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Acta Amazonica

Print version ISSN 0044-5967

Abstract

ALMEIDA, Everton José; LUIZAO, Flávio  and  RODRIGUES, Domingos de Jesus. Litterfall production in intact and selectively logged forests in southern of Amazonia as a function of basal area of vegetation and plant density. Acta Amaz. [online]. 2015, vol.45, n.2, pp.157-166. ISSN 0044-5967.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1809-4392201402543.

Nutrient recycling in the forest is linked to the production and decomposition of litter, which are essential processes for forest maintenance, especially in regions of nutritionally poor soils. Human interventions in forest such as selecttive logging may have strong impacts on these processes. The objectives of this study were to estimate litterfall production and evaluate the influence of environmental factors (basal area of vegetation, plant density, canopy cover, and soil physicochemical properties) and anthropogenic factors (post-management age and exploited basal area) on this production, in areas of intact and exploited forest in southern Amazonia, located in the northern parts of Mato Grosso state. This study was conducted at five locations and the average annual production of litterfall was 10.6 Mg ha-1 year-1, higher than the values for the Amazon rainforest. There were differences in litterfall productions between study locations. Effects of historical logging intensity on litterfall production were not significant. Effects of basal area of vegetation and tree density on litterfall production were observed, highlighting the importance of local vegetation characteristics in litterfall production. This study demonstrated areas of transition between the Amazonia-Cerrado tend to have a higher litterfall production than Cerrado and Amazonia regions, and this information is important for a better understanding of the dynamics of nutrient and carbon cycling in these transition regions.

Keywords : Transition forest; nutrient cycling; selective logging; forest management.

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