between the geographic surveys nearby suggesting a distribution influenced by the combination of ecology, occupation history, and local culture. Replication of new studies in public areas of the Atlantic Forest is recommended to broaden the knowledge base on vegetation. These studies can identify species that best represent biological and cultural diversity while prioritizing the use of native plants. Exotic (naturalized) trees can also be used as long as they contribute to local biodiversity.

Keywords: floristic similarity; native trees; urban green areas Introduction Brazil is rapidly urbanizing, which is transforming its environment. This is especially true in cities of the eastern coast (Atlantic Forest) where more than 70% of the population is concentrated (Varjabedian, 2010; Labaki et al., 2011). Urban areas are divided into three types: the built environment, an integrated environment (has built and natural elements), and green areas that are free of construction (Grise et al., 2016). Green areas are important for the quality of life of urban inhabitants. They perform

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many ecosystem services such as retaining atmospheric pollutants, reducing the noise and impact of the winds, increasing the air humidity, serving as shelter and food for the

urban fauna, as well as additional salutogenic, aesthetic, and leisure benefits (Buckeridge, 2015; Amato-Lourenço et al., 2016).

Harder et al. (2006) reported that green areas can be defined as open urban spaces

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that are covered with vegetation and accessible to everyone; they are important for

health and leisure. They connect human activities with the environment including parks,

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gardens, or public squares.

Studies of urban green areas in Brazil should have input from the scientific

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community as well as public managers. Research in this area has been mainly focused on the identification and quantification of trees (Freitas et al., 2015); determination of the green areas index (Harder et al., 2006); assessment of the profile and perception of

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society on the elements of afforestation; influence on the health of the population (Campos and Castro, 2017); and others. In this context, Melo and Romanini (2008) and Romani et al. (2012) emphasize the importance of making the urban environment more diverse including the surrounding landscapes based on regional and cultural characteristics.

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The Atlantic Forest was one of the largest tropical forests in the Americas

originally covering about 150 million hectares. It is composed of two main types of vegetation: ombrophilous and semideciduous forests. This biome is inserted almost entirely within the Brazilian territory with smaller proportions in Argentina and Paraguay. Its wide longitudinal range presents marked differences in its floristic composition. The continentality is another factor that influences the richness of this biome. Rainfall occurs abundantly for much of the year in coastal zones reaching more than 4000 mm annually (ombrophilous forests). Inland portions (semideciduous forests)

have up to 1000 mm of precipitation per year with well-marked seasonality. These characteristics justify their high diversity and endemism sheltering more than 20,000 plant species that represents up to 8% of the planet's total biodiversity (Morellato and Haddad, 2000; Ribeiro et al. 2009). The choice of species for tree planting in squares was historically influenced by social, economic, ecological, and arboricultural factors. For example, during the colonial period, a significant number of species from other tropical regions such as Africa were used. More recently, species originating from Brazilian biomes have been prioritized in several districts. These choices also have important effects on the same

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social, economic, and management factors of urban forests in these cities. The close association of individuals and social groups with certain species involves processes of

socialization, inclusion, and social belonging. Some species, including exotic ones, have also become a reference for localities.

The Atlantic Forest is currently listed among the 35 global hotspots: Regions of

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conservation are prioritized based on high levels of biodiversity and as well as threat of destruction (Myers et al., 2005; Eisenlohr and Oliveira Filho, 2015; Rocha et al., 2017).

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In this sense, urban green areas represent the biodiversity of urban ecosystems (Gonçalves and Meneguetti, 2015). Magalhães (2006) recommends a better integration

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of vegetation elements in and around urban centers seeking the connectivity of streets, avenues, parks, protected areas, and remnants of natural or planted ecosystems in the management of urban forests. Many authors such as Gonçalves and Paiva (2004), Silva

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Filho and Bortoleto (2005), Souza et al. (2011), Freitas et al. (2015), and others observe that only minor emphasis is given to originating species from the Brazilian biomes (native species) on the planning of urban afforestation. This leaves a gap in the silvicultural and ecological knowledge of these species—especially the Atlantic Forest. The guiding question in this systematic review was what is the diversity of species

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and the relationship between native and exotic species in public squares in cities located in the Atlantic Forest biome. The objective of was to analyze the species according to their origins and the way that they are used in afforestation of public squares in Atlantic Forest cities. This comparative analysis also aims to understand the historical, cultural, and ecological characteristics that may have influenced the selection of species for planting in public squares. This can lead to greater appreciation of diversity by by managers and the populace of these regions.

