DECOMPOSITION AND NUTRIENT RELEASE OF EUCALYPTUS HARVEST RESIDUES IN SOUTHEAST BRAZIL

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Roberto Rorras Moura
Marcos Vinicius Winckler Caldeira
David Pessanha Siqueira
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0756-0153
Dione Richer Momolli
Deborah Guerra Barroso
Robert Gomes
Francielle Santana de Oliveira

Abstract

Background: Eucalypt harvest residues are critical to nutrient balances and forest soil productivity mainly in areas with consecutive forest rotations. However, nutrient release and their relations over decomposition are still poorly understood in tropical sites. We aimed to understand how nutrients are released from leaves, branches, and bark (as harvest residues), and how nutrient concentrations could be limiting the decomposition of each fraction. We measured mass loss and nutrient release of Eucalyptus
urophylla x Eucalyptus grandis harvest residues for 365 days in Southeast Brazil.


Results: Leaves fraction showed a faster decomposition rate than branches and bark, but nutrient accumulation was observed for all harvest residues, especially bark and branches at later stages of the decomposition. Decomposition of all harvest residues seemed to be P-limited with a stronger limitation occurring for leaf litter decomposers. The decomposition of more lignified residues such as bark and branches was less influenced by climatic variables than leaf decomposition.


Conclusion: Eucalypt harvest residues had a great contribution to soil fertility, and retaining them in the soil systems will enhance soil fertility in the short (leaves) and long-term (branches and bark) and can partially supply the nutrients for the next rotation.

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