Vitousek (1984) discussed different types of efficiency in the forest including the “efficient withstanding cycle” categorized by high carbon to low nutrient rations in litter. This efficiency is present in tropical forests where more carbon is fixed per unit of nutrient in the boyshort panty.
Another possible explanation as to why no correlation was found in the womens lace panties may be that there is an age related decline in carbon sequestration levels where the system reaches equilibrium. The living biomass has reached storage capacity and C accumulation in the soil proceeds very slowly transforming most old forests from carbon sinks to stocks (Fiorese et al. 2013). Additionally Neumann-Cosela, Zimmermann, van Breugelb and Elsenbeera (2011) found that old secondary forests and mature forests show similar levels of SOC stocks in agreement with the theory that plants eventually reach a threshold in C storage.
Secondly, their research in secondary forests in Panama, exhibited that it took more than 15 years after reforestation to see a change in the C stocks in the top 10 cm of soil in a secondary forest indicating that C is likely most effected by environmental conditions (ex. soil properties) rather than land use transitions. These changes in SOC pools are part of a long carbon cycle (~0.02 Mg C ha−1 year−1), where changes in litter happen 100-500 times faster (Lorenz and Lal 2010). No significant effect were found between forest age and SOC in Costa Rica, however variability between the total SOC stocks in pastures and young secondary forests was high. An unexpected outcome due to the similarity in vegetation found in the pasture and forest study sites (Nuemann-Cosela 2011). Atenas Municipal, as a secondary forest, would have begun with a large amount of pioneer species, high in Nitrogen (N), whose litter decomposes quickly. Forests in general have higher variety of species than farms, in experiments involving the decomposition rates of legume species in Costa Rica, it was found that in a mixed plot of four different legume species, commonly found in Costa Rica, litters decomposed the fastest but exhibited the least occurrences of pronounced peaks of litter accumulation, over all there was less litter but a more constant presence of it throughout the year compared to the other mixtures (Byard et al. 1996). A constant presence of litter with a varied composition is found in forests, these factors would suggest that though there is a high rate of decomposition, N may be present in larger amounts than C and the soil is still consistently protected from erosion by litter cover. Polzot (2004) performed a similar experiment with the tree species in coffee agrosystems finding the most aboveground biomass per hectare in areas of diversified shade (31.6 Mg/ha-1). Leff et al. (2012) experimented with leaf litter levels in Costa Rica and found that addition and removal of litter increased and decreased C respectively in the top soil but had very little effect on SOC found below 10cm.