Methods Data collection We synthesized scientific knowledge already produced on this topic to generate new knowledge and data about the results (Cooper, 1984). The following steps were followed to prepare the review: 1) construction of the protocol; 2) definition of the question; 3) search of the studies; 4) selection of studies; 5) critical evaluation of the studies; 6) data collection; and 7) synthesis of studies (Joanna Briggs Institute, 2014). The literature was evaluated in June of 2017 and included papers published

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between 2004 and 2017 in Portuguese or English that addressed trees in public squares in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Theses, dissertations, books chapters, technical reports, and publisher letters were excluded. The search was performed in the SciVerse Scopus,

Web of Science, Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), and Google Scholar “qualitative analysis” AND “Atlantic forest.”

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Data Bases using the following descriptors: “vegetation” AND “public square” AND

From the list elaborated a synthesis was made, based on bibliographic records,

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seeking to adjust the use of the species according to the stages of landscaping in Brazil. The herbaceous species were excluded. Most of the studies analyzed trees

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(Angiosperms and Gymnosperms) including as an arborescent fern (Dicksonia sellowiana). The records that indicated the full names of the species were considered. Exclusions based on species names and synonym exclusions were performed

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considering the International Plant Names Index (IPNI, 2017), Tropicos (MOBOT, 2017) and Flora Brazil (Flora Brasil, 2017) databases. The species were investigated according to their origin, i.e., native or exotic to the Brazilian flora. To do this, the Brazilian Flora Species List was consulted (Flora Brasil, 2017); scientific articles were also used as resources when the taxon was not available in the database. We used the

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data to create a list of the most common species. Here, the concept of native species refers to trees in the Brazilian flora

designated as exotic (do not occur naturally in Brazilian territory) (Flora Brasil, 2017). Native species were also separated based on their biome of origin, i.e., native species are endemic to the Atlantic Forest. Such species were originally located over an extensive area of the Brazilian coast with diverse reliefs and high humidity. This area contains dense forest vegetation with several sizes of trees including broad-leaved and perennial.

The Cerrado (Savannah) in the central plateau region of Brazil has a tropical climate with two well-defined seasons: a wet summer and a dry winter. The vegetation here includes small trees and shrubs with twisted trunks and coarse bark; these species are usually deciduous. The Caatinga region in the northeast is the driest region of the country and has a semi-arid tropical climate zone with xerophytic and deciduous plants. The Pampas in the southern extreme is subtropical and covers the plains. This has a cold and dry climate with a predominance of grasses. The relative abundance of native species was represented with a bar graph using R (R Development Core Team, 2017). The native Brazilian flora present in the 22 squares analyzed were analyzed

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according to the IUCN Red List classification: Vulnerable (VU) species face a high risk of extinction in the wild in the very near future unless the circumstances that threaten

their survival and reproduction improve. Endangered (EN) species are likely to be extinct in the near future. Critically endangered (CR) species face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild (Rodrigues et al., 2006).

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A non-parametric Kruskall-Wllis test (p>0.05; 5%) was applied to compare the

abundance of native or exotic species/individuals in each square assuming that all

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populations have equal distribution functions. The selection of these tests was based on the premise that the samples have a small size with non-normal variation as tested by

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the Shapiro-Wilk methods (p>0.05; 5%) (Brower and Zar, 1977). Graphical representation included boxplots using R (R Development Core Team, 2017). Beta diversity was evaluated using the binary data matrix (376 species x 22

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squares) where 1 represents a species present in each of the public squares and 0 indicates no species. Thereafter, a cluster analysis was performed using the Jaccard similarity index and the UPGMA (Unweighted Pairs of Arithmetic Averages Pair) method (Brower and Zar, 1977). Subsequently, the correspondence analysis (CA) (ranking analysis) of the qualitative variable categories was performed to verify

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gradients in the ordering of the samples. This was arranged in a two-dimensional diagram (Kent and Coker, 1992). Cluster and ranking analysis used the PAST program (Hammer et al., 2001). Results After being selected, 22 articles met the inclusion criteria for this overview (Fig. 1) addressing the theme “vegetation”, “public squares”, and “qualitative analysis” (Tab. 1 and Fig. 2). All articles were published in indexed journals.

