Not all forests are expanding over central Brazilian savannas

Lucas C R Silva, Mundayatan Haridasan, Leonel Sternberg, Augusto C. Franco, William A. Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recently we reported on the expansion of riparian forests into savannas in central Brazil. To enlarge the scope of the earlier study we investigated whether upland deciduous and xeromorphic forests behaved similarly. We investigated past vegetation changes that occurred in forest/savanna transitions using carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) measured in the soil organic matter as a tracer. We analyzed the 14C activity where δ13C showed major shifts in vegetation. The role of soil chemical and physical attributes in defining vegetation distribution is discussed. Structural changes in vegetation were found to be associated with shifts in the isotope composition (δ13C) of soil organic matter. This was attributed to intrinsic differences in the biomass of trees and grasses and allowed for the determination of past shifts in vegetation by evaluating δ13C at different depths. The deciduous forest decreased in area approximately 980 years ago. Tree cover increased in the xeromorphic forest, but the border stayed stable through time. The deciduous forest and adjacent savanna have eutrophic soils while the xeromorphic forest and adjacent savanna have dystrophic soils. However, greater organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations are observed in the forests. We provide concrete evidence of deciduous forest retreat unlike the stability observed in the xeromorphic forest/savanna boundary. These results contrast with the expansion of riparian forests recently reported in the same region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-442
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume333
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 30 2010

Fingerprint

savanna
savannas
vegetation
deciduous forests
deciduous forest
riparian forest
riparian forests
soil organic matter
isotopes
soil
carbon isotope ratio
carbon
structural change
tracer techniques
highlands
tracer
organic carbon
grass
isotope
grasses

Keywords

  • Carbon isotopes
  • Cerrado
  • Forest expansion
  • Leaf area index
  • Tropical forests
  • Tropical soils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Silva, L. C. R., Haridasan, M., Sternberg, L., Franco, A. C., & Hoffmann, W. A. (2010). Not all forests are expanding over central Brazilian savannas. Plant and Soil, 333(1), 431-442. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-010-0358-6

Not all forests are expanding over central Brazilian savannas. / Silva, Lucas C R; Haridasan, Mundayatan; Sternberg, Leonel; Franco, Augusto C.; Hoffmann, William A.

In: Plant and Soil, Vol. 333, No. 1, 30.03.2010, p. 431-442.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Silva, LCR, Haridasan, M, Sternberg, L, Franco, AC & Hoffmann, WA 2010, 'Not all forests are expanding over central Brazilian savannas', Plant and Soil, vol. 333, no. 1, pp. 431-442. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-010-0358-6
Silva LCR, Haridasan M, Sternberg L, Franco AC, Hoffmann WA. Not all forests are expanding over central Brazilian savannas. Plant and Soil. 2010 Mar 30;333(1):431-442. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-010-0358-6
Silva, Lucas C R ; Haridasan, Mundayatan ; Sternberg, Leonel ; Franco, Augusto C. ; Hoffmann, William A. / Not all forests are expanding over central Brazilian savannas. In: Plant and Soil. 2010 ; Vol. 333, No. 1. pp. 431-442.
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