Abstract

Seasonal micronutrients concentration in leaves of four forest species from Parque Chaqueño, Argentina. Nutrients cycling is a fundamental component in the functioning of forest ecosystems. Leaves of different forest species observe specific chemical composition, and some seasonal differences in biomass production, may be related to climate fluctuations and/or changes in plant phenology and the variation on nutrient contents. The objective of this study was to analyze the seasonal variability of Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn concentrations in leaves of Gleditsia amorphoides (Ga); Patagonula americana (Pa); Maclura tinctoria (Mt) and Astronium balansae (Ab) from Colonia Benítez Strict Nature Reserve (Chaco, Argentina). The leaves of each forest species were collected monthly, dried at 70ºC and their weight by tree species were recorded. Samples for analytical determinations were prepared by humid oxidation of organic substances from vegetal nets, using oxidant acids such as ternary mixture of HNO3-H2SO4-HClO4. After digestion, total micronutrients leaves concentrations were determined by atomic absortion spectrophotometry. Leaves Fe highest values were detected during fall in Mt (76.1mg/kg), Pa (75.2mg/kg), Ab (59.5mg/kg) and Ga (45.3mg/kg). Highest foliar concentrations of Mn were detected in Pa (54.0mg/kg), Ga (50.0mg/kg), Mt (48.0mg/kg), and Ab with the lower Mn concentration (39.7mg/ kg). No significant differences were found for Cu between the different forest species, standing for Pa (11.3mg/ kg), Ga and Mt (11.0mg/kg) and Ab (10.4mg/kg). With regard to leaves Zn, highest concentrations were found in Mt (347.4mg/kg), Ga (319.9mg/kg), Pa (280.2mg/kg) and Ab (255.7mg/kg). Generally, a marked seasonal variation was observed for Mn and Cu concentrations (except in Ga) and Zn (except in Pa), with no statistical differences for Fe. In the species studied, the concentration of micronutrients analyzed showed a marked and erratic seasonal variation, attributed to the relationship established between the native species, and the strong influence of the environment over a long period of time, especially temperature and rainfall.
Keywords: seasonal variability, micronutrients leaves, forestal species, Parque Chaqueño.