Brazilian pepper occurs on a wide range of sites but grows best in low-elevation, mesic areas [56,141]. In California, Brazilian pepper occurs in low-elevation canyons and washes [2,84]. It is most common in parts of Hawaii receiving from less than 20 inches (500 mm) [65,173] to 59 inches (1,500 mm) of annual precipitation. In areas receiving 39 to 59 inches (1,000-1,500 mm) of annual rainfall, Brazilian pepper was one of the most abundant weeds below 1,300 feet (400 m). It occurs in some areas of Hawaii receiving more than 59 inches of annual precipitation [173,214].
Although sensitive to freezing, Brazilian pepper sprouts after frost damage. Because it recovered 3 months after frost in Florida, Duever and others  concluded that Brazilian pepper was more cold tolerant than native species such as strangler fig and pond apple. A model suggested that increases in temperature would benefit Florida mangrove species to a greater extent than Brazilian pepper .
Disturbed sites are particularly susceptible to Brazilian pepper invasion [56,58,101]. In Hawaii, Brazilian pepper stands typically occur on disturbed sites at low elevation [33,65,214]. In southern Florida, Brazilian pepper is common along roads, canals, and power lines . It may form dense thickets on abandoned farmland [56,101]. Altered soil characteristics are thought to contribute to Brazilian pepper's success on these sites .
Water: Brazilian pepper occurs on a variety of sites, from seasonally flooded to mesic areas [56,108,149,182,213].
Brazilian pepper occurs on sites with variable water levels, but it commonly occurs on relatively dry sites in wet habitats. In mangrove habitats of east-central Florida, soil moisture content at sites with Brazilian pepper averaged 72%, significantly (P<0.01) less than the 88% average soil moisture on sites without Brazilian pepper . In tree island vegetation in the Everglades, Brazilian pepper was most common on sites that were comparatively dry, with water tables consistently 12.6 to 20.5 inches (32-52 cm) lower than those in 2 other site types . In southern Florida, the driest community Brazilian pepper occurred in was a hammock with a water Table that was typically deeper than 16 inches (40 cm) below the soil surface. Large seasonal fluctuations in the water table occur on some southern Florida sites where Brazilian pepper occurs. For instance, on a site dominated by wax myrtle with clusters of Brazilian pepper, the water table in the dry season was 5.5 feet (1.7 m) below the soil surface, but rose to within 5 inches (12 cm) of the surface after a heavy rain . At Hole-in-the-Donut in Everglades National Park, untreated Brazilian pepper stands had an average of 27% wetland species, compared to an average of 66% wetland species in adjacent natural vegetation .
Although Brazilian pepper tolerates some flooding, it typically does not occur in areas flooded for long periods, including areas where historical water levels have been restored [26,37]. Kruer and others  report that Brazilian pepper survived flooding for up to 6 weeks. In an investigation of seasonal water use by Brazilian pepper, Ewe and Sternberg  found evidence that it is more tolerant of wet season soil saturation than Florida native species such as wax myrtle, groundsel-tree, Guianese colicwood, and white indigoberry (Randia aculeata). However, in the Hole-in-the-Donut region of Everglades National Park, Brazilian pepper has not shown any morphological adaptations to wetlands. Direct observation, ground elevation, and hydrological data suggest that untreated Brazilian pepper stands do not have surface water at any time during the year . On Sanibel Island, some Brazilian pepper trees lost their leaves and died while others recovered after flooding to an average of 9.5 to 15 inches (24-38 cm) from mid-September to early December. Flooding levels of less than 9.5 inches created little or no stress. Soils in the lower areas (15 to 22 inches (38-56 cm) of inundation) had more organic matter and may have become anaerobic causing severe root stress . In some areas of southern Florida small declines in elevation result in increased hydroperiods that may have detrimental effects on Brazilian pepper . For example, a tree island with no Brazilian pepper was over 3 feet (1 m) lower in elevation than a tree island dominated by Brazilian pepper, although other factors were likely contributing to Brazilian pepper's occurrence or absence . Brazilian pepper has been observed growing as an epiphyte above the high water level on cypress trees .
