Comparison of carbon footprint of traditional agroforestry systems under rainfed and irrigated ecosystems

  • DoddabasawaEmail author
  • B. M. Chittapur
  • M. Mahadeva Murthy


Untenable expansion of cultivated lands and intensive agriculture accentuating the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere are warranting need for effective strategies to reduce the emission of green house gases associated with land use. Tree-based land use system has been emphasized as an effective strategy across ecological regions and farming situations as the most effective farmer-friendly technology limiting GHGs emission. The present study, therefore, was aimed to assess footprint and the annual fluxes of C in different traditional agroforestry systems in contrasting ecosystems to seek a way forward to mitigate climate change. The study revealed higher net C gain in rainfed ecosystem in agricultural system (3925.85 kg CE ha−1) followed by agroforestry systems with trees grown on the boundary (3868.03 kg CE ha−1) followed by trees scattered on farm land (3763.78 kg CE ha−1) and on field bunds (3752.53 kg CE ha−1). However, higher C sustainability index was with scattered planting of trees (30.35) followed by boundary planting (30.31), bund planting (29.54) and agricultural system (26.96). In irrigated ecosystem, higher C gain was in boundary planting of trees (6579.46 kg CE ha−1) followed by silvihorti (6539.96 kg CE ha−1) and bund planting (6051.59 kg CE ha−1), but was the lowest in crops alone (5850.46 kg CE ha−1) and in tree blocks (5121.59 kg CE ha−1). However, higher C sustainability index occurred with block plantation (537.28) followed by boundary planting (40.99), bund planting (37.15), agricultural system (36.56) and silvihorti system (18.58). Further, it was observed that among the inputs used chemical fertilizers contributed more towards GHGs emission in both the ecosystems (76% of the total emission). In the contrasting ecosystems, bund and boundary planting agroforestry systems were more sustainable in terms C efficiency and offered better food security unlike block plantation, and partial substitution of chemical fertilizer helped reduce C emission. Overall, the agroforestry land use systems proved highly sustainable on long-term basis and hence need promotion.


