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Scientia Agricola

versión On-line ISSN 1678-992X


SILVA, Paulo Henrique Muller da; POGGIANI, Fabio; LIMA, Walter de Paula  y  LIBARDI, Paulo Leonel. Soil water dynamics and litter production in eucalypt and native vegetation in southeastern Brazil. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2014, vol.71, n.5, pp.374-379. ISSN 1678-992X.

High productivity of eucalypt plantations is the result of advances in research that have led to gradual improvements in intensive silvicultural technology. High productivity notwithstanding, eucalypt plantations remain the focus of environmental concerns. Our study aimed to compare the soil water regime, litter fall and nutrients dynamics either in a fragment of native forest or in an adjacent stand of growing eucalypt. We took field measurements during the first three years of eucalypt plantation in a sandy soil in the southeastern region of Brazil. Soil moisture and internal drainage were higher during the early stages of growth of the eucalypt stand, as compared with native vegetation. However, one and a half years after planting, available soil water was similar in both vegetations. Higher water availability under the eucalypt stand during the first year occurs because of silvicultural operations (soil preparation and weed control) and the small size of eucalypt trees; these factors increase water infiltration and decrease transpiration. Total leaf fall, over the study period, was similar for both ecosystems; however, differences were observed in the winter and early spring of 2010. The transfer of nutrients to soil by leaf fall was similar except for N and S, which was higher in native vegetation. Nitrogen concentration in the soil solution was higher in native vegetation, but K was higher under the eucalypt stand, mainly to a depth of up to 0.2 m.

Palabras clave : Initial growth; soil water flow; soil solution; nutrient cycling.

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