Figure 1 - Flowchart of the results of the research to evaluate the articles referring to the floristic composition in public squares in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

Table 1 - Authors and cities the public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil Figure 2 - Geographical position of the public squares in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

The vegetation was 90.5% trees and 9.6% palm trees. About 13 species were present in more than half of the analyzed public squares. Nine were native to the

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Brazilian flora: Cenostigma pluviosa DC.) E. Gagnon & G.P. Lewis, Libidibia ferrea, Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Handroanthus chrysotrichus (Mart. ex DC.) Mattos, Lagerstroemia indica (L.) Pers, Anacardium occidentale L., Eugenia uniflora

L., Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi, and Schizolobium parahyba (Vell.) Blake. There were

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only four exotic Brazilian flora: Handroanthus impetiginosus (Mart. ex DC.) Mattos, Ficus benjamina L., Ligustrum lucidum W.T. Aiton, and Delonix regia (Bojer ex

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Hook.) Raf.

The Mann-Whitney test did not present a significant difference between the public

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squares analyzed in relation to the number of native and exotic species (𝑥2(21) = 0.3323; p > 0.05) (Fig. 3). We compared the number of individuals via the Mann-Whitney test, and there was no significant difference between the medians of the population (𝑥2(21) =

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0.6688; p ≤ 0.05) (Fig. 3).

Figure 3 - Boxplot of the number of native and exotic species and individuals present in public squares studied here: (a) Number of species; (b) Number of individuals.

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Figure 4 indicates that more than 35% of the species are broadly distributed in Brazil especially Sterculia striata A. St.-Hil. & Naudin, Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth., Jacaranda brasiliana (Lam.) Pers., and Eugenia florida DC.

Figure 4 - Graphic representation of the relative value of the species present in the public squares of this study according to Brazilian biomes

About 30% occur concomitantly in the Atlantic Forest, Cerrado (savanna), and Caatinga biomes: Andira fraxinifolia Benth., Tabernaemontana hystrix Steud., Trichilia clausseni C.D., Ocotea odorifera (Vell.) Rohwer, Ormosia arborea (Vell.) Harms, Ficus enormis Mart. ex Miq., Libidibia ferroso (Mart. ex Tul.) L. P. Queiroz, and Psidium cattleianum Sabine. Another 18% are species are not found in any other natural environment and are not endemic to the Atlantic Forest: Cariniana legalis (Mart.) Kuntz, Cassia leptophylla Vogel, Clusia fluminensis Planch. & Triana, Dalbergia nigra (Bojer ex Hook.) Raf., Handroanthus vellosoi (Toledo) Mattos, Jacaranda micranta Cham., Licania tomentosa (Benth.) Fritsch, Mimosa scabrella Benth., Paubrasilia

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echinata (Lam.) E. Gagnon, HC Lima e G.P. Lewis and others. Only one species endemic to the Pampaswas recorded (Guarapuava publicic square; Trithrinax brasiliensis Mart.) (Fig. 4). There were four threatened species in the EN category:

Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol.) Kuntze, Cariniana legalis (Mart.) Kuntz, Dicksonia sellowiana Hook, and Ocotea odorifera (Vell.) Rohwer.

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Cluster analysis revealed two groups with low similarity for the public squares located in tropical (Rio Grande do Norte to Rio de Janeiro) and subtropical (São Paulo

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until Rio Grande do Sul) regions. The correspondence analysis (CA) presented three floristic patterns for the public squares: 1) Trees are predominantly formed by localities

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in the northeast region (Natal, Recife and Our Lady of Help) with binding species Azadirachta indica A. Juss. and Clitoria fairchildiana R.A.Howard. 2) The species are from cities in the southeast region (Rio de Janeiro, Nova Iguaçu, Volta Redonda,

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Guaxupé, Paraisópolis, Leme, and Sao Paulo) had binding species Thevetia peruviana (Pers.) K.Schum, Cedrela fissilis Vell, Guarea guidonia (L.) Sleumer and Matayba elaeagnoides Radlk. and 3) The species are from cities in southern Brazil (Santa Maria, Cachoeira do Sul, Guarapuava, Irati, Ponta Grossa and Lages) with binding species

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Byrsonima stipulacea A. Juss (Fig. 5). Figure 5 – Dendrogram of the similarity (Jaccard index) for species present in 376 tree species in 22 public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.

