Carbon Sequestration in the Grevillea robusta Plantation on a Reclaimed Sodic Soil at Karnal in Northern India

Rekha Jangra, Sharda R. Gupta, Ravi Kumar, G. Singh


This study estimates carbon sequestration, and soil carbon stability in a 25 year old plantation of Grevillea robusta, at the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal (290 59' N, 760 51' E; 250 m above sea level). The climate of the area is semiarid and monsoonic and characterized by hot dry summers and cold winters. The soil organic carbon varied from 0.96-0.12% in 0-100 cm soil depths. The organic matter input to the soil in litterfall was 3.458 Mg C ha-1. The fine root biomass varied from 2.279 to 8.732 Mg ha-1 in different seasons. The biomass accumulation in different tree components (Mg ha-1) was: 216.943 bole > 41.380 branches > 7.590 foliage. Root biomass accounted for 14.59% of total tree biomass. Total aboveground net production was 17.389 Mg ha-1 yr-1. The carbon flux through total net primary productivity was 11.322 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. The organic and inorganic carbon stock up to 1-m soil depth was 48.058 Mg C ha-1 and 28.698Mg IC ha-1, respectively. The soil microbial biomass, being an active pool of carbon, formed 1.91% of soil organic carbon up to 30 cm soil depth (0.571 Mg C ha-1). The microaggregates (250 µm, 53 µm and <53 µm) formed a large fraction of soil aggregates and protected most of soil organic carbon in the soil. Montmorillonite, chlorite, illite, kaolinite and vermiculite were found to be the main clay minerals. The plantations of Grevillea, by increasing plant biomass production and soil carbon pool, can play an important role in carbon sequestration on marginal lands. The soil microbial biomass was found to be a good indicator of improved soil conditions.


Plant Biomass; Productivity; Carbon Pool and Fluxes; Clay; X-ray Diffraction; Organic carbon; Inorganic carbon

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