Replacing trees by bamboos: Changes from canopy to soil organic carbon storage

Authors
Zaninovich, Silvia Clarisa; Montti, Lia Fernanda; Alvarez, Maria Fernanda; Gatti, Maria Genoveva
Publication Year
2017
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Disturbances such as selective logging in a forest may lead to a degradation process, where new species become dominant and replace the original vegetation. This is the case of the Semi-deciduous Atlantic Forest, where bamboos replace trees and palms, affecting the forest structure and dynamics. As bamboos show plant traits that contrast those of trees and palms, we hypothesize that forest degradation affects ecosystem properties, generating changes in litterfall and litter decay rates, which transfer from plants to soil. We tested this hypothesis in twelve 0.36 ha plots along a forest degradation gradient in the subtropical forest of Northeastern Argentina. Total litterfall did not change along forest degradation, but litter layer necromass decreased more than 60% and litter thickness doubled in highly degraded sites. Litter layer thickness was associated with bamboo necromass present in the litterfall. Forest degradation also caused a deceleration in decomposition of the two most contrasting litter types under study, while the soil organic carbon content in the top 5 cm suffered a 50% decrease, from 21.5 to 10.9 Mg ha−1. Forest degradation has a cascade effect on carbon storage and on its cycling from vegetation to soil by means of changes in different ecosystem processes mediated by plants. In the end, these changes affect soil organic carbon. This study provides a better understanding on the mechanisms behind carbon losses in relation to forest degradation, one of the greatest uncertainties in the carbon budget.
Fil: Zaninovich, Silvia Clarisa. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Nordeste. Instituto de Biología Subtropical. Universidad Nacional de Misiones. Instituto de Biología Subtropical; Argentina
Fil: Montti, Lia Fernanda. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Mar del Plata. Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencia Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras; Argentina
Fil: Alvarez, Maria Fernanda. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Mar del Plata. Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencia Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras; Argentina
Fil: Gatti, Maria Genoveva. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Nordeste. Instituto de Biología Subtropical. Universidad Nacional de Misiones. Instituto de Biología Subtropical; Argentina
Subject
ATLANTIC FOREST
DEGRADATION
DESCOMPOSITION
LITTERFALL
Otras Ciencias Biológicas
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/45686