Print version ISSN 0304-3584
GARCIA-VELASQUEZ, Luz M.; RIOS-QUINTANA, Adriana and MOLINA-RICO, Ligia J.. STRUCTURE, PLANT COMPOSITION AND LEAF LITTER DECOMPOSITION IN SOIL, AT TWO SITES OF AN ANDEAN CLOUD FOREST (REFORESTED AND IN SPONTANEOUS SUCCESSION), IN PEÑAS BLANCAS, CALARCÁ (QUINDÍO), COLOMBIA. Actu Biol [online]. 2010, vol.32, n.93, pp. 147-164. ISSN 0304-3584.
This research focused on the plant community in two forests (reforested and in spontaneous succession), located in Calarcá (Quindío), Colombia and leaf litter decomposition velocity in Verbesina nudipes in the forest soil. To assess floristic composition, the ''point and quarter'' technique was used, selecting in each forest three random transects of 100 m each; subsequently, leaf litter decomposition of the specie V. nudipes was evaluated during 90 days. The investigation showed these forests have a high diversity; the species with the highest value of importance was Montanoa quadrangularis for the reforested forest (BR), and V. nudipes for the forest in spontaneous succession (BSE). The most important family in the study areas was Asteraceae. As a result of prior use of soils, the study area is comprised of different successional stages. In relation to decomposition, litter decreased by approximately 50% of its original weight in the first 30 days of testing in both forests. Data were fit to the simple exponential model with average values of K (year-1) of 12 for the BR and 10 for the BSE. The rapid weight losses were consistent with the concentration of N (2.9%) and C/N ratio (14.4%). Differences in the decomposition rates of the forest might be related to the physical conditions of the soil (temperature and moisture), factors determining microbial metabolism and the decomposition rate.
Keywords : cloud forest; Colombia; C/N ratio; leaf litter decomposition; reforestation; succession.