Brazilian pepper uses water more efficiently than several native species in Hawaii and Florida. In Florida, Brazilian pepper had higher water use efficiency in the wet seson than Florida natives wax myrtle, groundsel-tree, Guianese colicwood, and white indigoberry (Randia aculeata) . In Hawaii, the increase observed in Brazilian pepper water-use efficiency from the wet to the dry season was much greater than that observed in native species such as lama, ‘ohi’a lehua, and Hawaii olive (Nestegis sandwicensis) . Although Brazilian pepper used groundwater in wet and dry seasons, groundwater was used to a greater extent during the wet season in a southern Florida site . Brazilian pepper resisted cavitation and had xylem specific conductivity similar to that of wax myrtle, suggesting that hydraulic traits are not contributing to Brazilian pepper's spread .
Despite Brazilian pepper's limited tolerance to salinity, it is widespread in and near saline coastal regions of Florida [43,93,198]. In east-central Florida, average salinity of mangrove habitats with Brazilian pepper was 1.3 ppt. Following Brazilian pepper declines in these habitats due to 3 hurricanes in 2004, increases in Brazilian pepper abundance were limited to the 33-foot (10 m) and 66-foot (20 m) intertidal zones of an open site . Brazilian pepper did not occur in swamps where water salinity at 6 inches (15 cm) was 2.5 ppt or greater. Lower salinity in rotationally managed impoundments was suggested as a factor facilitating high Brazilian pepper density in these areas . In the transition between mangrove and marsh ecosystems, Brazilian pepper established on a site with an average salinity of 10 ppt and maximum salinity of about 15 ppt. Sites closer to the mangrove forests that did not have Brazilian pepper had average salinities from 10 to 15 ppt and maximum salinities of 20 to 30 ppt . In the transition between an upland pine and mangrove community, water uptake patterns suggested that during the dry season Brazilian pepper "was less of a salt excluder" than several native upland species . Based on a simulation, increases in salinity from 20 to 35 ppt due to rising sea level would result in Brazilian pepper declines in mangrove habitats in Florida . In Hawaii, Brazilian pepper occurs at the inland boundary of the beach naupaka shrublands were impacts of salt spray are minimal .
Soil: Brazilian pepper is common in calcareous substrates. The pine rockland savannas invaded by Brazilian pepper in southern Florida occur on limestone soils that range from nearly pure calcium carbonate to sandy limestone . Brazilian pepper occurred in a pineland community where the sparse soil consisted of limestone and organic debris . In southern Florida the soil of a hammock community where Brazilian pepper occurred was comprised of a layer of organic matter approximately 8 inches (20 cm) thick over oolitic limestone. On the coast of Oahu, Brazilian pepper occurred in calcareous sand .
Soils on sites with Brazilian pepper were variable in Hawaii, including sites with thick fertile soils and those with lava flows less than 100 years old . Brazilian pepper occurs in coastal dry mixed communities that are often found on talus slopes or in rocky clay soils and in beach naupaka shrublands found on dunes . On the coast of Oahu, Brazilian pepper occurred about 203 feet (62 m) from the shoreline. On another transect in the same habitat, also 203 feet from the shoreline, pH was 5.5 and organic carbon was 27.07% in the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of soil .
In Florida, Brazilian pepper may be less prone to invade acidic soils and peat soils than alkaline soils. Based on unpublished data, Schmalzer and others  note that coastal scrub on alkaline soil appears more susceptible to Brazilian pepper establishment than coastal scrub on acidic soils, especially when soils are disturbed. Peat soils may provide a less suitable substrate for Brazilian pepper establishment than marl soils .
