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Nutrient dynamics in Atlantic Forest fragments located in the state of Alagoas, Brazil

Grant number: 13/09800-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2013 - November 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Grantee:Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Plínio Barbosa de Camargo
Associated grant(s):14/50452-8 - Ecosystem multifunctionality under environmental change, AP.R


The Atlantic Rainforest occurs along the Brazilian coast, and because of its extension and large latitudinal range, it is characterized by one of the highest biodiversity of the world. The remaining area of the Atlantic forest is reduced to small fragments due to the highest population density living in its domain and replacement by agricultural fields. This is especially true in the Northeast region of Brazil, where since the colonization period forests were cleared for sugar cane cultivation. Currently, the few existing areas are highly fragmented. In these areas the number of tree species has declined due to the disruption of ecological processes such as pollination and seed dispersal. Such changes may lead to profound alteration in the nutrient cycling, but these potential changes have not been evaluated yet. Based on the absence of such studies, this project aims to investigate the dynamics of nutrient cycling in these forest fragments. To achieve this goal, the foliar, litter and soils contents of nitrogen, carbon, and their stable isotopes, as well as phosphorus, and calcium contents will be determined in samples to be collected in 12 forest plots of 250 m2 each, in a preserved forest owned by Usina Coruripe, located in the State of Alagoas. (AU)