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The effect of the transposition in the decomposition of leaves of different tree species between the rain forest lowland and montana in the Northern Coast of São Paulo

Grant number: 13/26215-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2014
Effective date (End): May 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Grantee:Juliana Antonio
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):15/09635-4 - Testing the home-field advantage in litter decomposition in an elevation range of the coastal Atlantic Forest of southeast Brazil, BE.EP.MS

Abstract

Tropical forests are known for their high biological diversity and its fundamental role in biogeochemical cycles and global climate regulation. The Atlantic Rain Forest is distributed along the Brazilian coast, occurring in regions of steep topography that allow the formation of altitudinal gradients. Despite its higher performance, the Atlantic Rain Forest develops on poor soils that keep the development of vegetation through nutrient cycling processes, like the decomposition of plant material, for example. Decomposition in tropical forests is a complex process and may involve a series of relationships between plant diversity, the community of the soil and temperature variations. Interactions in which plants, to produce a litter with certain chemical qualities can influence soil micro biota and promotes its decomposition has been called "home -field advantage"(HFA). Currently the occurrence of HFA in tropical forests has been little studied, which hinders the understanding of the decomposition process in environments with high biological diversity. Thus, this study aims to investigate the incidence of HFA in the coastal Atlantic Rain Forest of São Paulo, through decomposition experiments with transposition of plant material between the Atlantic Forests Montane and Lowlands. For this, also will be realized experiments with the inclusion and exclusion of soil fauna, determination of litter quality through the content of nitrogen (N), carbon (C), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, polyphenols, and isotopic composition of N and C. The decomposition experiments will be performed using the technique of litter bags. (AU)