Relationship between soils and Amazon forest biomass: a landscape-scale study

Relationship between soils and Amazon forest biomass: a landscape-scale study Above-ground dry biomass of living trees including palms was estimated in 65 1 ha plots spanning a 1000 km 2 landscape in central Amazonia. The study area was located on heavily weathered, nutrient-poor soils that are widespread in the Amazon region. Biomass values were derived by measuring the diameter-at-breast-height (DBH) of all ≥10 cm trees in each plot, then using an allometric equation and correction factor for small trees to estimate total tree biomass. Detailed information on soil texture, organic carbon, available water capacity, pH, macro- and micro-nutrients, and trace elements was collected from soil surface samples (0–20 cm) in each plot, while slope was measured with a clinometer. Biomass estimates varied more than two-fold, from 231 to 492 metric tons ha −1 , with a mean of 356 ± 47 tons ha −1 . Simple correlations with stringent ( p < 0.006) Bonferroni corrections suggested that biomass was positively associated with total N, total exchangeable bases, K + , Mg 2+ , clay, and organic C in soils, and negatively associated with Zn + , aluminum saturation, and sand. An ordination analysis revealed one major and several minor soil gradients in the study area, with the main gradient discriminating sites with varying proportions of clay (with clayey soils having higher concentrations of total N, organic C, most cations, and lower aluminum saturation and less sand). A multiple regression analysis revealed that the major clay-nutrient gradient was the only significant predictor, with the model explaining 32.3% of the total variation in biomass. Results of the analysis suggest that soil-fertility parameters can account for a third or more of the variation in above-ground biomass in Amazonian terra-firme forests. We suggest that, because the conversion of forest to pasture tends to reduce the nitrogen, clay, organic carbon, and nutrient contents of soils, forests that regenerate on formerly cleared lands may have lower biomass than the original forest, especially in areas with low soil fertility. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Forest Ecology and Management Elsevier

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0378-1127
eISSN
1872-7042
DOI
10.1016/S0378-1127(98)00494-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Above-ground dry biomass of living trees including palms was estimated in 65 1 ha plots spanning a 1000 km 2 landscape in central Amazonia. The study area was located on heavily weathered, nutrient-poor soils that are widespread in the Amazon region. Biomass values were derived by measuring the diameter-at-breast-height (DBH) of all ≥10 cm trees in each plot, then using an allometric equation and correction factor for small trees to estimate total tree biomass. Detailed information on soil texture, organic carbon, available water capacity, pH, macro- and micro-nutrients, and trace elements was collected from soil surface samples (0–20 cm) in each plot, while slope was measured with a clinometer. Biomass estimates varied more than two-fold, from 231 to 492 metric tons ha −1 , with a mean of 356 ± 47 tons ha −1 . Simple correlations with stringent ( p < 0.006) Bonferroni corrections suggested that biomass was positively associated with total N, total exchangeable bases, K + , Mg 2+ , clay, and organic C in soils, and negatively associated with Zn + , aluminum saturation, and sand. An ordination analysis revealed one major and several minor soil gradients in the study area, with the main gradient discriminating sites with varying proportions of clay (with clayey soils having higher concentrations of total N, organic C, most cations, and lower aluminum saturation and less sand). A multiple regression analysis revealed that the major clay-nutrient gradient was the only significant predictor, with the model explaining 32.3% of the total variation in biomass. Results of the analysis suggest that soil-fertility parameters can account for a third or more of the variation in above-ground biomass in Amazonian terra-firme forests. We suggest that, because the conversion of forest to pasture tends to reduce the nitrogen, clay, organic carbon, and nutrient contents of soils, forests that regenerate on formerly cleared lands may have lower biomass than the original forest, especially in areas with low soil fertility.

Journal

Forest Ecology and ManagementElsevier

Published: Jun 14, 1999

References

  • Practical considerations in the use of simultaneous inference for multiple tests
    Chandler, C.R.
  • Abundance, growth and mortality of very large trees in neotropical lowland rain forest
    Clark, D.B.; Clark, D.A.
  • Amazonian deforestation and global warming: Carbon stocks in vegetation replacing Brazil's Amazon forest
    Fearnside, P.M.
  • Soil carbon changes from conversion of forest to pasture in Brazilian Amazonia
    Fearnside, P.M.; Barbosa, R.I.
  • Direct phosphorus transfer from leaf litter to roots
    Herrera, R.; Merida, T.; Stark, N.; Jordan, C.F.
  • The influence of soil cover organization on the floristic and structural heterogeneity of a Guianan rain forest
    Sabatier, D.; Grimaldi, M.; Prevost, M.-F.; Guillaumet, J.L.; Godron, M.; Dosso, M.; Curmi, P.
  • Tropical rain forest types and soil factors in a watershed area in Guyana
    Ter Steege, H.; Jetten, V.G.; Polak, A.M.; Werger, M.J.A.
  • Nutrient cycling in moist tropical forest
    Vitousek, P.M.; Sanford, R.L.

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