The importance of palm swamps for carbon storage in a multifunctional landscape in the Brazilian savanna.
With the intensification of agriculture and livestock in the Cerrado biome, the ecosystem services provided in this biome occur, in large part, in the fragments that make up multifunctional landscapes. In this context, this study aimed to investigate the following: (1) the importance of savannic ecosystems and abandoned pastures for carbon storage through soil organic carbon (SOC); (2) how microenvironmental differences can lead to variations in the SOC in each of these ecosystems. For this, environmental and biophysical data were collected in cerrado sensu stricto (s.s.), abandoned pastures, and palm swamps (veredas). The veredas had SOC contents six times higher than the cerrado s.s. and pastures. The main ecological factors related to SOC were the presence of xylophagous arthropods and the sum of bases (SB) in the cerrado s.s; saturation by aluminum (m) in pastures, and soil organic matter (SOM) in veredas. Soil moisture showed different relationships with SOC according to its ecosystem: neutral in the cerrado s.s., linear negative in the pastures, and positive exponential in the veredas. SOC storage in the first 30 cm of depth was approximately double in the veredas, but with a heterogeneous distribution. Therefore, specific microenvironments in veredas were important environmental assets for carbon storage in the multifunctional landscape. In this ecosystem, the exotic species Pinus caribaea indicated soil with lower carbon concentrations, and the microenvironments with more saturated soils were also more susceptible to variations in the SOC content.