How thinning in a seasonally dry tropical forest contributes towards root biomass, carbon stock and aggregate size in a Vertisol

Eunice Maia Andrade, Deodato Nascimento Aquino, Mirian Cristina Gomes Costa, Carlos Levi Anastacio Santos, Aldênia Mendes Mascena Almeida


Forest management activities influence fine root development, total soil carbon (TSC) and size of aggregates. A field experiment was carried out in Vertisols of two adjacent catchments in a seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF) to investigate the thinning on fine-root biomass, stock of the total soil carbon and aggregate size. The catchments are located in the State of Ceará, Brazil. The control catchment of 2.1 ha has been under regenerating vegetation for 35 years (RC35), while the second catchment (1.1 ha) was subjected to thinning (TC5) in December of 2008. The analysed variables were: fine-root biomass in the 0-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm soil layers, TSC and mean weight diameter of the soil aggregates in the 0-20, 20-40 e 40-60 cm layers. The data were submitted to Pearson correlation analysis and compared by paired t-test (P < 0.05). The 0-10 cm layer of the TC5 management stored double the average amount of fine-roots found in the RC35. Under the TC5 management, stocks of soil TSC increased by 237 and 151% in the 20-40 and 40-60 cm layers, respectively, when compared with RC35. Aggregates 2.15 times greater than those found under RC35 management were obtained in the topsoil (0-20 cm) under the TC5 management. The implementation of thinning in a Vertisol of a SDTF emerges as an alternative management to be considered in projects for sustainability in the semi-arid region, contributing to an improvement in soil structure as well as an increase in the stocks of total carbon.


Fine-roots. Semi-arid region. Soil structure. Caatinga - groundcover.

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Revista Agroambiente On-line ISSN 1982-8470 (online), E-mail: Licença Creative Commons
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