Tree Plantations in Saline Environments: Ecosystem Services, Carbon Sequestration and Climate Change Mitigation

  • S. R. Gupta
  • J. C. Dagar
  • Mukesh-Kumar
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 13)


Nearly one billion hectares of arid and semiarid areas of the world are salt-affected and remain barren due to salinity or water scarcity. These lands can be utilized by adopting appropriate planting techniques and integrating trees with tolerant crops, forage grasses, oil-yielding crops, and aromatic and medicinal plants. Biosaline agroforestry provides various ecosystem services such as the improved soil fertility, carbon sequestration, and biomass production. Provisioning services relating to biomass production have been fairly well studied in different biosaline agroforestry. Tree plantations and agroforestry enrich the soil in organic matter and exert a considerable ameliorative effect on soil properties. The soil microbial biomass serves as a useful indicator of soil improvement under salt stress. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonized the roots of grasses in silvopastoral systems on saline and sodic soils, the dominant AM fungal species being Glomus and Acaulospora. By integrating trees with the naturally occurring grassland systems on highly sodic soils, the soil organic carbon content increased from 5.3 Mg ha−1 (in sole grass) to 13.6, 10.9, and 14.2 Mg ha−1, when Dalbergia sissoo, Acacia nilotica, and Prosopis juliflora trees were introduced with grass. The soils of biosaline agroforestry could store 25.9–99.3 Mg CO2 ha−1 in surface 0.3 m soil. Maintaining the stores and sink of carbon in agroforestry could play a key role in climate change mitigation as well as help in adapting to changing environmental conditions.


Ecosystem Service Soil Organic Carbon Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Carbon Sequestration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aggarwal RK, Kumar P, Raina P (1993) Nutrient availability from sandy soils underneath Prosopis cineraria (Linn.) Macbride compared to adjacent open site in an arid environment. Indian For 199:321–325Google Scholar
  2. Alam A, Kilpelannen A, Kellomaki S (2010) Potential timber and energy wood production and carbon stock in fuelwood under varying thinning regimes and climatic scenarios. Bioenerg Res 3:362–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhattacharyya T, Pal DK, Chandran P, Mandal C, Ray SK, Gupta RK, Gajbhiye KS (2004) Managing soil carbon stocks in the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India. Rice–Wheat Consortium for the Indo-Gangetic plains, New Delhi, p 44Google Scholar
  4. Bhattacharyya T, Pal DK, Chandran P, Ray SK, Mandal C, Telpande B (2008) Soil carbon storage capacity as a tool to prioritize areas for carbon sequestration. Curr Sci 95:482–493Google Scholar
  5. Bell DT (1999) Australian tree for rehabilitation of waterlogged and salinity damaged landscape. Aust J Bot 47:697–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bergeron M, Lacombe S, Bradley RL, Whalen J, Cogliastro A, Jutras MF, Arp P (2011) Reduced soil nutrient leaching following the establishment of tree-based intercropping systems in eastern Canada. Agrofor Syst 83:321–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhojvaid PP, Timmer V (1998) Soil dynamics in an age sequence of Prosopis juliflora planted for sodic soil restoration in India. For Ecol Manag 106:181–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. BIOSAFOR Biosaline (Agro) Forestry (2011) Remediation of saline wastelands through production of renewable energy, biomaterials and fodder. Deliverable D24: final activity report: evaluation of results. European Commission FP6 Project STREP Contract no 032502Google Scholar
  9. Bouwer H (2002) Integrated water management for the 21st century: problems and solutions. J Irrig Drain Eng 28:193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chaudhary AA, Hameed M, Ahmed R, Hussain A (2001) Phytosociological studies in ChhumbiSurela Wild Life Sanctuary, chakwal, Pakistan. Species diversity. Int J Agric Biol 3:369–374Google Scholar
  11. Dagar JC, Singh G, Singh NT (2001) Evaluation of forest and fruit trees used for rehabilitation of semiarid alkali/sodic soils in India. Arid Soil Res Rehabil 15:115–133Google Scholar
  12. De Groot RS, Wilson M, Boumans R (2002) A typology for the description, classification and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services. Ecol Econ 41:393–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duguma LA, Peter AM, van Noordwijk M (2014) Climate change mitigation and adaptation in the land use sector: from complementarity to synergy. Environ Manag 54:420–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dutton RW, Powell M, Ridley RJ (eds) (1992) Prosopis species: aspects of their value, research and development. In: Proceedings of the prosopis symposium, held by CORD, University of Durham, UKGoogle Scholar
  15. FAO (2010) Global forest resources assessment 2010. Main report. FAO Forestry Paper 163, RomeGoogle Scholar
