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Idesia (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-3429


DA SILVA SANTANA, José Augusto  y  SILVA SOUTO, Jacob. Litterfal in the Caatinga of the semi-arid region of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Idesia [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.2, pp.87-94. ISSN 0718-3429.

ABSTRACT The production of litter and the consequent liberation of nutrients is considered as one of the most important processes of energy transfer in ecosystems, and its knowledge is basic for the management and conservation of natural and artificial forests. Nutrient cycling research in the Caatinga is scarce; this study analyzes the dynamics of the litterfall in Caatinga shrub-trees at Seridó Ecological Station-RN. The deciduous material was collected monthly in 30 wooden litter traps for one year, oven-dried, separated into leaves, bark and branches, reproductive structures and miscellany, and then weighed. After twelve months the Caatinga deposited 2068.55 kg ha-1 of deciduous material; 79.90% was leaves, 9.27% was branches and bark, 7.91% was miscellany and 2.92% was reproductive structures. The deposition peak of reproductive material occurred in March, while for the other fractions it happened in May, which coincided with the beginning of the dry season during the studied period.  Deposition was reduced during the time of low precipitation (July-December) and increased after the rains of January, showing a marked seasonal pattern.

Palabras clave : Vegetation; nutrients cycling; biomass; leaf deposition.

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