Litter production and Nutrient cycling

25/04/2013 17:47

Litter production and Nutrient cycling


Why is it important?


Nutrient cycle studies plays a vital role for understanding Forest ecossystem structure and functioning.  It's by means by the litter, composed of leafs, barks, twigs, flowers and fruits that Organic matter and nutrients returns to the soil, where a variety of biochemical processes take place.

Things get more interesting when disturbance factors, such as fire,  influence the dynamics  of litter porduction and nutrient cycle and hence influence ecological process such as organic matter decomposition rate.


However, the effect of fire may be not so simple, with contrasting outcomes if we consider its regime. If we take fire itensity for example, the result ranges from

increase in nutrient availability in in low-intensity regimes to signiicant losses when it is severe.


Our goal is to understand the influence of fire on both litter production and nutrient cycling. As the monitoring has been carried out in a monthly basin, we are also interested in knowing the role of seasonallity in such processes. We expect with this long-term research to infer how litter production and nutrient cycling will behave after fire.