Cultivation results in changes to soil properties that favor Brazilian pepper. A soil removal experiment demonstrated that changes to soil due to farming facilitated Brazilian pepper colonization . In addition to changes in elevation that influence the hydroperiod, cultivation and farming can increase soil nutrients, soil volume, macropore space, and percentage of rock fragments. These changes may increase fertility, aeration, and drainage [115,132]. Total concentrations of copper, zinc, and phosphorus are higher on previously farmed sites of Hole-in-the-Donut in Everglades National Park. The correlation between Brazilian pepper leaf phosphorus and plant available phosphorus in the soil implies that increased levels of phosphorus facilitated Brazilian pepper colonization of the area . Addition of superphosphate resulted in significantly (P<0.05) larger Brazilian pepper in a greenhouse experiment .
On a site in southern Brazil, Brazilian pepper litter was estimated to return 5.1 g nitrogen/m²/year, 1.9 g phosphorus/m²/year, 2.9 g potassium/m²/year, 30.6 g calcium/m²/year, and 6.0 g magnesium/m²/year to the soil, which was less than 3 other species tested. The mineral content of Brazilian pepper litter was 1.11% nitrogen, 0.21% phosphorus, 0.33% potassium, 3.49% calcium, and 0.68% magnesium. These values were low to intermediate compared to the 3 other native Brazilian species tested .
Elevation: Brazilian pepper occurs primarily at low elevations, from sea level to over 2,300 feet (700 m) . On the southeastern coast of Florida, Brazilian pepper occurred on dunes from 20 to 190 feet (6-58 m) above high tide at one site and at 190 feet, 276 feet (84 m), 318 feet (97 m), and 361 feet (110 m) above the high tide on another . In California it is typically found below 700 feet (200 m) . Brazilian pepper is most abundant below 2,300 feet (700 m) in Hawaii, but scattered plants are found up to 3,000 feet (1,000 m) [149,173,212,214].
Brazilian pepper seeds are relatively short-lived. In seed introduction experiments in Florida, less than 0.05% of Brazilian pepper seeds placed in field plots were viable after 5 months, and after 6 months no Brazilian pepper seeds germinated . In a field experiment in southeastern Queensland, 0% of seeds with their exocarp removed, 15% of seeds in buried fruits, and 2.9% of seeds in surface sown fruits were viable after 26 weeks. No Brazilian pepper seeds germinated from soil or litter samples taken from under female Brazilian pepper collected just before fruiting began . Germination rate of Brazilian pepper seed from fruit collected on Reunion Island and stored in a laboratory was 94% after 32 days, 83% after 64 days, 72% after 128 days, and 0% after 256 days . Brazilian pepper exhibited large declines in germination (≥50%) after about 6 months in cold storage (Anderson personal communication cited in ).
The scientific name for Brazilian pepper is Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae) [12,94,95,190]. The following varieties are recognized: Schinus terebinthifolius var. terebinthifolius Raddi [12,95]
Schinus terebinthifolius var. raddianus Engl. [12,94,95]
Schinus terebinthifolius var. acutifolius Engl
Schinus terebinthifolius var. pohlianus Engl. 
Schinus terebinthifolius var. rhoifolius Engl. [12,94]
Persistência foliar: Perenifolia. Cor da floração: branca. Período de floração: agosto a março. Sistema radicular: Pivotante. Formato da copa: Globosa. Alinhamento do tronco: Inclinado, Levemente tortuoso, Tortuoso. Superfície do tronco: Fissurada.
BACKES, P.; IRGANG, B. Mata Atlântica: as árvores e a paisagem. Porto Alegre: Paisagem do Sul, 2004. 396p.
CONCESSIONÁRIA DO SERVIÇO PÚBLICO DE DISTRIBUIÇÃO DE ENERGIA ELÉTRICA NO ESTADO DA BAHIA - COELBA. Guia de arborização urbana. Salvador: Unidade de Meio Ambiente, 2002. 55 p.
CARVALHO, P. E. R. Espécies arbóreas brasileiras. 1. ed. Brasília: Embrapa Informação Tecnológica, 2003. v. 1, 1039 p.
LORENZI, H. Árvores brasileiras: manual de identificação e cultivo de plantas arbóreas nativas do Brasil. Nova Odessa: Editora Plantarum, 1998. v.1, 360 p.
