The term “vereda” comes from the Latin “veredus” meaning pathway or narrow shortcut. Brazilian writer Guimarães Rosa described them as paths used by travellers trying to stay away from the dense cerrado vegetation, so they walked on the plain and grassy terrain of the veredas instead, where it was easier to move.
From the point of view of phytogeography, veredas can be included in the cerrado biome, which comprises one of the most diverse regions in the world, as it is considered the second largest morphoclimatic zones in South America, with a vegetation complex containing various typologies, among which the veredas vegetation is included and divided in two strata: one continuous herbaceous-grassy and one bushy-arboreal.
Veredas are upstream rainwater catchment channels that evolve in depth downstream, forming ground channels. Each evolutionary stage leads to geomorphological and hydrological changes, which are followed by transformations in its vegetation. Moreover, they are areas with many river sources in shallow valleys with smooth concave openings characterized by the presence of numerous substrata and leveled bottoms containing clayish/peatland soils with a high concentration of organic materials.
Veredas in the RPPN territory are part of the main tributaries of the Pandeiros River or catchment areas for the drainage basin. As a matter of fact, veredas are responsible for the health of the river and, consequently, for the health of the Pandeiros swamp region, since all sub-basins that are still preserved and flowing directly or indirectly into the river have veredas. This pattern that veredas possess can be explained by its flow rate regulation function, which is caused by its capacity to contain the water from these environments and consequently ensure a permanent minimum flow.
Veredas, locally known as the mothers of waters, were recognized as signs of healthy streams and as flow rate regulators in 1988, when they became Permanent Preservation Areas – APP (Área de Preservação Permanente).
Many veredas exist in the RPPN Alesssandra Bello Vicintin, namely: The Suçuarana Vereda; the Ponte Vereda, the Coité Vereda and the Jaboticaba Vereda, which flow into the Pardo River, another important tributary of the São Francisco River.
There is also part of the Pindaibal Vereda and the entire Buriti Grosso Vereda, both forming the Pindaibal stream, which flows into the Pandeiros River. The Buriti Grosso Vereda is entirely inserted in the RPPN area. The Buriti Grosso Vereda’s microbasin has a 4648 hectare area, 4298 of which are cerrado and 350 are veredas.
All Veredas in the RPPN are of extreme importance for the supply and maintenance of two large tributaries of the São Francisco River – the Pardo River and the Pandeiros River.