Concentration of Metals in Plant Litter Produced in Regions of Caatinga in Southwest Bahia, Brazil


J. Braz. Chem. Soc.




Plant litter has several functions in a forest ecosystem. Studies about plant litter are of great importance to better understand and conserve ecological environments. The objective of this study was to investigate the concentration of metals (Fe, Co, Ca, Cu, Ni, Mg, Mn and Zn) in Caatinga plant litter in the southwest region of Bahia. Plant litter was collected in summer (January/2017) and winter (August/2017). Concentrations were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). The results were submitted to multivariate analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). The average amount of plant litter found in January and August was 1190 and 1329 kg ha-1, respectively. The twigs fraction provided the largest amount of biomass to the plant litter since this deposition occurred in greater quantity in August, a period of drought. Metal concentrations (g kg-1) in the analyzed samples ranged from 1.39-257 (Fe), < limit of quantification (LOQ)-0.269 (Co), 0.0036-0.61 (Cu), 1.39-8.76 (Ca), 0.0022-0.56 (Ni), 0.137-1.52 (Mg), 0.033-1.91 (Mn) and 0.0022-0.8 (Zn). The multivariate analysis showed that the composition of plant litter is altered seasonally.

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