Leaching of carbon from native and non-native leaf litter of subtropical riparian forests

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Daniel J. da Silva
Alice T. Valduga
Joseline Molozzi
Rodrigo Fornel
Rozane M. Restello
Luiz U. Hepp *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Luiz U. Hepp | luizuhepp@gmail.com


We evaluated the leaching of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (DOC and DIC, respectively) from leaf litter of plant species of the native Atlantic Forest and of Pinus elliottii (Engelm.) and Eucalyptus grandis (Hill ex Maiden) forests. We carried out experiments in which leaves from each forest system (native, E. grandis, and P. elliottii) were placed in reactors with sterile water. After 1/4 h, 1 h, 4 h, 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h of incubation, we quantified the concentrations of DIC and DOC of each leachate. The greatest quantity of DIC was leached in the native forest system, whereas the greatest quantity of DOC was leached in the E. grandis forest system. With respect to the period of year, the greatest quantity of DIC was leached in autumn, whereas that of DOC was leached in the summer. Our results demonstrated that the replacement of native species in riparian zones, by non-native forest monocultures, could alter the chemical composition of the water. Finally, the results presented in this paper reinforce the need for a more careful look at ecological processes.

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