  16. Garcia IV, Mendoza RE (2007) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant symbiosis in a saline-sodic soil. Mycorrhiza 17:167–174CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Garg VK (1998) Interaction of tree crops with a sodic soil environment: potential for rehabilitation of degraded environments. Land Degrad Dev 9:81–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gill HS, Abrol IP (1993) Afforestation and amelioration of salt-affected soils in India. In: Davidson N, Galloway R (eds) The productive use of saline land. Proceedings of a workshop held in Perth, Western Australia. ACIAR Proceedings No. 42, pp 23–27Google Scholar
  19. Glenn EP, Pitelka LF, Olsen MW (1992) The use of halophytes to sequester carbon. Water Air Soil Poll 64:251–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Glenn EP, Squires V, Olsen MW, Frye R (1993) Potential for carbon sequestration in drylands. Water Air Soil Poll 70:341–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gooday GW (1994) Physiology of microbial degradation of chitin and chitosan. In: Ratledge C (ed) Biochemistry of microbial degradation. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 279–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gupta RK, Abrol IP (1990) Salt-affected soils: their reclamation and management for crop production. Adv Soil Sci 11:223–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gupta SR, Jangra R, Dagar JC (2015) Carbon pools and fluxes in grassland systems on sodic soils of northern India. In: Singh AK, Dagar JC, Arunachalam A, Gopichandran R, Shelat KN (eds) Climate change modelling, planning and policy for agriculture. Springer, New Delhi, pp 119–140Google Scholar
  24. Harper RJ, Beck AC, Ritson P, Hill MJ, Mitchell CD, Barett DJ, Smetter KRJ, Mann SS (2007) The potential of greenhouse sink to underwrite improved land management. Ecol Eng 29:329–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harper RJ, Smettem KRJ, Tomlinson RJ (2005) Using soil and climatic data to estimate the performance of trees, carbon sequestration and recharge potential at the catchment scale. Aust J Exp Agric 45:1389–1401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harper RJ, Okom AEA, Stilwell AT, Tibbett M, Dean C, George SJ, Sochacki SJ, Mitchell CD, Mann SS, Dods K (2012) Reforesting degraded agricultural landscapes with Eucalypts: effects on carbon storage and soil fertility after 26 years. Agric Ecosyst Environ 163:3–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hocking D (ed) (1993) Trees for drylands. International Science Publisher, New York, p 370Google Scholar
  28. IPCC (2007) In: Parry M, Canziani O, Palutikof J, van der Linden P (eds) Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK/New York, 976 ppGoogle Scholar
  29. IPCC (2013) In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner GK, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK/New York, 1535 ppGoogle Scholar
  30. IPCC (2014) Summary for policymakers. In: Field CB (ed) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK/New York, pp 1–32Google Scholar
  31. Izac AMN (2003) Economic aspect of soil fertility management and agroforestry practices. In: Scroth G, Sinclair F (eds) Tree crop and soil fertility: concept and research methods. CABI, Wallingford, UK, p 464Google Scholar
  32. Jangra R (2009) Carbon dynamics in land use systems on a reclaimed sodic soil. Ph.D. thesis, Botany Department, Kurukshetra, University KurukshetraGoogle Scholar
  33. Jangra R, Gupta SR, Kumar R, Bhalla E (2011) Soil respiration, microbial biomass, and mycorrhizal diversity in sodic grassland ecosystems in northwestern India. American-Eurasian J Agric & Environ Sci 10:863–875Google Scholar
  34. Jeet-Ram, Dagar JC, Lal K, Singh G, Toky OP, Tanwar VS, Dar SR, Chauhan MK (2011) Biodrainage to combat waterlogging, increase farm productivity and sequester carbon in central command areas of northwest India. Curr Sci 100:1673–1680Google Scholar
  35. Jose S (2009) Agroforestry for ecosystem services and environmental benefits. Agroforest Syst 76:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kaur B, Gupta SR, Singh G (2000) Soil carbon, microbial activity and nitrogen availability in agroforestry systems on moderately alkaline soils in northern India. Appl Soil Ecol 15:283–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kaur B, Gupta SR, Singh G (2002a) Carbon storage and nitrogen cycling in silvi-pastoral systems on a sodic soil in northwestern India. Agrofor Syst 54:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kaur B, Gupta SR, Singh G (2002b) Bioamelioration of a sodic soil by silvopastoral system in northwestern India. Agrofor Syst 54:13–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Klein RJT, Huq S, Denton F, Downing TE, Richels RG, Robinson JB, Toth FL (2007) In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Inter-relationships between mitigation and adaptation. Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 745–777Google Scholar
  40. Kuiper L, Probos O (2005) Biosaline (agro)forestry: a literature review. Biomass upstream stuurgroep, p 17Google Scholar
  41. Kumar A, Abrol IP (1984) Studies on the reclaiming effect of Karnal-grass and para-grass grown in a highly sodic soil. Indian J Agri Sci 54:189–193Google Scholar
  42. Kumar M (2012) Waterlogging control and carbon sequestration through biodrainage. PhD thesis, Kurukshetra, University Kurukshetra, p 253Google Scholar
