Gesneriaceae Rich. & Juss. ex DC. is found in the forms of shrubs, sub bushes, herbs, voluble vines climbing, which can be epiphyte, hemiepiphyte, rupicolous or terricolous (Flora do Brasil 2020 under construction,2017). There is a great diversity of pollination syndromes in the family, the main pollinators being bees, moths, butterflies, flies, bats and birds. Seeds from flesh-bearing fruits are dispersed by birds or ants, while seeds from dried fruits are dispersed by wind and water. In addition, the family has economic importance because it has a large number of ornamental species such as Aeschynanthus Jack., Columnea L., Episcia Mart., Nematanthus Schrad. (little fish), Sinningia Nees. (gloxynia, queen of the abysmal), Saintpaulia H. Wendl. (African violet) and Streptocarpus Lindl. (Wiehler, 1983; Weber, 2004). The ornamental value of many other species is great, which could put at risk the populations. Currently, ex situ cultivation in properly documented collections represents an important contribution to the conservation of species (Chautems and Araújo, 2009). The family has a pantropical distribution, covering about 140 genera and 3500 species. In the Neotropical region there are approximately 60 genera and 1800 species (Weber et al., 2013; Perret et al., 2013). In Brazil, it develops in practically all phytogeographic domains, with 28 genera and at least 220 species (Flora do Brasil 2020 under construction,2017). In the State of Rio de Janeiro there are 59 species (Flora do Brasil 2020 under construction,2017), 21 of which are endemic, of which four were evaluated as CR, 14 EN, two VU and one DD. The main threats to the family species are urban expansion, predatory extraction due to the establishment of plants (Chautems, A., com. pess.), burning of anthropic origin (Soares, 2008), real estate growth and tourism (Marçal and Luz, 2000). Therefore, it is important to expand efforts for the knowledge of the species through Taxonomy and Ecology studies and intensify the protection of the species’ areas of occurrence.
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Article in Portuguese.