Title: Comparative analysis of eight neotropical savanna ecosystems: production-decomposition indexes


Breymeyer, Alicja I.

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Neotropical savanna ecosystems


Polish Academy of Sciences. Institute of Ecology


Polish Academy of Sciences. Institute of Ecology. Publishing Office

Place of publishing:

Dziekanów Leśny


Pages 339-358 : illustrations ; 27 cm ; Bibliographical references (pages 356-358)


Comparative studies of the functioning of eight neotropical savannas were conducted in Venezuela and Panama. Savannas were classified in the following 4 types of increasing productivity: Trachypogon savanna, ''Bajio" savanna, Paspalum savanna and Hyparrhenia savanna. Each savanna type was reprezented by sites ungrazed or grazed by cows. All stands, except for the flooded "Bajio" were burnt at the end of the rainy season. The rates of two ecosystem processes were measured: productivity (NPP) and decomposition. The index of productivity was the maximum biomass of ABVG (above ground biomass) and BLG (below ground mass of roots); this was measured at the end of the rainy season just before the fire. Decomposition rate was evaluated using litterbags with local litter or filter paper exposed in different layers of savannas. ABVG production of biomass is highest in non-grazed Hyparrhenia savanna, where it reaches 19-20 g d.w.m-2 daily and 2850-2950g d.w.m-2 in the rainy season. This is a very high figure rarely noted in grasslands. The lowest productivity -544 g d.w.m-2 ABVG in the rainy season - was noted in Trachypogon savannas. Roots constitute a small part of savanna biomass: 14-25% in Hyparrhenia savanna, and 6-45% in Venezuelan savannas. The biomass of roots is concentrated in the 0-10cm layer: 86-90% in Hyparrhenia, 40-72% in Venezuelan savannas. The decomposition of litter evaluated for 6 Venezuelan savannas and calculated for the wet season ranges from 180 to 1126 g d.w.-2. Higher decomposition occur in stands with higher productivity. To the new findings can be assigned the results of comparative measures of decomposition on four levels (from soil to 40 cm above the ground surface). In the Hyparrhenia stand as much as 52% of decomposition takes place in the standing plants. The OM budget calculations suggest that all 8 stands are characterized by an accumulation of organic matter; however, decomposition rate is underestimated as the fraction of OM decomposed in standing plants is not considered.


Polish Journal of Ecology





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Resource Identifier:

oai:rcin.org.pl:115849 ; oai:rcin.org.pl:115849 ; ISSN 1505-2249


MiIZ PAN, call no. P.2840 ; click here to follow the link



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Creative Commons Attribution BY 3.0 PL license

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Copyright-protected material. [CC BY 3.0 PL] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY 3.0 PL license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Projects co-financed by:

Operational Program Digital Poland, 2014-2020, Measure 2.3: Digital accessibility and usefulness of public sector information; funds from the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing from the state budget.

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Last modified:

Mar 2, 2020

In our library since:

Feb 28, 2020

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