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The Amazon Basin has suffered extensive deforestation in the past 30 years. Deforestation typically leads to changes in climate, biodiversity, hydrological cycle, and soil degradation. Vegetation succession plays an important role in soil restoration through accumulation of vegetation biomass and improved soil/plant interaction. However, relationships between succession and soil properties are not well known. For example, how does vegetation succession affect nutrient accumulation? Which soil factors are important in influencing vegetation growth? What is the best way to evaluate soil fertility in the Amazon basin? This paper focuses on the interrelationships between secondary succession and soil properties. Field soil sample data and vegetation inventory data were collected in two regions of Brazilian Amazonia (Altamira and Bragantina). Soil nutrients and texture were analyzed at successional forest sites. Multiple regression models were used to identify the important soil properties affecting vegetation growth, and a soil evaluation factor (SEF) was developed for evaluating soil fertility in Alfisols, Ultisols, and Oxisols, which differ in the ways they affect vegetation growth. For example, the upper 40 cm of soil is most important for vegetation growth in Alfisols, but in Ultisols and Oxisols deeper horizons significantly influence vegetation growth rates. Accumulation of vegetation biomass increased soil fertility and improved soil physical structure in Alfisols but did not completely compensate for the nutrient losses in Ultisols and Oxisols; however, it significantly reduced the rate of nutrient loss. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

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