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Interactions between Vegetation, Hydrology, and Litter Inputs on Decomposition and Soil CO2 Efflux of Tropical Forests in the Brazilian Pantanal

1
Departamento de Ciências Ambientais, Programa de Pós-Graduação Em Ciências Ambientais, Universidade de Cuiabá, Cuiabá Mato Grosso 78060-900, Brazil
2
Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, San Marcos, CA 92096, USA
3
Instituto de Física, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Física Ambiental, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá Mato Grosso 78060-900, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(5), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050281
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
Climate change has the capacity to alter water availability and the litter production of tropical forests, which will alter rates of carbon (C) cycling and storage. We conducted a short-term field experiment in two hydrologically diverse forests in the Brazilian Pantanal to assess the initial response of litter decomposition and soil respiration (Rsoil) to variations in litter pool size. Total annual Rsoil and decomposition significantly declined with litter removal and increased with litter addition, but the rate of litter decomposition was highest for plots where litter was removed. Rsoil was positively related to soil organic matter content and the rate of litter decomposition, but not soil moisture or temperature, suggesting that the litter treatment effects on decomposition and Rsoil were due to changes in C availability and not litter effects on the soil environment (i.e., temperature and moisture). Rsoil was not significantly different between the forests studied here even though they had large differences in hydrology; however, litter decomposition was significantly higher in seasonally flooded forest, especially when augmented with litter. These results suggest that alterations in litter production from land use and/or climate change will alter short-term rates of decomposition and Rsoil for these and other floodplain forests of the Pantanal and Amazon Basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon cycle; Cerrado; climate change; hyperseasonal forests; mass-balance models; respiration; tropical savanna carbon cycle; Cerrado; climate change; hyperseasonal forests; mass-balance models; respiration; tropical savanna
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MDPI and ACS Style

Borges Pinto, O.; Vourlitis, G.L.; De Souza Carneiro, E.M.; De França Dias, M.; Hentz, C.; De Souza Nogueira, J. Interactions between Vegetation, Hydrology, and Litter Inputs on Decomposition and Soil CO2 Efflux of Tropical Forests in the Brazilian Pantanal. Forests 2018, 9, 281.

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