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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X


ALVES, Vinícius Nunes; TORRES, José Luiz Rodrigues; LANA, Regina Maria Quintão  and  PINHEIRO, Marcelo Henrique Ongaro. Nutrient cycling between soil and leaf litter in the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna) on eutrophic and dystrophic Neosols. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.2, pp.169-179.  Epub Jan 08, 2018. ISSN 0102-3306.

We evaluated nutrient cycling by measuring leaf litter production and decomposition in the Brazilian savanna (cerrado sensu stricto) on eutrophic (calcareous) and dystrophic (arenitic) Neosols over the same spatiotemporal scale. We installed three transects in the Cerrado with plots in each Neosol type. Areas along the transects were randomly chosen for determining soil chemical properties, and accumulated leaf litter was collected monthly for a year for analysis. We used litter bags to test for a correlation between loss of dry mass and nutrient release. The calcareous cerrado had higher levels of macronutrients, higher pH, and lower Al compared to the arenitic cerrado. The estimated annual release of leaf litter nutrients in kg ha-1 yr-1 was higher in the calcareous cerrado. Nutrient concentration was significantly higher in different months in the calcareous cerrado, except for S and N. In general, the loss of dry mass was not correlated with nutrient release. Calcareous Neosol is unique to the cerrado sensu stricto, and retains more nutrients and facilitates higher leaf litter chemical quality than cerrado of the same physiognomy on dystrophic soils. Nutrient release is not always related to loss of dry mass, regardless of the amount of leaf litter.

Keywords : calcareous; calcium; nutrient dynamics; shallow soil; soil fertility.

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