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