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Acta Amazonica

Print version ISSN 0044-5967


ARAUJO, Edson Alves de et al. Impact of forest-pasture conversion on stocks and dynamics of soil carbon and humic substances in the Amazon. Acta Amaz. [online]. 2011, vol.41, n.1, pp.103-114. ISSN 0044-5967.

This study evaluates the impacts of converting natural Amazonian forests in Brazil to pasture dominated by Brachiaria brizantha concerning to C dynamics and humic fractions in two soil chronosequences in the Acre State, Brazil. The first site, dominated by Plinthic Red Yellow Argissols (Ultisols), is located in the municipality of Rio Branco and comprises an area of bamboo- and palm-dominated open forest with two B. brizantha pastures of 3 and 10 years old. The second site, dominated by a dystrophic Red Yellow Latosol (Oxisol), is located in the municipality of Senador Guiomard and comprises an area of dense forest and a 20-year old B. brizantha pasture. In each site soil samples were collected in triplicate at depths of 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm. Samples were evaluated for physical and chemical characteristics, C of humic substances and light organic matter, and the isotopic composition of soil and its organic fractions to 1 m depth, determining the percentage of C derived of both grassland and forest. There were increases in stocks of soil C and δ13C soil with the time of grazing in both sites. The percentage of C derived from pasture was much higher in the surface layer of the Senador Guiomard site following 20 years of grazing, with proportions that reached 70% of the total C. δ13C values for the humic acids ranged from -12.19 to -17.57 ‰, indicating a higher proportion of C derived from pasture. The MOS structural stability inferred by the relationship of the humin with both fulvic acid and humic acid fractions (HUM / FAF + FAH) tended to decrease in grassland ecosystems when compared with native forests.

Keywords : Western Amazon; land use changes; Brachiaria brizantha cv Marandu; natural abundance of 13C.

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