Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 93–100 | Cite as

Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics Followed by a Forest-to-pasture Conversion in Western Mexico

  • Felipe García-Oliva
  • Juan F. Gallardo Lancho
  • Noé Manuel Montaño
  • Pilar Islas
Article

Abstract

Gains and losses of soil carbon (C), have been reported when tropical forests are converted to pastures. Regional studies are crucial for setting regional baselines and explaining each particular trend, in order to solve this controversy. Tropical deciduous forest (TDF) is under high deforestation pressure, mainly for conversion to pastures. The present study compared soil organic C (SOC) and nitrogen (SON) in the surface layer (0–5 cm) of forest and pasture soils in a TDF of western Mexico. SOC and SON concentrations were 18 and 60% lower in pasture soils than in forest soils, and C:N ratio increased in pasture soils. Furthermore, pasture soils had lower labile C and available inorganic nitrogen (N) than forest soils. These results can be explained as a reduction in C inputs to pasture soils and management-induced disruption of soil aggregates. In forest soils, macroaggregates (> 250 μm) were predominant (85%), whereas in pasture soils they were reduced to 35% of dry sand-free soil mass. The estimated SOC and SON losses from the top 5 cm of soil were 3 Mg C ha−1 and 0.9 Mg N ha−1, respectively.

Keywords

C:N ratio Land-use change Soil aggregates Tropical deciduous forest Tropical pastures 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Batjes, N.H. 1996Total carbon and nitrogen in the soils of the worldEur. J. Soil Sci.47151163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brookes, P., Landman, A., Pruden, G., Jenkinson, D. 1985Chloroform fumigation and the release of soil nitrogen: a rapid direct extraction method to measure microbial biomass nitrogen in soilSoil Biol. Biochem.17837842Google Scholar
  3. Campo, J., Maass, J.M., Pablo, L. 2001Intemperismo en un bosque tropical seco de MéxicoAgrociencia35245254Google Scholar
  4. Castellanos, J., Jaramillo, V.J., Sanford, R.L.,Jr., Kauffman, J.B. 2001Slash-and-burn effects on fine root biomass and productivity in a tropical dry forest ecosystem in MexicoFor. Ecol. Manage.1484150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Denef, K., Six, J., Paustian, K., Merckx, R. 2001Importance of macroaggregates dynamics in controlling soil carbon stabilization: short-term effect of physical disturbance induced by dry-wet cyclesSoil Biol. Biochem.3321452153Google Scholar
  6. Detwiler, R.P. 1986Land use change and the global carbon cycle: the role of tropical soilsBiogeochemistry26793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Elliott, E.T. 1986Aggregate structure and carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in native and cultivated soilsSoil Sci. Soc. Am. J.50627633Google Scholar
  8. Fearnside, P.M., Barbosa, R.I. 1998Soil carbon changes from conversion of forest to pasture in Brazilian AmazoniaFor. Ecol. Manage.108147166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. García-Oliva, F., Maass, J.M. 1998Efecto de la transformación de la selva a pradera sobre la dinámica de los nutrientes en un ecosistema tropical estacional en MéxicoBol. Soc. Bot. México623948Google Scholar
  10. García-Olva, F., Sanford, R.L., Kelly, E. 1999Effects of slash-and-burn management on soil aggregate organic C and N in a tropical deciduous forestGeoderma88112Google Scholar
  11. García-Oliva, F., Camou, A., Maass, J.M. 2002

    El clima de la Región Central de la costa del PacíficoMexicano

    Noguera, F.A.Vega, J.H.García-Aldrete, A.N.Quesada, M. eds. Historia Natural de ChamelaInstituto de Biología UNAMMéxico310
    Google Scholar
  12. González T. 2001. Fijación simbiótica de nitrógeno por leguminosas de un ecosistema tropical estacional. Master Thesis Instituto Politécnico Nacional México.Google Scholar
  13. Guo, L.B., Gifford, R.M. 2002Soil carbon stocks and land use changes: a meta analysisGlobal Change Biol.8345360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Houghton, R.A., Boone, R.D., Fruci, J.R., Hobbie, J.E., Melillo, J.M., Palm, C.A., Peterson, B.J., Shaver, G.R., Woodwell, G.M. 1987The flux of carbon from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere in 1980 due to changes in land use: geographical distribution of the global fluxTellus39122139Google Scholar
  15. Houghton, R.A., Lefkowitz, D.S., Skole, D.L. 1991Changes in the landscape of Latin America between 1850 and 1985. I. Progressive loss of forestFor. Ecol. Manage.38143172Google Scholar
  16. Jaramillo, V.J., Kauffman, J.B., Rentería-Rodríguez, L., Cummings, D.L., Ellingson, L.J. 2003Biomass, carbon, and nitrogen pools in Mexican tropical dry forest landscapesEcosystems6609629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Joergensen, R.G. 1996The fumigation–extraction method to estimate soil microbial biomass: calibration of the kEC valueSoil Biol. Biochem.282531Google Scholar
  18. Johnson, N.N., Wedin, D.A. 1997Soil carbon, nutrients, and mycorrhizae during conversion of dry tropical forest to grass-landEcol. Appl.7171182Google Scholar
  19. Lal, R. 2002The potential of soils of the tropics to sequester carbon and mitigate the greenhouse effectAdv. Agron.76130Google Scholar
  20. Martínez-Yrízar, A., Maass, J.M., PérezJiménez, L.A., Sarukhán, J. 1996Net primary productivity of a tropical deciduous forest ecosystem in Western MexicoJ. Trop. Ecol.12169175Google Scholar
  21. Murphy P.G. and Lugo A.E. 1995. Dry forest of Central America and the Caribbean islands. In: Bullock S.H., Mooney H.A. and Medina E. (eds), Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest. Cambridge University Press, pp. 9–34.Google Scholar
  22. Murphy, J., Riley, J.P. 1962A modified single solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural watersAnal. Chem. Acta273136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Murty, D., Kirschbaum, M.U.F., McMurtrie, R.E., McGilvray, H. 2002Does conversion of forest to agricultural land change soil carbon and nitrogen? a review of the literatureGlobal Change Biol.8105123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Srivastava, S.C., Singh, J.S. 1991Microbial C, N and P in dry tropical forest soils: effects of alternate land-use and nutrient fluxSoil Biol. Biochem.23117124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vance, E.D., Brookes, A.C., Jenkinson, D.S. 1987An extraction method for measuring soil microbial biomass CSoil Biol. Biochem.19703707Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felipe García-Oliva
    • 1
  • Juan F. Gallardo Lancho
    • 2
  • Noé Manuel Montaño
    • 1
  • Pilar Islas
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones en EcosistemasUNAMMoreliaMéxico
  2. 2.Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasI.R.N.A.SalamancaEspaña

Personalised recommendations