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Plant and Soil

, Volume 328, Issue 1–2, pp 433–446 | Cite as

Carbon storage in relation to soil size-fractions under tropical tree-based land-use systems

  • Subhrajit K. Saha
  • P. K. Ramachandran Nair
  • Vimala D. Nair
  • B. Mohan Kumar
Regular Article

Abstract

The extent of carbon (C) sequestration in soils under agroforestry systems in relation to soil types (fraction sizes) and vegetation structure remains largely unexplored. This study examined soil C storage, an indicator of C sequestration potential, in homegardens (HGs), natural forest, and single-species stands of coconut (Cocos nucifera), rice (Oryza sativa)-paddy, and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), in Thrissur district, Kerala, India. Soil samples collected from four depth zones up to 1 m were fractionated to three size classes (250 – 2000 µm, 53 – 250 µm,  < 53 µm) and their total C content determined. Total C stock (Mg ha−1) was highest in forests (176.6), followed by managed tree-based systems, and lowest in rice-paddy field (55.6). The results show storage of higher amounts of C in the  < 53 µm fraction, the most stable form of C in soil, up to one- meter depth, in land-use systems with high stand density of trees such as forests and small-sized HG. Although the results do not allow comparison of changes in soil C stock in different land-use systems, they show higher C storage in soils under tree-based land-use systems compared with the treeless (rice-paddy) system, especially in lower soil depths, suggesting the higher soil C sequestration potential of tree-based systems, and thereby their role in reducing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.

Keywords

Agroforestry Carbon sequestration Global warming Homegarden Soil aggregates 

Abbreviations

AFS

Agroforestry systems

CSP

Carbon sequestration potential

GHG

Greenhouse gas

HG

Homegarden

HGL

Large homegarden

HGS

Small homegarden

SOC

Soil organic carbon

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subhrajit K. Saha
    • 1
  • P. K. Ramachandran Nair
    • 1
  • Vimala D. Nair
    • 2
  • B. Mohan Kumar
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Soil and Water Science Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Silviculture and AgroforestryKerala Agricultural UniversityKeralaIndia

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