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Nutrient-cycling mechanisms other than the direct absorption from soil may control forest structure and dynamics in poor Amazonian soils

Grau O., Peñuelas J., Ferry B., Freycon V., Blanc L., Desprez M., Baraloto C., Chave J., Descroix L., Dourdain A., Guitet S., Janssens I.A., Sardans J., Hérault B.. 2017. Scientific Reports, 7 (45017) : p. 1-11.

Tropical forests store large amounts of biomass despite they generally grow in nutrient-poor soils, suggesting that the role of soil characteristics in the structure and dynamics of tropical forests is complex. We used data for >34 000 trees from several permanent plots in French Guiana to investigate if soil characteristics could predict the structure (tree diameter, density and aboveground biomass), and dynamics (growth, mortality, aboveground wood productivity) of nutrient-poor tropical forests. Most variables did not covary with site-level changes in soil nutrient content, indicating that nutrient-cycling mechanisms other than the direct absorption from soil (e.g. the nutrient uptake from litter, the resorption, or the storage of nutrients in the biomass), may strongly control forest structure and dynamics. Ecosystem-level adaptations to low soil nutrient availability and long-term low levels of disturbance may help to account for the lower productivity and higher accumulation of biomass in nutrient-poor forests compared to nutrient-richer forests. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale; fertilité du sol; nutrition des plantes; structure du peuplement; dynamique des populations; croissance; biomasse; transport des substances nutritives; diamètre; espacement; facteur édaphique; production forestière; litière forestière; amazonie

Thématique : Foresterie - Considérations générales; Fertilité du sol; Physiologie végétale : nutrition; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Taxonomie végétale et phyto-géographie

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