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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657

Resumo

ANDRADE, José Alexandre Varanda; ABREU, Francisco Manuel Gonçalves de  e  MADEIRA, Manuel Armando Valeriano. Influence of litter layer removal on the soil thermal regime of a pine forest in a mediterranean climate. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.5, pp.1481-1490. ISSN 1806-9657.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832010000500001.

The removal of the litter layer in Portuguese pine forests would reduce fire hazard, but on the other hand this practice would influence the thermal regime of the soil, hence affecting soil biological activity, litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics. Temperature profiles of a sandy soil (Haplic Podzol) under a pine forest were measured with thermocouples at depths to 16 cm, with and without litter layer. The litter layer acted as a thermal insulator, reducing the amplitude of the periodic temperature variation in the mineral soil underneath and increasing damping depths, particularly at low soil water contents. At the mineral soil surface the reduction of amplitudes was about 2.5 ºC in the annual cycle and 5 to 6.7 ºC in the daily cycle, depending on the soil water content. When soil was both cold and wet, mean daily soil temperatures were higher (about 1 - 1.5 ºC) under the litter layer. Improved soil thermal conditions under the litter layer recommend its retention as a forest management practice to follow in general.

Palavras-chave : soil temperature; Fourier series; damping depth.

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