Figure 6 - Diagram generated via CA for the 376 tree species in 22 public squares located in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil

Discussion Despite the ecological and social importance of urban green spaces, they are still poorly studied in Brazil. The search terms revealed only 22 articles describing plants in public squares along the Atlantic Forest region. People increasingly value public squares as critical to urban life (Dorigo and Lamano-Ferreira, 2015). Until the early 19th century, Brazilian cities did not value the presence of trees— people sought to distance themselves from the rural environment (Oliveira et al., 2013). Oliveira et al. (2013) analyzed the patterns of urban afforestation in Brazil and highlighted three important phases: The first was the Portuguese settlers and royal

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family who introduced exotic species. This period emphasized European style gardens (Macedo, 1999). Araújo (1994) found that the European influence disregarded the harmony of regional nature and restricted the use of a restricted group of exotic species (ficus, Mexican cactus, and Honolulu acacia).

Araújo and Silva (2010) highlighted Regent D. João VI's initiative to introduce

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one of the most imposing, majestic, and impressive palm trees in the world: the imperial palm (Roystonea oleraceae (Jacq.) OF Cook). The imperial palm is currently distributed

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throughout the country and is featured in the landscaping of botanical gardens, farms, squares, avenues, gardens, and buildings among other green areas. During this period,

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the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden became internationally recognized for cataloging flora and practicing scientific exchanges with foreign institutions including the introduction of new species with an emphasis on the spread of black tea (Camellia

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sinensis L. Kuntze). and planting mulberry (Morus nigra L.) to feed the silkworm (Bombix mori L). This popularized the use of these species in urban green areas. At the end of the imperial period and the beginning of the Brazilian republic, new inspirations affected the planning of green areas. The literature and the arts began to adopt more critical and realistic positions (Nobre, 2010), and the French botanist

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Auguste François Marie Glaziou (director of parks and gardens of the Imperial House of Rio de Janeiro) developed projects inspired by the style of English gardens while adopting Brazilian plants in the squares and urban streets of Rio de Janeiro. One example is Licania tomentosa that remains a striking element in urban afforestation. For Oliveira et al. (2013), Roberto Burle Marx's break with traditional landscapers after the 1940s marked a new phase in Brazilian forest planning. Burle Marx's gardens then began to put more emphasis on Brazilian flora, which allowed some species to be saved from extinction although many were still exotic. This fact still prevails today

(Santos et al., 2010). The urban landscape gained "variety and charm" (Rego, 2001) as proposed by the urban design “Accord of Unwin” published in 1999. Burle Marx's modern garden was created in the city of Recife and later disseminated in Brazil and worldwide. This style was produced by the expression of art by the plant: The main elements were the composition, water, stones, buildings, and sculptures (Carneiro, 2014). A new phase of tree planting in urban green areas was initiated after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (RIO’92) (Oliveira et al., 2013). This fact may have been responsible for the approximately 15% increase in the use of

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endemic Atlantic Forest species, many of them found in this study, such as: Cariniana legalis (Mart.) Kuntz, Centrolobium tomentosum Guillem. Ex Benth, Esenbeckia

leiocarpa Engl, Ficus enormis Mart. Ex Miq., Ormosia arborea (Vell.) Prejuízos,

Tabernaemontana hystrix Steud., Pithecellobium diversifolium Benth, Handroanthus vellosoi (Toledo) Mattos, and Trithrinax brasiliensis Mart.

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Of the 27 Brazilian capitals, only six (22%) already have a Municipal Green Area

System with regulated environmental legislation. The other cities only propose the

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creation of a system or present a master plan to manage urban forestation rather than a set of green areas. However, Brazil’s economic situation and fragile, and few resources

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are being spent on the management of these spaces. This seriously compromises the quality of urban environments because the management of urban green areas requires investments in planting, pruning, fertilization, pest and disease control, as well as

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facilities costs (park benches, playgrounds, accessibility, lighting and others) (Steiner, 2016).Species richness decreases towards peri-urban and urban areas. In urban environments, trees perform various ecosystem functions such as: habitat function (maintenance of biological and genetic diversity), information function (spiritual enrichment, mental development and leisure), etc. (McKinney, 2002; Dobbs et al.,

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2011). Species diversification in urban spaces is one of the main objectives of the tree component management process in cities. It is essential to determining the stability and resilience of these ecosystem components in the face of adversity (Bobrowski and Biondi, 2016). Species diversity in the urban landscape helps to control pests and diseases (Romani et al., 2012). Santamour (1990) has recommendation for urban green areas to prevent pests: no more than 10% of any one species, no more than 20% of any genus, and no more than 30% of any family.

