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The Biogeochemistry of the Amazon Basin$
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Michael E. McClain, Reynaldo Victoria, and Jeffrey E. Richey

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195114317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195114317.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

Nutrient Cycling as a Function of Landscape and Biotic Characteristics in the Cerrados of CentralBrazil

Nutrient Cycling as a Function of Landscape and Biotic Characteristics in the Cerrados of CentralBrazil

(p.68) 5 Nutrient Cycling as a Function of Landscape and Biotic Characteristics in the Cerrados of CentralBrazil
The Biogeochemistry of the Amazon Basin

M. Haridasan

Oxford University Press

The cerrados of central Brazil have long been designated savannas without sufficient understanding of the structure and functioning of the different vegetation forms in the region. Excessive emphasis on identifying similarities with other savannas in Africa and Australia, and even within South America outside Brazil, prevented researchers from recognizing the cerrados’ special features and interdependence among themselves in the landscape where they occur. The more extensive cerrado sensu stricto on dystrophic soils, and to a lesser extent the gallery forests known locally as matas de galeria or matas ciliares, dominated the attention of most botanists and other researchers (Ratter and Dargie 1992, Furley 1992, Furley and Ratter 1988, Furley et al. 1992). Even with increasing interest in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, very little ongoing research is reported on nutrient cycling from the cerrado region (Solbrig et al. 1996). Information available in the literature is restricted to isolated attempts to describe and quantify specific processes like litterfall and decomposition (Peres et al. 1983), rainwater composition (Schiavini 1983, Delitti 1984), soil fertility gradients (Lopes and Cox 1977), leaf nutrient concentrations (Haridasan 1987, 1992, Araújo and Haridasan 1988), primary productivity of the ground layer (Batmanian and Haridasan 1985, Meirelles and Henrique 1992), effects of burning (Coutinho 1990, Kauffman et al. 1994, Miranda et al. 1996c) and activities of soil fauna (Constantino 1988, Egler and Haridasan 1987, Oliveira Jr. 1985) at specific sites within a particular vegetation. Results of long duration experiments from permanent plots or watersheds are not yet reported in the literature. Very little information is available on the food webs or the role of fauna in nutrient cycling. Research on specific processes like CO2 emission on an ecosystem basis is quite recent (Miranda et al. 1996a, b, Mier et al. 1996). The following discussion is therefore restricted to the occurrence of different vegetation forms in the cerrado region and environmental factors affecting their distribution and functioning in relation to nutrient availability and nutrient cycling processes. One of the difficulties in getting information on research already carried out in Brazil is that the dissertations of graduate students in the universities are seldom published in indexed journals.

Keywords:   calcium, distrophic soils, gallery forests, leguminous species, metamorphism, nitrogen fixation, phosphorus, road construction, soil taxonomy

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