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Brazilian Journal of Botany

Print version ISSN 0100-8404On-line version ISSN 1806-9959

Abstract

DOMINGOS, MARISA; LOPES, MÁRCIA INÊS MARTIN SILVEIRA  and  STRUFFALDI-DE VUONO, YARA. Nutrient cycling disturbance in Atlantic Forest sites affected by air pollution coming from the industrial complex of Cubatão, Southeast Brazil. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2000, vol.23, n.1, pp.77-85. ISSN 0100-8404.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0100-84042000000100009.

Several aspects of nutrient cycling were studied at two sites of Atlantic Forest, in São Paulo State, Southeast Brazil (23o46’ S; 46o18’ W), which exhibited different degrees of forest structure decline caused by the air pollution emitted by the industrial complex of Cubatão, being referred here as the most and least affected sites (MAS and LAS, respectively). These investigations were developed during 1984 - 1986, a period in which the most severe negative effects of air pollution could be observed. Concentrations and amounts of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and S in four ecosystem compartments (leaves, litter layer, soil and roots) and in rainfall, throughfall and litterfall are briefly presented. At each site, the content of mineral elements generally decreased from leaves to litterfall and litter layer on the forest floor. Soil surface layer (0 - 5 cm) in both sites was the richest in mineral elements. Soil fertility was greater at LAS. In general, nutrient amounts remaining in the compartments and cycling through the ecosystem were greater at LAS as well, which could be due to the higher complexity of the forest structure at this site. Rainfall contributed more to soil inputs of K, Ca, Mg and S than litterfall at both sites. The nutrient residence times in the litter layer were higher and the index of nutrient use efficiency was lower at the most affected site. It was concluded that nutrient cycling was disturbed by air pollution at both sites, but to a greater extent at MAS. The main consequences of the air pollution stress were detected in the flux of nutrients through litterfall and in the litter layer on the forest floor.

Keywords : Air pollution effects; nutrient cycling; Atlantic Forest; Cubatão.

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