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The effect of transposition on decomposition of leaves of different tree species between Lowland Atlantic forest and Montane Atlantic forest in the coastal area of Sao Paulo state

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Juliana Antonio
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALA/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Luiz Antonio Martinelli; Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion; Camila de Toledo Castanho
Advisor: Luiz Antonio Martinelli

Litter decomposition is a key process for nutrient cycling and maintenance of soil fertility in tropical forests, contributing to carbon fluxes to the atmosphere and being constantly discussed in the global climate change scenario. Among the main factors that control decomposition, the place of origin of species, litter quality and soil community are currently with great attention. Interactions between plants and decomposers that lead to a fast decomposition in the place of origin of species related to other sites and species are called home field advantage (HFA). The goal of this study was to investigate the occurrence of HFA, as well the influence of interactions between place of origin, soil decomposers and litter quality on the litter decomposition in areas of lowland and montane Atlantic forest located in the north coast of Sao Paulo state. For this it was performed an decomposition experiment with transplant of litter of Rustia Formosa, from lowland forest, and Licania hoehnei, from montane forest, between the two forests, with duration of 250 days, using litter bags with different mesh sizes to allow and exclude the access of meso and macro soil fauna. It was also quantified nutrient and organic compounds concentration to determine the initial litter quality and its dynamics during decomposition. The differences in initial litter quality between species did not cause differentiation in the decomposition rate. The decomposition rates were similar between species and ambient, with no faster decomposition associated with the interaction between species and its local places of origin, which indicates lack of HFA. Besides that, there was no positive effect of soil fauna on the decomposition. The chemical dynamics of litter pointed out nitrogen immobilization and lignin accumulation during decomposition, which indicates microbial limitation by nitrogen and low litter quality of Rustia Formosa and Licania hoehnei. The variations in carbon, nitrogen and lignin concentration influenced the dynamics of decomposition during the time. This study contributed to the comprehension of how important factors of decomposition can interact in tropical ecosystems, and pointed the importance of litter quality and nutrient availability of the ambient as drivers of decomposition. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/26215-3 - 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
Grantee:Juliana Antonio
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master