To date, reforestation practices aiming at ecological restoration lack parameters to evaluate their success. The knowlegde gaps are larger when concerning the below and aboveground interactions.Our objective is to evaluate how far the aboveground community complexity affects the soil community, and how both interfere in the ecosystem functioning. Our hypothesis is that there is a minimal functional structure that can keep up the ecosystem functioning. We will analyse a forest restoration experiment installed in 1997 in a sandy ultissol site.Experimental design is a randomized blocks with four plantation models and tree replicates, plus the control passive regeneration) an the natural forest as a reference. Experimental plots are 0.25 ha and 900 m2 of useful area. The systems differ from each other by the initial number of species planted, from five (direct seeding) to 20 (agroforestry system), 25 (mixed comercial planting) and 41 (high diversity planting). We will evaluate litterfal input and stock; nutrient pools; foliar decomposition rates; nutrient release rates; soil macrofauna and mesofauna; chemical and physical soil properties,and the plant community structural atributes. The results will be subjected to univariate and multivariate variance analysis to correlate vegetation structure and soil attributes.
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