  43. Kumari C (2008) Soil carbon and plant diversity in agroforestry systems of calcareous soils under saline water irrigation. M.Phil dissertation, Botany Department, Kurukshetra University, KurukshetraGoogle Scholar
  44. Ladeiro B (2012)saline agriculture in the 21st century: using salt contaminated resources to cope food requirements. J Bot. Volume 2012, Article ID 310705, 7 pages. doi: 10.1155/2012/310705
  45. Lal R (2008) Carbon sequestration. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 63:815–830Google Scholar
  46. Lal R (2009) Carbon sequestration in saline soils. J Soil Saline Water Qual 1:30–49Google Scholar
  47. Lal R, Kimble JM (2000) Pedogenic carbonates and the global carbon cycle. In: Lal R, Kimble JM, Eswaran H, Stewart BA (eds) Global climate change and pedogenic carbonates. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  48. Lambert MJ, Turner J (2000) Change in organic carbon in forest plantation soils in eastern Australia. For Ecol Manage 133:231–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Marcar N, Crawford D (2004) Trees for saline landscapes. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), CanberraGoogle Scholar
  50. Masters DG, Benes SE, Norman HC (2007) Biosaline agriculture for forage and livestock production. Agr Ecosyst Environ 119:234–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. MEA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: biodiversity synthesis. World Resources Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  52. Minhas PS, Sharma OP (2003) Management of soil salinity and alkalinity problems in India. Journal of Crop Production 7:181–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mishra A, Sharma SD, Khan GH (2002) Rehabilitation of degraded sodic lands during a decade of Dalbergia sissoo plantation in Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Land Degrad Dev 13:375–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mishra A, Sharma SD, Khan GH (2003) Improvement in physical and chemical properties of sodic soil by 3, 6, and 9 years old plantation of Eucalyptus tereticornis - Biorejuvenation of sodic soil. For Ecol Manage 184:115–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mishra A, Sharma SD (2003) Leguminous trees for the restoration of degraded sodic wasteland in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. Land Degrad Dev 14:245–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Montagnini F, Nair PKR (2004) Carbon sequestration: an underexploited environmental benefit of agroforestry systems. Agrofor Syst 61:281–295Google Scholar
  57. Muzzarelli RAA (1977) Chitin. Pergamon, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  58. Nair PKR (2007) The coming of age of agroforestry. J Sci Food Agric 87:1613–1619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Nair PKR (2012) Climate change mitigation: a low-hanging fruit of agroforestry. In: Nair PKR, Garitty D (eds) Agroforestry: the future of global land-use. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 31–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Nair PKR, Kumar BM, Nair VD (2009) Agroforestry as a strategy for carbon sequestration. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 172:10–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Neeraj, Gupta SR, Malik V, Kaur B, Neelam (2004) Plant diversity, carbon dynamics and soil biological activity in tropical successional grassland systems at Kurukshetra. Intern J Ecol Environ Sci 30:285–298Google Scholar
  62. Naingoo A, Iwai CB, Saenjan P, Topark-Ngarm B (2012) Soil carbon dynamics during the amelioration of salt- affected areas in northeast Thailand. Intern J Environ Rural Develop 3–1:120–125Google Scholar
  63. Pal DK, Dasong GS, Vadivelu S, Ahuja RL, Bhattacharyya T (2000) Secondary calcium carbonate in soils of arid and semiarid regions of India. In: Lal R, Kimble JM, Eswaran H, Stewart BA (eds) Global change and pedogenic carbonate. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 149–185Google Scholar
  64. Palsaniya DR, Tewari RK, Singh R, Yadav RS, Dhyani SK (2010) Farmer -agroforestry land use adoption interface in degraded agroecosystem of Bundelkhand region, India. Range Manag Agrofor 31:11–19Google Scholar
  65. Qadir M, Oster JDC (2002) Vegetative bioremediation of calcareous sodic soils: history, mechanisms, and evaluation. Irrig Sci 21:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Qadir M, Oster JD, Schubert S, Noble AD, Sahrawat KL (2007a) Phytoremediation of sodic and saline- sodic soils. Adv Agron 96:197–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Qadir M, Quillérou E, Nangia V, Murtaza G, Singh M, Thomas RJ, Drechsel P, Noble AD (2014) Economics of salt-induced land degradation and restoration. Nat Resour Forum 38:282–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Qadir M, Sharma BR, Bruggeman A, Choukr-Allah A, Karajeh F (2007b) Non-conventional water resources and opportunities for water augmentation to achieve food security in water scarce countries. Agric Water Manage 87:2–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Qureshi RH, Barrett-Lennard EG (1998) Saline agriculture for irrigated land in Pakistan: a handbook. Monograph No. 50. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, p 142Google Scholar
