Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 425–435 | Cite as

Nitrogen dynamics in soil solution under different land uses: Atlantic forest and cacao–cabruca system

  • Jéssica Carneiro de Souza
  • Marilane Andrade Pereira
  • Eline Nayara Dantas da Costa
  • Daniela Mariano Lopes da SilvaEmail author


In the southern region of Bahia, a large portion of the Atlantic Forest was occupied by the cacao–cabruca system, which is implemented after the complete removal of the understory vegetation without altering the canopy. The objective of this study was to determine the nitrogen concentration in the soil solution in two micro-basins; one with the cacao–cabruca system and one in the Atlantic forest in the southern region of the state of Bahia. Samples were collected weekly during two periods, from September to December 2012 and from April to June 2013, using sample extractors installed in the micro-basins at 15, 45 and 90 cm. The inorganic forms in the soil solutions were analyzed through ion chromatography, total nitrogen was analyzed using spectrophotometry and mineralization and nitrification rates were analyzed using the laboratory incubation method. Among the nitrogen forms analyzed in the cacao–cabruca soil solution, the dissolved organic nitrogen prevailed among the rain classes in the three depths. In the forest, nitrate predominated at 15 cm, while the organic nitrogen prevailed in the other depths. The highest mineralization and nitrification rates were recorded in the forest. Of the inorganic nitrogen forms analyzed in the soil, ammonium concentrations showed higher rates than nitrate in both areas. Low inorganic nitrogen concentrations in the cabruca soil solution are associated with low mineralization and nitrification rates. Thus we can conclude that even if some studies point towards the environmental efficiency of this system, there are differences in the N forms in the forest and cacao–cabruca areas.


Nutrients Soil Forest Theobroma cacao 



We wish to thank FAPESB—Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado da Bahia and CNPq (PPP0040/2011) and Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (PROPP 0220.1100.899). We also thank to Marcio S. Inada for given map with site collects, to Divanete Souza and Veet Pramad and to all technicians at UESC and “Sítio Pachamama” for helping in field assistance. We are grateful to TIKINET and Cipriana Leme for the English revision of this manuscript.


