Floresta e Ambiente
https://floram.org/article/doi/10.1590/2179-8087.004519
Floresta e Ambiente
Original Article Conservation of Nature

Different Patterns Of Nutrient Cycling In Contiguous Phytophysiognomies Of Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Luis Fernando Tavares de Menezes; Rodrigo Camara de Souza; Marcos Gervasio Pereira; Fábio Ribeiro Pires; Bruno Santanna Fanticelle; Paulo Batista Araujo-Filho

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to evaluate fine aboveground litterfall, deposition of nitrogen and phosphorus from total litterfall and leaf litter decomposition in areas of tall forest (Mata Alta) and low forest on sandy soils (Mussununga) in southeastern Brazil. Fine litterfall was collected monthly for two years (from June/2007 to May/2009) in 10 conical collectors (0.25 m2) in each phytophysiognomy (1 ha plots). The material was subsequently separated into leaves, branches, flowers and fruits, and unidentified material. Leaf decomposition rates were evaluated using 15 litterbags, three of which were collected every 30 days. Higher litterfall occurred in both phytophysiognomies during the rainy season, with leaves predominating. The lowest litterfall, nutrient input, and leaf litter decomposition values appeared to be nutrient conservation strategies, contributing to the ecological functioning of the Mussununga where soil fertility was lower than in the Mata Alta.

Keywords

decomposition, ecological functioning, litterfall, tropical forest

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