Course detail

LCF5723 - Carbon and Nutrient Cycling and Soil Ecological Management in Forest Ecosystems

Credit hours

In-class work
per week
per week
15 weeks
120 hours

Alexandre de Vicente Ferraz
José Henrique Tertulino Rocha
José Leonardo de Moraes Gonçalves

This course aims to explore the processes of carbon and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems. The principles and practices of physical, chemical, and biological soil management are addressed, exploring the importance of soil biodiversity and forest stands to promote beneficial soil-plant-microorganism ecological interactions. They aim to prepare students to contribute significantly to the research and sustainable management of these ecosystems, in order to promote the conservation or improvement of soil health in normal and climate change contexts.

1. CARBON CYCLING: a) Influence of climate on carbon cycling; b) Carbon fluxes between the atmosphere, vegetation, and soil in the different biomes; c) the effects of natural and man-made disturbances; d) Carbon sequestration in biomass and soil; e) Sustainable management strategies to optimize carbon cycling;
2. NUTRIENT CYCLING: a) Biochemical, biogeochemical and geochemical cycles of macro and micronutrients in forest ecosystems; b) content, distribution in the soil profile and in forest compartments; c) Inputs of macro and micronutrients via atmosphere, biological fixation, weathering, and fertilizers; d) Macro and micronutrient losses via erosion, leaching, volatilization, and logging;
3. TREE ROOT SYSTEM: Morphological characteristics, soil profile distribution and functions;
4. EVALUATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE BIOTIC COMMUNITY OF THE SOIL: a) Symbiotic, facilitating, and competitive interactions between plants and microorganisms; b) effects on plant nutrition and protection; c) Use of beneficial microorganisms in forest management;
5. PRINCIPLES AND LAWS OF FERTILIZATION: a) Strategies for optimizing soil fertility; b) Use of organic and mineral fertilizers in a sustainable manner;
6. NUTRITION AND FERTILIZATION OF MONOSPECIFIC AND MIXED FOREST PLANTATIONS, WITH EXOTIC AND NATIVE SPECIES: a) Liming, gypsum, nitrogen, phosphate, potassium and micronutrient fertilization; b) the form and timing of the application of the nutrients;
7. SOIL CHARACTERIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS: a) Benefits and challenges of AFSs compared to conventional agricultural systems; b) Carbon and nutrient cycling; c) physical, chemical, and biological fertility of the soil; d) quality assessment; e) Management techniques; f) Challenges and Potentialities;
8. REGENERATIVE MANAGEMENT OF DEGRADED SOILS: Diagnosis, Principles and Management Methods;
9. ALTERNATIVE FERTILISERS: SOIL REMINERALISERS, INDUSTRIAL AND URBAN WASTE: a) Characteristics and methods of application; b) impacts on the physical, chemical and biological fertility of the soil;
10. SEMINARS AND DISCUSSIONS: a) Case studies of integrated soil management in different types of forests; b) Environmental and conservation issues in forest ecosystems.

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