Relationships between soil nutrient status and nutrient-related leaf traits in Brazilian cerrado and seasonal forest communities

Raquel C. Miatto*, Ian J. Wright, Marco A. Batalha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: In Brazil, cerrado and seasonal forest occur in close proximity but on soils with very different chemistry and texture. We aimed to compare species from these two vegetation types in terms of leaf N and P concentrations (of green and senesced leaves) and proportional nutrient resorption, quantifying the relationships among these traits, with other key leaf traits, and with soil properties. Methods: We collected topsoil at 100 25 m2 sample plots in south-eastern Brazil and measured leaf traits of 89 woody species occurring therein, expressing them as community-weighted means. Soil nutrient status was indexed using eight standard variables. Results: In terms of properties such as pH, clay content, and cation exchange capacity, cerrado soils were deemed as being less “fertile” than forest soils, yet cerrado and forest sites did not differ in soil total N or available P (which themselves were negatively correlated). On average, forest species showed higher proportional P resorption but lower N resorption. Leaves with higher nutrient concentrations were less scleromorphic. Conclusion: In Brazilian cerrado and forests, variation in green- and senesced-leaf nutrients was better aligned with generalised measures of soil fertility than with total N or available P and showed far more clear patterns than nutrient resorption efficiencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-33
Number of pages21
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume404
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Resorption
  • Savanna
  • Senescence
  • Tropical forest

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