Soil resistance and recovery during neotropical forest succession

Masha T. Van Der Sande, Jennifer S. Powers, Thom W. Kuyper, Natalia Norden, Beatriz Salgado-Negret, Jarcilene Silva De Almeida, Frans Bongers, Diego Delgado, Daisy H. Dent, Géraldine Derroire, Mario Marcos Do Espirito Santo, Juan Manuel Dupuy, Geraldo Wilson Fernandes, Bryan Finegan, Mayra E. Gavito, José Luis Hernández-Stefanoni, Catarina C. Jakovac, Isabel L. Jones, Maria Das Dores Magalhães Veloso, Jorge A. MeaveFrancisco Mora, Rodrigo Muñoz, Nathalia Pérez-Cárdenas, Daniel Piotto, Esteban Álvarez-Dávila, Yasmani Caceres-Siani, Coralie Dalban-Pilon, Aurélie Dourdain, Dan V. Du, Daniel García Villalobos, Yule Roberta Ferreira Nunes, Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Lourens Poorter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recovery of soil conditions is crucial for successful ecosystem restoration and, hence, for achieving the goals of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Here, we assess how soils resist forest conversion and agricultural land use, and how soils recover during subsequent tropical forest succession on abandoned agricultural fields. Our overarching question is how soil resistance and recovery depend on local conditions such as climate, soil type and land-use history. For 300 plots in 21 sites across the Neotropics, we used a chronosequence approach in which we sampled soils from two depths in old-growth forests, agricultural fields (i.e. crop fields and pastures), and secondary forests that differ in age (1-95 years) since abandonment. We measured six soil properties using a standardized sampling design and laboratory analyses. Soil resistance strongly depended on local conditions. Croplands and sites on high-activity clay (i.e. high fertility) show strong increases in bulk density and decreases in pH, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) during deforestation and subsequent agricultural use. Resistance is lower in such sites probably because of a sharp decline in fine root biomass in croplands in the upper soil layers, and a decline in litter input from formerly productive old-growth forest (on high-activity clays). Soil recovery also strongly depended on local conditions. During forest succession, high-activity clays and croplands decreased most strongly in bulk density and increased in C and N, possibly because of strongly compacted soils with low C and N after cropland abandonment, and because of rapid vegetation recovery in high-activity clays leading to greater fine root growth and litter input. Furthermore, sites at low precipitation decreased in pH, whereas sites at high precipitation increased in N and decreased in C: N ratio. Extractable phosphorus (P) did not recover during succession, suggesting increased P limitation as forests age. These results indicate that no single solution exists for effective soil restoration and that local site conditions should determine the restoration strategies. This article is part of the theme issue 'Understanding forest landscape restoration: reinforcing scientific foundations for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20210074
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume378
Issue number1867
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by a grant from NWO-ALW.OP241. M.T.v.d.S. was supported by NWO-ALW.OP241 and NWO-VI.Veni.192.027; J.S.P. by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) Program Award DESC0014363; J.S.d.A. by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq –PQ 309965/2016-0), M.D.M.V. by Fundacão de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG PPM-00623-16); D.H.D. by the Secretaria Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnologia e Innovacion, Panama (International Collaboration Grant, COL10-052) and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (Research Incentive Grant); G.D. by the Investissement d'avenir grant of the ANR (CEBA: ANR-10-LABEX-0025); M.M.d.E.S. by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (grant no. IAI-CRN 3025), Fundacão de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG PPM-00726-16), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES 88881.337120/2019-01) and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq 308471/2017-2); J.M.D. and J.L.H.S. by Fondo Mixto CONACYT-Gobierno del estado de Yucatán, FOMIX YUC-2008-C06-108863; G.W.F. by Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, Fundacão de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq/Peld); M.E.G. by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología CONACYT-SEP-2015-255544; C.C.J. by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (Cnpq-SinBiose 442371/2019-5); J.A.M. by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, DPAGA–PAPIIT IN218416, DPAGA–PAPIIT IN217620; F.M. by SEP-CONACYT 2015-255544 and PAPIIT-UNAM IN211417; R.M. by NWO-ALWOP.457 and UNAM DPAGA–PAPIIT IN218416 and IN217620; I.L.J. by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (grant no. MR/T019018/1); Y.R.F.N. by Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (grant no. IAI-CRN 3025); Fundacão de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais (grant no. FAPEMIG PPM-00627-16); and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (grant no. CNPq 308877/2019-5); A.S.A. by Inter American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), Tropi-Dry CRN 3-025, National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC, Canada); and L.P. by the European Research Council Advanced Grant PANTROP 834775. Acknowledgements

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors.

Keywords

  • bulk density
  • carbon
  • nitrogen
  • pH
  • phosphorus
  • resilience

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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