Data for Linking the spatiotemporal variation of litterfall to standing vegetation biomass in Brazilian savannas

Published: 23-06-2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/65y3mz8n3p.1
Alan Costa


Data on the woody vegetation structure measured in 48 plots distributed across four Cerrado physiognomies, Catalão-GO, Brazil. We established four sampling plots, which was surveyed between April and May 2014, measuring all woody plants (shrubs and trees) having at least one stem with a diameter ≥ 1cm at 30cm from ground level. Based on plant survey data, we estimated individual density, basal area, cylindrical volume, and aboveground biomass per plot. Data on the amount of litter accumulated in 48 litter-traps monitored during 12 months in four Cerrado physiognomies, Catalão-GO, Brazil. The annual litter production was monitored in the studied site using 48 circular funnel-shaped litter traps (0.5 in diameter) positioned 0.5 m above the ground. Plant material accumulating in these traps was collected at monthly intervals from April 2014 to March 2015, dried at 60 ºC for 3 days, separated and weighed to the nearest 0.0001g. The dry litter was sorted into four fractions: leaves, small-wood (twigs and barks with diameter < 2 cm), reproductive structures, and miscellaneous items (i.e., non-identifiable fragmented plant material < 2 mm). These datasets showed that changes in vegetation structure may affect spatiotemporal litterfall patterns in different Cerrado physiognomies, which co-occur across the landscape, with potential implications for the overall functioning of this ecosystem. Moreover, these findings highlight the use of standardized methods as essential to correctly compare litterfall patterns among different environments.