Salemi, L. F., Lins, S. R. M., Ravagnani, E. de C., Magioli, M., Martinez, M. G., Guerra, F., Vidas, N. B., Fransozi, A., Ferraz, S. F. D. B., & Martinelli, L. A. (2016). Influências pretéritas e presentes do uso da terra sobre zonas ripárias tropicais: Uma avaliação isotópica com implicações para a determinação dA largura de florestas ripárias. Biota Neotropica, 16(2).
In this article, by using carbon stable isotopes, we assessed the past and present land use influences that riparian areas are subject within agricultural landscapes. Emphasis is given to the understanding of the effects of the 2012 Brazilian Forest Act on such areas. We selected five riparian areas within a highly C4 dominated agricultural landscape. Three of them had 30 meters native riparian forest buffer (NRFB) and two of them had 8 meter and no NRFB. We used three 100 meter-transects located 5, 15 and 30 meters relative to stream channel to obtain soil samples (0 – 10 cm). All riparian areas presented soil carbon isotopic signatures that are not C3 (native forests) irrespective of having or not 30 meters NRFB. Two cases presenting less than 30 meters NRFB had higher C4 derived carbon contribution. All of the other three areas that followed the 30 meters NRFB presented, to some degree, C4 derived carbon, which was attributed to C4 organic matter deposition originated from cultivated areas and, in one case, to the persistence of former exotic grasses. With the 2012 Forest Act allowing narrower buffers (< 30 meters), we expect C4 contributions to soil organic matter to remain high in riparian areas and streams within agricultural landscapes dominated by C4 plants where 30 meter NRFB is no longer required. Such contributions will likely continue to have detrimental effects on stream water quality and biota.