C footprint Block plantation Green house gases Biomass Climate change 



  1. Albrecht A, Kandji ST (2003) Carbon sequestration in tropical agroforestry systems. Agric Ecosyst Environ 99:15–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bertschinger L, Mouron P, Dolega E, Hohn H, Holliger E, Husistein A, Schmid A, Siegfried W, Widmer A, Zürcher M, Weibel F (2004) Ecological apple production: a comparison of organic and integrated apple-growing. In: Bertschinger L, Anderson JD (eds) Proceedings of the 26th IHC—sustainability of horticultural systems, acta hortic., vol 638. ISHS, pp 321–332Google Scholar
  3. Biograce (2011) GHG Emissions Calculation Methodology and GHG Audit. ISCC 11-03-1V 2.3-EUGoogle Scholar
  4. Boulard T, Raeppel C, Brun R, Lecompte F, Hayer F, Carmassi G, Gaillard G (2011) Environmental impact of greenhouse tomato production in France. Agron Sustain Dev 31:757–777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown S, Lugo AE (1982) The storage and production of organic matter in tropical forests and their role in the global carbon cycle. Biotropica 14:161–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chaturvedi AN, Khanna LS (1981) Forest mensuration. International Book Distributors, DehradunGoogle Scholar
  7. Cheng K, Pan G, Smith P, Luo T, Li L, Zhang X (2011) Carbon footprint to China’s crop production—an estimation using agrostatistics data over 1993–2007. Agric Ecosyst Environ 142:231–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chittapur BM, Patil DK (2017) Ecosystem services rendered by tree based land use systems. Indian J Agric Sci 87(11):1419–1429Google Scholar
  9. Cowell SJ, Clift R (1997) Impact assessment for life cycle assessments involving agricultural production. Int J LCA 2(2):99–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Devakumar AS, Pardis R, Manjunath V (2018) Carbon foot print of cultivation practices under semiarid conditions. Agric Res 1:1. Google Scholar
  11. Druckman A, Jackson T (2009) The carbon footprint of UK households 1990–2004: a socio-economically disaggregated, quasi-multi-regional input-output model. Ecol Econ 68(7):2066–2077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. FAO (1998) Estimating biomass and biomass change of tropical forest. FAO Corporate Document DepositoryGoogle Scholar
  13. Foley J, Ramankutty N, Brauman K, Cassidy E, Gerber J, Johnston M, Mueller N, Connell C, Ray D, West P, Balzer C, Bennett E, Sheehan J, Siebert S, Carpenter S, Hill J, Monfreda C, Polasky S, Rockstro J, Tilman D, Zaks D (2011) Solutions for a cultivated planet. Nature 478:337–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harris S, Narayanaswamy V (2009) A literature review of life cycle assessment in agriculture. Australia Government Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), RIRDC, Canberra, Australia, pp 1–46Google Scholar
  15. Hertwich ED, Peters GP (2009) Carbon footprint of nations: a global, trade-linked analysis. Environ Sci Technol 43:6414–6420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hillier J, Hawes C, Squire G, Hilton A, Wale S, Smith P (2009) The carbon footprints of food crop production. Int J Agric Sustain 7(2):107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huggins DR, Reganold JP (2008) No-till: the quiet revolution. Sci Am 299:70–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hutchinson JJ, Campbell CA, Desjardins RL (2007) Some perspectives on carbon sequestration in agriculture. Agric For Meteorol 142:288–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. IPCC (2000) Land use, land-use change, and forestry. A special report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, p 375Google Scholar
  20. IPCC (2006) Guidelines for national green house gas inventories. In: Prepared by the National Green house gas inventories program. IGES, Tokyo, JapanGoogle Scholar
  21. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. IPCC (2013) Climate change 2013. The physical science basis. Summary for policy makers, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  23. Lal R (2004) Carbon emission from farm operations. Environ Int 30(7):981–990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Montzka SA, Dlugokencky EJ, Butler EH (2011) Non-CO2 greenhouse gases and climate change. Nature 476:46–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nair PKR, Nair VD, Kumar BM, Showalter JM (2010) Carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems. Adv Agron 108:237–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sanchez PA, Buresh RJ, Leakey RRB (1997) Trees, soils, and food security. Philos Trans R Soc Lond Ser B 353:949–961CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Singh S, Mittal JP (1992) Energy in production agriculture. Mittal Publications, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith KA, Conen F (2004) Impacts of land management on fluxes of trace greenhouse gases. Soil Use Manag 20:255–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sophie G, Jeimar T, Alonso G (2012) Resource use and GHG emission of eight tropical fruit species cultivated in Colombia. Fruits 68(4):303–313Google Scholar
  30. Stavi I, Lal R (2013) Agriculture and greenhouse gases a common tragedy. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 33:275–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stewart AW, Diemont Jay FM, Samuel IL (2006) Emergy evaluation of lacandon maya indigenous swidden agroforestry in Chiapas, Mexico. Agrofor Syst 66:23–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. UNEP (2009) The environmental food crisis—the environment’s role in averting future food crises. In: Nellemann C, MacDevette M, Manders T, Eickhout B, Svihus B, Prins AG, Kaltenborn BP(eds) A UNEP rapid response assessment. United Nations Environment Programme, GRID Arendal, Norway, Feb 2009
  33. Yadav RP, Bisht JK, Bhatt JC (2017) Biomass, carbon stock under different production systems in the mid hills of Indian Himalaya. Trop Ecol 58(1):15–21Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of AgricultureBheemarayanagudi, Yadgir DistrictIndia
  2. 2.University of Agricultural SciencesRaichurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Forestry and Environmental ScienceUAS, GKVKBengaluruIndia

Personalised recommendations