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Nutrient dynamics in tropical forest fragments located in an area of Atlantic Forest of the State of Alagoas, Brazil

Grant number: 15/07102-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 09, 2015
Effective date (End): March 08, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal researcher:Luiz Antonio Martinelli
Grantee:Sílvia Rafaela Machado Lins
Supervisor abroad: Benjamin Zind Houlton
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, Davis (UC Davis), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/20377-9 - Nutrient dynamics in Atlantic forest fragments located in the state of Alagoas, Brazil., BP.DR


The Atlantic Rainforest occurs along the Brazilian coast, and due to the length and variations in its conditions, this forest is characterized by having a high diversity. The remaining area of the Atlantic forest, despite being reduced to small fragments, still extends from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio Grande do Sul and, because of its coastal location, the region of Brazil where there is a high population, the ecosystem suffers intense anthropogenic pressure. In the Northeast, from the time of colonization and establishment of Hereditary Captaincies, the lands were cleared and then dominated by agriculture, especially the cultivation of sugarcane. Currently, the few areas existing are fragmented and distributed continuously or not. Therefore, studies have been conducted to try to verify the conditions under which these areas are and they have shown that the number of tree species has declined due to the disruption of ecological processes such as pollination and the seed dispersal, the physical environment was changed and also water systems, leading to imbalance of ecosystems. Thus, this project aims to investigate the dynamics of nutrient cycling in these fragmented areas. To achieve this goal the amounts of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus have been determined in the leaves, stems and litter samples, as well the isotopic composition of nitrogen and carbon. In addition, soil samples were collected to perform textural and chemical analysis. Samples have been collected at random from 16 plots of 1000 m2 each, settled in the preserved area on the land owned by the Coruripe Mill, Alagoas, Brazil. (AU)

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