The dynamics of the production, chemical composition, and accumulated nutrients in litterfall are essential to understand the availability of nutrients and, consequently, possible gains in productivity in different forest types. Thus, the objective of the present study was to evaluate the litterfall and the accumulated nutrients in litterfall in a Pinus taeda
plantation and native forest from southern Brazil. Two forest types: (i) an eight-year-old Pinus taeda
L. plantation; and (ii) a native forest fragment, located in southern Brazil, were studied for four years. The monthly and annual litterfall production, chemical composition, accumulated nutrients, and nutrient use efficiency of the litterfall were evaluated. The Pinus taeda
plantation showed higher values of leaves/needles litterfall and N, P, K, Ca and Mg use efficiency. This demonstrates that Pinus taeda
plantations have a high production of needle biomass, which, in turn, has increased cell division, favoring the entry of these nutrients into the soil via decomposition. Our results show that total litterfall production did not significantly influence the accumulated nutrient and nutrient efficiency of litterfall, demonstrating that evaluating litterfall fractionation, such as leaves/needles, twigs and miscellaneous, is essential to understand the quantity and quality of litterfall and, thus, the nutrient cycling, which can contribute to possible silvicultural practices to be implemented, which can provide growth gains in forest types.
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