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Data from: Fine litterfall in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Cite this dataset

Martinelli, Luiz A.; Lins, Silvia R.M.; dos Santos-Silva, Jessica C. (2017). Data from: Fine litterfall in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest [Dataset]. Dryad.


Litterfall is an essential component of tropical forest productivity, transferring nutrients from the vegetation back to soils. Here, we summarize the data from 105 estimates of fine litterfall production from 45 sites in the Atlantic Forest domain, including two types of forests, evergreen and seasonal, and two successional stages, secondary and old growth. The overall litterfall average was 8.0 ± 2.5 Mg/ha. Litterfall was significantly in higher seasonal forests than in evergreen forests and in old growth versus secondary forests. Leaves were the major component of litterfall, contributing 68 percent to the total. The second most important component was branches, contributing 22 percent, followed by reproductive organs (flowers and fruits), at 6 percent. Accurate measurements of tropical forest productivity are crucial for estimating their role in sequestering atmospheric carbon, and we suggest some ways to standardize litterfall sampling to obtain better estimates.

Usage notes


Atlantic Forest