  70. Rana RS, Parkash V (1987) Floristic characterization of alkali soils in north-western India. Plant Soil 99:447–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ravindranath NH (2007) Mitigation and adaptation synergy in forest sector. Mitigat Adapt Strat Global Change 12:843–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sachs JD, Baillie JEM, Sutherland WJ (2009) Biodiversity conservation and the millennium development goals. Science 325:1502–1503CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Schlesinger WH (1985) The formation of caliche in soils of the Mojave Desert, California. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 49:57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Schoeneberger MM, Bentrup G, de Gooijer H, Soolanayakamahally R, Sauer T, Brandle J, Zhou X, Current D (2012) Branching out: agroforestry as a climate change mitigation and adaptation for agriculture. J Soil Water Cons 67:128–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Singh AN, Raghubanshi AS, Singh JS (2002) Plantation as a tool for mine spoil restoration. Curr Sci 82:1436–1441Google Scholar
  76. Singh G (1995) An agroforestry practice for the development of salt lands using Prosopis juliflora and Leptochloa fusca. Agrofor Syst 29:61–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Singh G, Dagar JC (2005) Greening sodic soils: Bichhian model. Technical Bulletin 2/2005. Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, p 51Google Scholar
  78. Singh G, Gill HS (1992) Ameliorative effect of tree species on characteristics of sodic soils at Karnal. Indian J Agric Sci 62:142–146Google Scholar
  79. Singh G, Singh NT (1992) Mesquite for the revegetation of salt lands. Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, p 24Google Scholar
  80. Singh K, Singh B, Tuli R (2013) Sodic soil reclamation potential of Jatropha curcas: a long-term study. Ecol Eng 58:434–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Sinha A, Rana RS, Gupta SR (1988) Phytosociological analysis of some natural grassland communities of sodic soils. Trop Ecol 29:136–145Google Scholar
  82. Smith P, Martino D, Cai Z, Gwary D, Janzen H, Kumar P, McCarl B, Ogle S, O’Mara F, Rice C, Scholes B, Sirotenko O (2007) Agriculture. In: Metz A (ed) Climate change 2007: mitigation. contribution of working group III to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  83. TEEB (2010) In: Pushpam-Kumar (ed) The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity: ecological and economic foundations. Earthscan, London/WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  84. Tomar OS, Minhas PS, Sharma VK, Singh YP, Gupta RK (2003) Performance of 31 tree species and soil conditions in a plantation established with saline irrigation. For Ecol Manag 177:333–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Treseder KK, Allen MF (2000) Mycorrhizal fungi have a potential role in soil carbon storage under elevated CO2 and nitrogen deposition. New Phytol 147:189–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Tripathi KP, Singh B (2005) The role of revegetation for rehabilitation of sodic soils in semi-arid sub-tropical forest, India. Rest Ecol 13:29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Turner WR, Brandon K, Brooks TM, Gascon C, Gibbs HK, Lawrence KS, Mittermeir RA, Selig ER (2012) Global biodiversity conservation and the alleviation of poverty. Bioscience 62:85–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wang Y, Wang Z, Li Y (2013) Storage/turnover rate of inorganic carbon and its dissolvable part in the profile of saline/alkaline soils. PLoS ONE 8(11), e82029. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082029 PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  89. Wicke B, Edward SWM, Akanda R, Stille L, Singh RK, Awan AR, Mahmood K, Faaij APC (2013) Biomass production in agroforestry and forestry systems on salt affected soils in South Asia: exploration of the GHG balance and economic performance on three case studies. J Environ Manage 127:324–334CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  90. Wong VNL, Dalal RC, Greene RSB (2008) Salinity and sodicity effects on respiration and microbial biomass of soil. Biol Fert Soils 44:943–953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Wright SF, Franke-Snyder M, Morton JB, Upadhyaya A (1996) Time-course study and partial characterization of a protein on hyphae of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi during active colonization of roots. Plant Soil 181:193–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wright SF, Upadhyaya A (1999) Quantification of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi activity by the glomalin concentration on hyphal traps. Mycorrhiza 8:283–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Yuan BC, Li ZZ, Liu H, Gao M, Zhang YY (2006) Microbial biomass and activity in salt affected soils under arid conditions. Appl Soil Ecol 35:319–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Zhang JF, Xing SJ, Li JY, Makeschin F, Song YM (2004) Agroforestry and its application in amelioration of saline soils in eastern China coastal region. For Stud China 6:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyKurukshetra UniversityKurukshetraIndia
  2. 2.Central Soil Salinity Research InstituteKarnalIndia
  3. 3.Water Technological CenterIndian Agricultural Research InstitutePusa, New DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations