Contribution of Plant Litter in Fragments of Dry Tropical Forest in Paraíba

  •  Adão Batista de Araújo    
  •  Patrícia Carneiro Souto    
  •  Jacob Silva Souto    
  •  Fabio Junho Alves da Silva    
  •  Francisco de Assis Pereira Leonardo    
  •  César Henrique Alves Borges    


Deposition of plant litter in the environment represents the entrance into the system, with reflection on soil organic matter content and environmental quality of the site. The objective of this study was to estimate the deposition, accumulation and decomposition of plant litter in preserved Caatinga vegetation, and the interference of climatic variability in the dynamics of these events. This research was developed in the Private Natural Heritage Reserve (RPPN), Tamanduá Farm, in the municipality of Santa Terezinha-PB, in a Caatinga area. Plant litter deposited in 20 twenty 1.0 m² litterfall traps of 1.0 m × 1.0 m was collected monthly (June/2014 to July/2015), covering the dry and rainy period of the region. The material was separated into leaves, branches + bark, reproductive material and miscellaneous material. Litter stock accumulated on the forest floor was quantified using a 0.5 m × 0.5 m metal frame to estimate decomposition rate of litter. We found that that leaves fraction obtained the highest deposition average in July 2014 with 395.80 kg ha-1 and the lowest in February/2015 with 9.5 kg ha-1. We concluded that that litter production obtained during the evaluation period was 2.2 mg ha-1, being the highest contribution of litter at the end of the rainy season of the region.

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