Soil and Water Conservation Measures Improve Soil Microbial Activity and Carbon Sequestration: A Study on High Density Cashew in West Coast Region of India

Authors

  • G.R. Mahajan*, Sujeet Desai, S. Manivannan, B.L. Manjunath, Bappa Das, Dayesh Murgaokar, Ashwini S. Desai, Shaiesh Morajkar and Rahul M. Kulkarni ICAR – Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Old Goa

Keywords:

Carbon sequestration, climate change, climate resilient technologies, land degradation

Abstract

A 13-years study was conducted from 2001 to 2013 to assess the effect of soil and water conservation (SWC) measures on soil microbial activity and carbon sequestration under high density (4 m × 4 m) cashew nut on 19% sloping land in the west coast region of India. Five SWC measures namely, continuous contour trenches + vegetative barrier (CCT+VB), staggered contour trenches + vegetative barrier (SCT+VB), crescent shape trench + vegetative barrier (CST+VB), vegetative barrier (VB), and control with no SWC measures were evaluated. The CCT+VB showed the best performance with significantly higher soil organic carbon (SOC) (1.41 to 2.02%) and SOC stock (SOCS) (44.9-57.8 Mg C ha-1) compared to control up to a depth of 0-0.9 m. The same treatment had significantly higher SOC sequestration rate (SOCSR) of 1.5 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 with significantly (p<0.05) lower SOCSR (0.9 Mg C ha-1 yr-1). Compared to other SWC measures and control, the highest average soil microbial biomass carbon (33.9 mg kg-1) and lowest metabolic quotient (qCO2) (0.52 mg CO2-C g-1 h-1) was obtained in CCT+VB indicating better soil biological activity and alleviation of environmental stress on microbes. The study indicated that SWC measures in cashew could be adopted as a strategy to improve microbial activity and soil carbon sequestration alongside advantages of reduced soil loss, runoff, and nutrient loss.

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Published

2022-03-21

How to Cite

Bappa Das, Dayesh Murgaokar, Ashwini S. Desai, Shaiesh Morajkar and Rahul M. Kulkarni, G. M. S. D. S. M. B. M. (2022). Soil and Water Conservation Measures Improve Soil Microbial Activity and Carbon Sequestration: A Study on High Density Cashew in West Coast Region of India. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, 69(4). Retrieved from https://epubs.icar.org.in/index.php/JISSS/article/view/122421