Despite the enormous richness of palm species in the Brazilian flora, only two native species were observed in the public squares evaluated here: Euterpe edulis Mart. and Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman (Silva et al., 2007). Palm trees represent a good option for use in these spaces because they have a low incidence of lesions. However, they do present a risk of falling fronds and debris (Wong, 2016). The country's urban landscape patterns have long emphasized exotic species such as Ligustrum lucidum W. T. Aiton and Lagerstroemia indica (L.). These are still used today in squares across the Atlantic Forest biome. Melia azedarach L. and Platanus occidentalis L. are the most common in the south of the biome (Fig. 4) (Gomes and

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Soares, 2003). Other species have been identified as responsible for serious problems in certain regions of this biome. Some other important invasive species in this region

include Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth., Arthocarpus heterophyllus Lam., Cinnamomum verum J. Presl, Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC., Hovenia dulcis Thunb., Leucaena

leucocephala (Lam.) De Wit, Melia azedarach L., Tecoma stans (L.) Juss. ex Kunth

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(Biondi and Macedo 2008, Blum et al. 2008, Horus Institute 2017).

Exotic species can cause biological invasion and pose a major threat to

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biodiversity. The invasive species can overwhelm the endemic species (Ziller, 2006; Rolim et al., 2015). Planting exotic species in urban green areas is a very old practice,

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and about 80% of the trees grown in the streets of Brazilian cities are not native (Fig. 3) (Rossetti et al., 2010). This practice can often misrepresent the natural floristic composition directly interfering with local biodiversity (Leão et al., 2011). The gradient

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of urban/peri-urban environments also favors the establishment of exotic species due to cultivation practices and the intrinsic opportunistic characteristics of each species (rapid growth, large seed production with easy dispersion, high germination rate, etc.; McKinney, 2002; Silva et al., 2017).

However, the fact that a species is exotic does not necessarily imply disregarding

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its importance for use in urban green areas. For example, Delonix regia (Bojer ex Hook.) Raf, (IUCN "Vulnerable" category) is a widely used plant in urban green areas. It may be an alternative to the conservation of this species (Cupertino and Eisenlohr, 2013). The concept of the “Urban Forest” can describe rare urban ecosystems such as those cataloged as threatened. These forests can connect urban and peri-urban environments and protected areas. The introduction of IUCN red-listed individuals such as Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc., B. eriospatha (Mart. Ex Drude) Becc., Cedrela fissilis

Vell., Dalbergia nigra (Vell.) Allmanha ex Benth., Euterpe edulis Mart., Swietenia macrophylla (VU), Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol.) Kuntze, Cariniana legalis (Mart.) Kuntz, Dicksonia sellowiana Hook, and Ocotea odorifera (Vell.) Rohwer (MS) may play an important role in conserving the genetic pool of these species (Freitas et al. 2016). Currently, the adoption of ecological criteria (plasticity, functional identification, redundancy, and assessment of structural diversity) is recommended for urban green areas; native species are favored (Hunter, 2011). The use of native trees in urban green areas may represent a simple, inexpensive, and effective strategy for introducing these

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species into ornamental plant trade (Rocha and Barbedo, 2008). However, not all species of Brazilian flora have satisfactory characteristics for planting in urban areas

due to a lack of knowledge on seedling production and planting techniques, type of

growth, crown and root volume, fruit dispersal, plant capacity, tolerance to urban stress,

etc. (Fatima, 2005; Rossetti et al. 2010). Here, 20% of the species used in public squares

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were considered endemic to the Atlantic Forest. This implies an advance in Brazilian arboriculture techniques.

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The dendrogram and CA of the 22 public squares suggest a distribution influenced by the combination of ecology, history of occupation, and local culture. The choice of

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species for use in urban areas depends on local and regional adaptation levels and their own peculiarities such as climate and soil conditions (Cupertino and Eisenlohr, 2013). This study revealed the formation of a group of species used widely in reforestation: C.

