THE EFFECT OF PLANTATION SILVICULTURE ONSOIL ORGANIC MATTER AND PARTICLE-SIZEFRACTIONS IN AMAZONIA
Eucalyptus grandis and other clonal plantations cover about 3.5 million ha in Brazil. The impacts of intensively-managed short-rotation forestry on soil aggregate structure and Carbon (C) dynamics are largely undocumented in tropical ecosystems. Long-term sustainability of these systems is probably in part linked to maintenance of soil organic matter and good soil structure and aggregation, especially in areas with low-fertility soils. This study investigated soil aggregate dynamics on a clay soil and a sandy soil, each with a Eucalyptus plantation and an adjacent primary forest. Silvicultural management did not reduce total C stocks, and did not change soil bulk density. Aggregates of the managed soils did not decrease in mass as hypothesized, which indicates that soil cultivation in 6 year cycles did not cause large decreases in soil aggregation in either soil texture. Silt, clay, and C of the sandy plantation soil shifted to greater aggregate protection, which may represent a decrease in C availability. The organic matter in the clay plantation soil increased in the fractions considered less protected while this shift from C to structural forms considered more protected was not observed.Index terms: Jari, soil structure, subsoiling, sustainability.