Soil Carbon Sequestration Mediated by Herbaceous Species Diversity Along the Gradient of Nitrogen Amendment in a Dry Tropical Environment of India

R. Sagar


Increased concentrations of CO2 and reactive nitrogen (N) in the atmosphere are recognised as serious threats to the lives on the planet ‘Earth’. The ecologists and environmental scientists are exploring the possible ways to combat this global problem. In this context, the impact of urea amendment as a measure of N deposition on the herbaceous species diversity and soil organic carbon (SOC) stock (a measure of CO2 sequestration), as well as relationship between species diversity and SOC stock were studied from 135, 1×1 m permanent plots distributed over 15 locations on the campus of Banaras Hindu University. These plots were continuously receiving urea amendment since January 2007.  In year 2011, herbaceous diversity and SOC stock were estimated and analysed statistically. The study showed that moderate (60 kg N ha-1yr-1) levels of N treatment supported high herbaceous diversity and SOC stock. The species diversity indices were positively and significantly related with SOC stock in control and 60 kg N treated plots, while such relationships were negative in 120 kg N treated plots. The study suggested that the herbaceous species diversity mediates the C accumulation in soil against the N deposition in dry tropical environment of India. Therefore, N and species diversity need to be managed for long-term C storage in the soils of dry tropical grasslands.


C-Ssequestration; Dry Tropics; Herbaceous Vegetation; N-Amendment; SOC Stock; Species Diversity


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