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pluviosum, L. ferrea, H. chrysotrichus, H. impetiginosus, F. benjamina, L. lucidum, and D. regia. On the other hand, the use of species of different formations increases the floristic diversity used in urban green areas such as Amburana cearensis (Allemao) A. C. Sm and Licania rigida Benth (dry forests); Machaerium villosum Vogel (Caatinga, Cerrado, Dry Forest); Acca sellowiana (O. Berg) Burret, Acrocomia intumescens Drude

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and Clusia fluminensis Planch. & Triana (rain forest); and Araucaria angustifolia (Araucaria Forest) (Flora Brasil, 2017) (Fig. 5 and Fig. 6). These results reveal the importance of considering local and regional aspects as

important criteria in the selection of species for planting in urban green areas—not just the in the Atlantic Forest. People from different social and cultural backgrounds use and perceive the urban landscape in different ways. However, areas with higher social status have larger urban green areas (Priego et al., 2008). Green spaces are a reference to

“nature” for low-income citizens in developing countries. These spaces are widely understood to improve quality of urban life (Nagendra and Gopal, 2011). While many have argued for the benefits of trees in urban environments, they are still undervalued in many contexts. Thus, this study should be expanded in other areas in the Atlantic Forest. This data can broaden the knowledge base on vegetation and can identify species that best represent biological diversity and socio-cultural integration while prioritizing the use of native plants. Exotic (naturalized) trees can be included as long as they do not compromise the biodiversity and can also play important ecological

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roles in urban ecosystems.

Conflict of interest statement

There are no conflicts of interest between the authors of the article entitled: “Tree composition of urban public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil: a

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systematic review,” submitted to Urban Forestry and Urban Greening.

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Figure 1 - Flowchart of the results of the research to evaluate the articles referring to

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the floristic composition in public squares in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

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Figure 2 - Geographical position of the public squares in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

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Figure 3 - Boxplot of the number of native and exotic species and individuals present in

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public squares studied here: (a) Number of species; (b) Number of individuals.

Figure 4 - Graphic representation of the relative value of the species present in the

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public squares of this study according to Brazilian biomes

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Figure 5 – Dendrogram of the similarity (Jaccard index) for species present in 376 tree

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species in 22 public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.

Figure 6 - Diagram generated via CA for the 376 tree species in 22 public squares located in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil

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Table 1 - Physical and climatic characterization of the cities where the public squares located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil City

Inhabitant

Region

Author (s)

Rio Grande do Norte–RN Rio Grande do Norte–RN Pernambuco - PE Sergipe - SE Sergipe - SE Bahia - BA Bahia - BA Minas Gerais-MG Minas Gerais-MG Rio de Janeiro-RJ Rio de Janeiro-RJ Rio de Janeiro-RJ São Paulo-SP São Paulo-SP São Paulo-SP São Paulo-SP Paraná - PR Paraná - PR Paraná - PR Santa Catarina - SC Rio Grande do Sul - RS Rio Grande do Sul - RS

Natal Natal Recife Nsa Sra do Socorro Aracaju Salvador Vitória da Conquista João Monlevade Guaxupé Rio de Janeiro Nova Iguaçu Volta Redonda Leme Paraisópolis São Paulo São Domingos Ponta Grossa Irati Guarapuava Lages Cachoeira do Sul Santa Maria

803.739 803.739 1.537.704 160.827 571.149 2.675.656 306.866 73.610 49.430 6.320.446 796.257 257.803 91.756 11.253.503 11.253.503 11.253.503 311.611 56.207 167.328 156.727 83.827 261.031

Northeastern Northeastern Northeastern Northeastern Northeastern Northeastern Northeastern Southeastern Southeastern Southeastern Southeastern Southeastern Southeastern Southeastern Southeastern Southeastern South South South South Souh South

Lima Neto et al. (2007) Araújo et al. (2015) Vilaça et al. (2016) Jesus et al. (2015) Souza et al. (2011) Góes and Oliveira (2011) Cunha and Paula (2013) Vieira et al. (2012/13) Camilo et al. (2013) Freitas et al. (2015) Rocha et al. (2004) Not Published Tischer et al. (2015) Vieira et al. (2016) Souza et al. (2014) RossettI et al. (2010) Eurich and Carvalho (2014) Schallenberger et al. (2010) Kramer and Krupek (2012) Bastos et al. (2016) Redin et al. (2010) Szymczak et al. (2013)

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State