Although Brazilian pepper can establish in relatively undisturbed plant communities  and on undisturbed substrates , it is most often found in areas with some level of anthropogenic disturbance [43,56,64,65,73,101,201,214]. In these areas Brazilian pepper often forms dense thickets (e.g., see Plant architecture and stand structure) that include few other species [51,56,65,101,195]. For example, only 7 species were observed in six 1,100-ft² (100 m²) plots in a Brazilian pepper-dominated forest on abandoned farmland near Everglades National Park .
Species such as wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), silverling (Baccharis glomeruliflora), and grape (Vitis spp.) often cooccur with Brazilian pepper on abandoned farmland [3,51,56,101,132], roadsides [3,56], powerline rights-of-way, canal banks , levees, and berms . Brazilian pepper is often associated with other nonnative species such as guava (Psidium guajava), Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), and melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia) on roadways [3,56], abandoned farmland [3,56,65,101,132], pastures [65,214], and areas with altered substrates [64,103] in Florida and Hawaii. Species that have been reported on abandoned farmland sites in southern Florida where Brazilian pepper reaches high cover (>75%) include Guianese colicwood (Myrsine floridana) [101,195], groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia), and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) . In Little Manatee River State Park in Florida, Brazilian pepper, groundsel-tree, common elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis), and dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium) dominated an area along a road near recently abandoned crop land . Herbaceous species that may inhabit Brazilian pepper stands in Florida include blue mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum), Florida Keys thoroughwort (Koanophyllon villosum), and ferns such as leatherfern (Acrostichum spp.) and Kunth's maiden fern (Thelypteris kunthii) [3,101,132,181]. In Florida, Brazilian pepper occurs in several plant community types including South Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa) [4,51,118,197], hardwood hammock [3,34,140], cypress [131,197], and mangrove [3,68,69,77,162,198] forests, shrublands [3,62], and seasonally wet grassland and marsh communities [162,196,197]. Brazilian pepper frequently occurs with wax myrtle [3,51,56,101,129,196], saw-palmetto (Serenoa repens) [3,140,152], redbay (Persea borbonia), dahoon (Ilex cassine), cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto), and Florida poisontree (Metopium toxiferum) [3,51,56,101,181,209,212]. Brazilian pepper occurrence in South Florida slash pine forests is well documented. Brazilian pepper, wax myrtle, groundsel-tree, Florida poisontree, and Florida clover ash (Tetrazygia bicolor) formed a subcanopy under an open overstory of South Florida slash pine in the Everglades . The understory on a site dominated by Brazilian pepper with scattered south Florida slash pine included Guianese colicwood, Brazilian pepper, wild guava (Guettarda scabra), pineland fern (Anemia adiantifolia), and pineland milkberry (Chiococca parvifolia) . In 1969, Brazilian pepper seedlings were present in a South Florida slash pineland that had not burned since 1951 . Brazilian pepper occurred in 3% of 104 plots in a pine rockland in southern Florida comprised of South Florida slash pine, saw-palmetto (Serenoa repens), and perennial grasses and herbs . Brazilian pepper occurs in several hardwood forest types in southern Florida. Wax myrtle and Brazilian pepper dominated forests on tree islands in the Everglades that were infrequently flooded . Species associated with Brazilian pepper in hardwood forests include gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba), tietongue (Coccoloba diversifolia) [3,34,201], sugarberry [116,201], laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia) [140,166], cabbage palmetto [131,166], and baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) [131,197]. On a site with baldcyprees, melaleuca, Peruvian primrose-willow (Ludwigia peruviana), and Guianese colicwood, Brazilian pepper occurred only as an epiphyte above high water on baldcypress knees and buttresses . Brazilian pepper grew on root mounds of windthrown baldcypress trees on a site that also included icaco coco plum (Chrysobalanus icaco), toothed midsorus fern (Blechnum serrulatum), and leatherfern . Common species of pond and river margin communities of southern Florida were Brazilian pepper, buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), Carolina ash (Fraxinus caroliniana), water hickory (Carya aquatica), sugarberry, redbay, and Virginia chain-fern (Woodwardia virginica) . In the Indian River Lagoon of Florida's east coast, Brazilian pepper occurred in an area with a scattered canopy of cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto) and a graminoid layer of sand cordgrass (Spartina bakeri) and other grasses and forbs . Brazilian pepper occupies mangrove swamps dominated by black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), or red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) [3,68,69,77]. In the Indian River Lagoon of Florida's east coast, Brazilian pepper occurred in mixed mangrove communities . Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) [3,68], cordgrass (Spartina spp.), melaleuca, and button mangrove (Conocarpus erectus) may also be present in these communities . Brazilian pepper also inhabits shrub communities in Florida. Along the Atlantic Coast, Brazilian pepper occurred in scrub communities commonly comprised of saw-palmetto, sand live oak, cabbage palmetto, myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia), yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), and seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera) . In southern Florida, species such as Brazilian pepper, button mangrove, buttonbush, and melaleuca may form "shrub islands" among graminoids like cordgrass, saltgrass (Distichlis spp.), and stout rush (Juncus nodatus) . Brazilian pepper occurs in seasonally wet grasslands and marshes in Florida. Brazilian pepper seedlings (≤ 3 feet; (1 m) tall) established in a hairawn muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris)-dominated site with scattered sawgrass, occasional cabbage palmetto, and small patches of saw-palmetto . Shrubs such as Brazilian pepper, groundsel-tree, and wax myrtle occur in Jamaica swamp sawgrass (Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense)-dominated marshes of Sanibel Island . In the Indian River Lagoon, Brazilian pepper occurred in sand cordgrass marsh . At a site in the transition zone between hammock and marsh, Brazilian pepper was dominant and occurred with common elderberry, Florida strangler fig, silverling, and Peruvian primrose-willow . Brazilian pepper seedlings occurred in the transition zone between a mangrove forest and a marsh in an area with Jamaica swamp sawgrass, white mangrove, button mangrove, and several epiphytes . Brazilian pepper in a maritime forest was impacting the edges of a saltmarsh community on the Atlantic Coast in northern Florida comprised of black rush (J. roemerianus), Jesuit's bark (Iva frutescens), and patches of chickenclaws (Sarcocornia perennis), turtleweed (Batis maritima), and bushy seaside tansy (Borrichia frutescens) . Dikes may facilitate Brazilian pepper invasion into marshes . Although Brazilian pepper occurs in grasslands, shrublands, and forests of Hawaii, it is most common on disturbed sites with other nonnative species such as guava, melaleuca, strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), guineagrass (Urochloa maxima), octopus tree (Schefflera actinophylla) [209,212,214], Java plum (Syzygium cumini) [139,173], Australian pine [65,159], white leadtree (Leucaena leucocephala) [65,173,212], and klu (Acacia farnesiana) [65,173]. Brazilian pepper has been reported in native kawelu (Eragrostis variabilis) grassland and in a mixed-shrub grassland comprised of yellow ilima (Sida fallax) and the nonnative fingergrass (Chloris spp.) . Brazilian pepper occurs in several native shrublands including those dominated by beach naupaka (Scaevola sericea var. taccada) [65,159] or false ohelo (Wikstroemia spp.) [65,139,187,209]. Uhaloa (Waltheria indica) [187,212] and alahe’e (Psydrax odoratum) occur with Brazilian pepper in lowlands [139,187]. Brazilian pepper establishes in haole koa (Acacia koa) dry and mesic forests . It has been reported in tall-scrub  and forests  with lama (Diospyros sandwicensis). Brazilian pepper was noted to occur with ‘ohi’a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) in the understory of a melaleuca stand , in ‘ohi’a lehua mesic forests, and in grassland-shrubland transitions . Little is published about Brazilian pepper distribution in Texas and California. On a southeastern Texas site, Brazilian pepper occurred with honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), agarito (Mahonia trifoliolata), Brazilian bluewood (Condalia hookeri), lime pricklyash (Zanthoxylum fagara), cactus apple (Opuntia engelmannii), Texas swampprivet (Forestiera angustifolia), and wax mallow (Malvaviscus arboreus) . In southern California, Brazilian pepper was documented in 52% of canyon fragments studied, where vegetation was classified into 3 major types: chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) stands; stands dominated by California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), black sage (Salvia mellifera), and eastern Mojave buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum); and stands dominated by Nuttall's scrub oak (Quercus dumosa), laurel sumac (Malosma laurina), and lemonade sumac (Rhus integrifolia). The extent to which Brazilian pepper occurred in each of these types was not reported . According to a California invasive plant inventory, Brazilian pepper is invasive in riparian areas of southwestern California .
