Today semi-wild, or subspontaneous, stands of African oil palm dominate the area as secondary vegetation in the Atlantic forest (mata atlantica) biome.
Unable to unravel a purely 'natural' provenance from anthropogenic influence, scientists describe oil palm populations with equivocations such as 'semi-wild' and 'subspontaneous'.
Elsewhere in the circum-Caribbean, including Cuba, Dominica, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Guiana, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Garifuna Central America, subspontaneous African oil palms persist in small numbers, and modern linguistic analyses suggest centuries of use by Afro-descendants.
As we have seen, the subspontaneous range of the African oil palm extends from Senegambia to Angola, including the Atlantic island and European way station of Sao Tome; therefore palm oil and kernels were prominent in all the areas and ports frequented by European ships in the early colonial period.
Nevertheless, Bahia's Dende Coast remains the lone New World locale where a dense and distinct landscape of subspontaneous Elaeis guineensis developed.
The vernacular for subspontaneous oil palm groves in Bahia is fields 'planted by vultures (urubu)', and the phrase is common even in Brazilian scientific literature.
Six years after completing a first assessment of the exotic subspontaneous flora of continental Portugal (Almeida, 1999a; Almeida & Freitas, 2000, 2001), we present a reassessment of our previous work.
As we have written before (Almeida & Freitas, 2000, 2001), the expansion of subspontaneous or exotic invasive plants is threatening the Portuguese native flora, becoming a severe environmental problem.