Patterns of litter and nutrient return to the soil during passive restoration in Cerrado, Brazil

Kelly Cristina Tonello, Luara Castilho Pereira, Leonardo Balbinot, Ernest O. Nnadi, Mojgan Hadi Mosleh, Julieta Bramorski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Passive restoration offer better preservation for the diverse legacy of forest ecosystems, but many interactions on the restoration process remain poorly understood. In this study, the seasonality of accumulated litter layer, nutrient content, potential return, and soil quality were evaluated under the initial (subjected to 11-year) and advanced (subjected to 46-year) passive restoration conditions in Cerrado, Brazil. Measurements were carried out for a period of one year. Accumulated litter layer, nutrient content, potential return, and nutrient use efficiency were 50%, 43%, 13%, and 42% higher in the advanced passive restoration site compared to the initial restoration site. For both sites, the annual litter content followed the order: N > Ca > K > Mg > P > Fe > Mn > B > Zn > Cu. Significant increases in soil organic matter and cation exchange capacity were found in the advanced passive restoration. The annual average had shown a higher macronutrient concentration in the soil for the initial restoration, while a higher micronutrient concentration was found for the advanced restoration. The seasonality affected the accumulated litter layer, litter nutrients, potential return and soil quality. Some litter and soil nutrients were significantly correlated, evidencing the nutrient associations between litter and soil. Hence, both the passive restoration stages and rain were factors that regulated the temporal patterns of accumulated litter layer as well as the nutrient cycling in Cerrado passive restoration models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-414
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Early online date11 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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This research was funded by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel–CAPES through the Postgraduate Program in Planning and Using of Renewable Resources, Environmental Science Department, Federal University of São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil, Finance Code 001; the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and Sylvamo Ltda from Brazil.


  • Ecosystems services
  • Forest restoration
  • Hydrological processes
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Seasonality patterns
  • Tropical forest


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