Carbon and Nitrogen Stock Under Different Types of Land Use in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest

  •  W. Valbrun    
  •  E. M. de Andrade    
  •  A. M. M. de Almeida    
  •  E. L. de Almeida    


The aim of this study, was to analyse the effect of cover vegetation change on stocks of Total Organic Carbon (ST.TOC) and Total Nitrogen (ST.TN) in soils of a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest in the Brazilian semi-arid region. The study was carried out on three farms located on a typical Orthic Chromic Luvisol in an SDTF. Soil samples were collected from trenches, 70 × 70 cm in size, in the 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-40, 40-60 and 60-80 cm layers, under four types of land use: dense Caatinga (DC), open Caatinga (OC), agriculture (AG) and pasture (PA). The following attributes were evaluated: bulk density, Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Total Nitrogen (TN), ST.TOC and ST.TN. The data were compared using the Mann-Whitney test (p ≤ 0.05). Hierarchical Grouping Analysis (HGA) was used to understand the behaviour of the attributes evaluated between cover vegetation types. Using HGA resulted in the formation of three distinct groups for the types of land use under investigation. The highest mean values for ST.TOC (11.29 Mg ha-1) and ST.TN (3.36 Mg ha-1) were found in CD and CA. The changes in land use in the SDTF had an effect on ST.TOC and ST.TN. It is therefore necessary to adopt strategies and strengthen conservation practices in areas of agricultural and pasture, and reduce the process of degradation and further the process of recovery in these areas. Such action will reduce the loss of C and N, and increase the levels and stocks of TOC and TN.

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