Soil and Leaf Micronutrient Composition in Contrasting Habitats in Podzolized Sands of the Amazon Region


Plant macronutrient distribution in podzolized sands of the Amazon caatinga has received attention in several studies; however, the distribution of micronutrients has not been assessed. Soil micronutrient availability has been hypothesized to reflect contrasting habitat characteristics as well as fundamental differences in substrate, and leaf micronutrient composition may reflect the macronutrient content needed to maintain balance for leaf cell functions. In this study, soil and leaf samples were obtained in a toposequence (valley, slope, and mound). Available soil micro- and macronutrients as well as total leaf content were measured by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer and mass spectroscopy. Soil Zn (<1.41 mg·kg-1) and B (<0.31 mg·kg-1) as well as Cu (<1.33 mg·kg-1) levels were very low. Soil Mn was low in the valleys and slopes (0.62-0.87 mg·kg-1), but higher in the mound (6.59 mg·kg-1). Soil Fe (11.48-21.13 mg·kg-1) was well above the critical level in all of the habitats. Leaf micronutrients Cu, B, Zn, and Fe were below the critical levels for tropical crops of 3-7, 20-70, 15-20, and 72 mg·kg-1, respectively. Leaf Mn (<188 mg·kg-1) and Al (<50 mg·kg-1) were below the accumulators level. A strong relationship between leaf micro- and macronutrients suggests the maintenance of a homeostatic elemental composition, which may favour photosynthetic function. Therefore, the local distribution of species may be shaped by their abilities to maintain a balance of micronutrient collected through roots under critically low levels of available Zn, B, and Cu whilst excluding potentially deleterious ions of Mn, Fe, and Al.

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M. Sobrado, "Soil and Leaf Micronutrient Composition in Contrasting Habitats in Podzolized Sands of the Amazon Region," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 10, 2013, pp. 1918-1923. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.410235.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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