Humans are the main disperser of Brazilian pepper. This occurs on many scales, including introduction into new areas as an ornamental, disturbances facilitating spread [13,102,119], and improper disposal of garden waste leading to spread into neighboring areas .
Animals including birds and reptiles disperse Brazilian pepper seed. Mockingbirds, cedar waxwings, American robins, red-whiskered bulbuls, and catbirds disperse Brazilian pepper seed by eating its fruit [56,137,183]. When American robins are abundant in southern Florida during the winter fruiting period, they may disperse more Brazilian pepper seeds than all other dispersers combined. Brazilian pepper's phenology may serve to enhance dispersal by frugivores in Florida, because few native species are fruiting when Brazilian pepper is fruiting . Tassin and others  suggest that bird dispersal of Brazilian pepper seed on Reunion Island is often localized to Brazilian pepper communities, because no other plant species are fruiting when Brazilian pepper fruits, and Brazilian pepper seeds remain in the systems of red-whiskered bulbuls (an introduced bird involved in plant invasions on the island) for only short periods. Brazilian pepper fruit may be favored by alien frugivorous birds in Hawaii . For information on bird species that disperse Brazilian pepper seed within its native range, see Cazetta and others . Intact Brazilian pepper seed was found in the stomachs of black spiny-tailed iguanas in southwest Florida , and seed occurred in the scat of a box turtle on Egmont Key in Tampa bay . In northeastern Brazil, ants were observed dispersing Brazilian pepper seeds .
Mammal dispersal may provide an advantage to Brazilian pepper seed due to the high nutrient content of mammal scat . Raccoons are known to disperse Brazilian pepper seeds [56,67], and opossums, deer, and cattle may also disperse the seed [56,108]. In Hawaii Brazilian pepper seeds are dispersed by feral pigs .
Brazilian pepper seeds may be dispersed substantial distances by water. Brazilian pepper fruits remained buoyant for 6 to 7 days on average in saline water (15 and 30 ppt), significantly (P<0.001) longer than the average duration of buoyancy in freshwater (5 days). Seed viability decreased as the number of days the fruits floated increased (P<0.001). Estimated dispersal distances in a lagoon on Florida's east coast were 10.5 miles (16.9 km) in freshwater and over 13.7 miles (22.0 km) in saline water. Seed dispersal into drier, less saline habitats suitable for Brazilian pepper establishment may be facilitated by boat wakes or vertebrates . Because Brazilian pepper germination occurs after soaking seeds in water and seedlings are abundant along riverbanks and in wetlands on Reunion Island, Tassin and others  concluded that Brazilian pepper seed is dispersed by water in this location.
Proximity to a seed source is likely an important factor influencing the spread of Brazilian pepper. For example, seed traps in Brazilian pepper-dominated forests captured more Brazilian pepper seeds than those in other habitats . Observational evidence suggests that proximity to a seed source and/or seed bank composition were probably more important than several other site factors, such as differences in substrate or hydrology, in determining which species would dominate successional vegetation within the Hole-in-the-Donut area of Everglades National Park . In Queensland, Australia, percent and number of weed species were much greater in areas near residences than those further away, and observations suggested that dumping of garden waste was a major source of weeds, including Brazilian pepper .