  1. Alvim R, Nair PKR (1986) Combination of cacao with other plantation crops: an agroforestry system in Southeast Bahia, Brazil. Agroforestry Syst 4:213–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker JM, Ochsner TE, Venterea RT, Griffis TJ (2007) Tillage and carbon sequestration—What do we really know? Agric Ecosyst Environ 118:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barreto PAB, Gama-Rodrigues EF, Fontes AG, Polidoro JC, Machado RCR, Baliga VC (2010) Distribution of oxidizable organic C fractions in soils under cacao agroforestry systems in Southern Bahia, Brazil. Agrof Sys 81:213–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Costa END, Souza JC, Pereira MA, Souza MFL, Souza WFL, Silva DML (2017) Influence of hydrological pathways on dissolved organic carbonfluxes in tropical streams. Ecol Evol 7:228–239CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Dawoe EK, Isaac ME, Quashie-as J (2010) Litterfall and litter nutrient dynamics under cacao ecosystems in lowland humid Ghana. Plant Soil 330:55–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Espíndola ELG, Vila JSV, Marinelli CE, Abdon MM (2000). A bacia hidrográfica do Rio Monjolinho. Rima, São Carlos – SPGoogle Scholar
  7. Gama-Rodrigues EF, Nair PKR, Nair VD, Gama-Rodrigues AC, Baligar VC, Machado RCR (2010) Carbon storage in soil size fractions under two cacao agroforestry systems in Bahia, Brazil. Environ Manag 45:274–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Grasshoff K, Erhardt M, Kremling K (1983) Methods of seawater analysis. Verlag Chemie, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  9. Hartemink AE (2005) Nutrient stocks, nutrient cycling, and soil changes in cacao ecosystems, A review. Adv Agron 86:227–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Instituto de estudos sócio-ambientais do sul da Bahia - IESB. Plano de Manejo do Parque Estadual da Serra do Conduru (PESC), 2005Google Scholar
  11. Laclau JP, Ranger J, Nzila JD, Bouillet JP, Deleporte P (2003) Nutrient cycling in a clonal stand of Eucalyptus and an adjacent savanna ecosystem in Congo 2. chemical composition of soil solutions. For Ecol Manage 180:527–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Luizão RC, Bonde TA, Rosswall T (1992) Seasonal variation of soil microbial biomass—the effect of clearfelling a tropical rainforest and establishment of pasture in the central Amazon. Soil Biol Biochem 24:805–813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Marques R, Ranger J, Gelhaye D, Pollier B, Ponette Q, Goedert O (1996) Comparison of chemical composition of soil solutions collected by zero-tension plate lysimeters with those from ceramic-cup lysimeters in a forest soil. Eur J Soil Sci 3:407–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Neill C, Piccolo MC, Steudler PA, Melillo JM, Feigl BJ, Cerri CC (1995) Nitrogen dynamics in soils forests and active pasture in the western Brazilian Amazon Basin. Soil Biol Biochem 27:1167–1175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Neill C, Piccolo MC, Cerri CC, Steudler PA, Melillo JM, Brito M (1997) Net nitrogen mineralization and net nitrification rates in soils following deforestation for pasture across the southwestern Brasilian Amazon Basin landscape. Oecologia 110:243–252CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Neill C, Piccolo MC, Melillo JM, Steudler PA, Cerri CC (1999) Nitrogen dynamics in Amazon forest and pasture soil measured by 15 N pool dilution. Soil Biol Biochem 31:567–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Neu V, Neill C, Krusche AV (2011) Gaseous and fluvial carbon export from an Amazon forest watershed. Biogeochemistry 105:133–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ntiamoah A, Afrane G (2008) Environmental impacts of cacao production and processing in Ghana, life cycle assessment approach. J Clean Prod 16:1735–1740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Peterjohn WT, Correll DL (1984) Nutrient dynamics in an agricultural watershed, observations on the role of A Riparian Forest. Ecology 65:1466–1475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Peterson BJ, Wollheim WM, Mulholland PJ, Webster JR, Meyer JL, Tank JL, Marti E, Bowden WB, Valett HM, Hershey AE, Mcdowell WH, Dodds WK, Hamilton SK, Gregory S, Morrall DD (2001) Control of nitrogen export from watersheds by headwater streams. Science 292:86CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Piccolo MC, Neill C, Cerri CC (1994) Net nitrogen mineralization and net nitrification along a tropical forest-to-pasture chronosequence. Plant Soil 162:61–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ranger J, Marques R, Jussy JH (2001) Forest soil dynamics during stand development assessed by lysimeter and centrifuge solutions. For Ecol Manage 144:129–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sambuichi RHR, Vidal DB, Piasentin FB, Jardim JG, Viana TG, Menezes AA, Mello DLN, Ahnert D, Baligar VC (2012) Cabruca agroforests in southern Bahia, Brazil: tree component, management practices and tree species conservation. Biodiver Conse 21:1055–1077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schroth G, Bede LC, Paiva AO, Cassano CR, Amorim AM, Faria D, Mariano-Neto E, Martini AMZ, Sambuichi RHR, Lôbo RN (2013) Contribution of agroforests to landscape carbon storage. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 20:1175–1190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Selle GL (2007) Nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems. Biosci J 23:29–39Google Scholar
  26. Semarh (2012). Parque Estadual da Serra do Conduru, importância do Parque Estadual da Serra do Conduru. Accessed 04 March 2012
  27. Silva Moço MK, Gama-Rodrigues EF, Gama-Rodrigues AC, Machado RCR, Baligar VC (2009) Soil and litter fauna of cacao agroforestry systems in Bahia, Brazil. Agroforest Syst 76:27–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith Dumont E, Gnahoua G-M, Ohouo L, Sinclair F-L, Vaast P (2014) Farmers in Cote d’Ivoire value integrating tree diversity in cocoa for the provision of ecosystem services. Agroforestry Sys 88:1047–1066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sudduth EB, Perakis SS, Bernhardt ES (2013) Nitrate in watersheds, Straight from soils to streams? J Geophys Res Biogeosci 118:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vitousek PM (1982) Nutrient cycling and use efficiency. Am Nat 4:553–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vitousek PM (1984) Litterfall, nutrient cycling, and nutrient limitation in tropical forest. Ecology 65:285–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zaia FC, Gama-Rodrigues AC, Gama-Rodrigues EF, Moço MKS, Fontes AG, Machado RCR, Baligar VC (2012) Carbon, nitrogen, organic phosphorus, microbial biomass and N mineralization in soils under cacao agroforestry systems in Bahia, Brazil. Agroforest Syst 86:197–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jéssica Carneiro de Souza
    • 1
  • Marilane Andrade Pereira
    • 1
  • Eline Nayara Dantas da Costa
    • 1
  • Daniela Mariano Lopes da Silva
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departure of Biology Science - Laboratory of BiogeochemistryState University of Santa Cruz – UESCIlhéusBrazil

Personalised recommendations