Assessment of Biomass, Carbon stock and Carbon Sequestration Potential of Two Major Land Uses of Mizoram, India

Soibam Lanabir Singh, Uttam Kumar Sahoo


Assessment of biomass, carbon stock and carbon sequestration potential have never been carried out in major land uses of Mizoram. We aimed at comparing the carbon sequestration potential of two major land uses (Shifting agriculture and homegardens) involving 32 sites drawn from different size and age groups so as to understand their role in carbon sink and mitigation process. Biomass in homegardens (HGs) ranged from 116.8 to 278.5 Mg ha-1 and 60.0 to 95.2 Mg ha-1 in shifting cultivation fallows (SCFs) while the biomass carbon in HGs and SCFs ranged from 59.0 to 140.0 Mg C ha-1 and 31.6 to 49.1 Mg C ha-1, respectively. Among the homegardens, the older HGs stored higher biomass than the younger ones while reverse was true for the SCFs. Carbon stock in HGs (291.0  ± 15.4 Mg C ha-1) was higher than in the SCFs (164.1 ± 8.6 Mg C ha-1). Carbon stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC) and living biomass components were significantly (p<0.05) higher in HGs than SCFs, while carbon stock of non-living biomass in SCFs was higher than that of HGs. In both HGs and SCFs, a positive increment of living biomass C was observed while the non-living biomass C decreased. Small HGs significantly (p<0.05) sequester more carbon than the medium and large sized homegardens. The rate of CO2 mitigation potential in HGs and SCFs exhibited range of 4.86 to 22.89 and 2.67 to 12.29 Mg ha-1 yr-1, respectively.


Shifting Agriculture; Homegardens; Carbon Pools; Mitigation Potential; Mizoram


Albrecht, A. and Kandji, S.T. 2003. Carbon sequestration in tropical agroforestry systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 99: 15-27.

Ali, A.; Xu, M.S.; Zhao, Y.T.; Zhang, Q.Q.; Zhou, L.L.; Yang, X.D. and Yan, E.R. 2015.Allometric biomass equations for shrub and small tree species in subtropical China. Silva Fennica 49: 1-10.

Armecin, R.B. and Coseco, W.C. 2012. Abaca (Musa textilis Nee) allometry for above-ground biomass and fiber production. Biomass and Bioenergy 46: 181-189.

Borah. N.; Nath, A.J. and Das, A.K. 2013. Aboveground biomass and carbon stocks of tree species in tropical forests of Cachar District, Assam, Northeast India. International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences 39: 97-106.

Brady, N.C. and Weil, R.R. 2008. The Nature and Properties of Soils, 14th edition. Pearson Education, New Jersey. 980 pages.

Brown, S. 1997. Estimating Biomass and Biomass Change of Tropical Forests: A Primer. FAO forestry paper 134, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome. 55 pages.

Brown, S.; Gillespie, A. and Lugo, A. 1989. Biomass estimation methods for tropical forests with applications to forest inventory data. Forest Science 35: 881-902.

Brown, S. L.; Schroeder. P. and Kem.J.S. 1999. Spatial distribution of biomass in forests of the eastern USA. Forest Ecology and Management 123: 81-90.

Capersen, J.P. and Pacala, S.W. 2001. Successional diversity and forest ecosystem function. Ecological Research 16: 895-903.

Chambers, J.Q.; dos Santos, J.; Ribeiro, R.F. and Higuchi, N. 2001. Tree damage, allometric relationships, and above-ground net primary production in central Amazon forest. Forest Ecology and Management 152: 73-84.

Chave, J.; Andalo, C.; Brown, S.; Cairns, M.A.; Chambers, J.Q.; Eamus, D.; Folster, H.; Fromard, F.; Higuchi, N.; Kira, T.; Lescure, J.P.; Nelson, B.W.; Ogawa, H.; Puig, H.; Riera, B. and Yamakura, T. 2005. Tree allometry and improved estimation of carbon stocks and balance in tropical forests. Oecologia 145: 87-99.

Chave, J.; Rejou-Mechain, M.; Burquez, A.; Chidumayo, E. and Colgan, M.S. 2014. Improved allometric models to estimate the aboveground biomass of tropical trees. Global Change Biology 20: 3177-3190.

Delaney, M.; Brown, S.; Lugo, A.E.; Torres-Lezama, A. and Quintero, N.B. 1998. The quantity and turnover of dead wood in permanent forest plots in six life zones of Venezuela. Biotropica 30: 2-11.

Eaton, J.M. and Lawrence, D. 2009. Loss of carbon sequestration potential after several decades of shifting cultivation in the Southern Yucatan. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 949-958.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 2004. Carbon Sequestration in Dryland Soils. World Soil Resources Report No.102. Rome, Italy. 129 pages.

Firn, J.; Erskine, P.D. and Lamb, D. 2007. Woody species diversity influences rates of soil carbon and nitrogen availability in tropical plantations. Oecologia 154: 521-533.

Flint, P.E. and Richards, J.F. 1994. Historic land use and carbon estimates for South and Southeast Asia 1880-1980. ORNL/CDIAC- 61, NDP-046, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA. 326 pages.

Henry, M.; Tittonell, P.; Manlay, R. J.; Bernoux, M.; Albrecht, A. and Vanlauwe, B.2009. Biodiversity, carbon stocks and sequestration potential in aboveground biomass in smallholder farming systems of western Kenya. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129: 238-252.

Howlett, D.S.; Mosquera-Losada, M.R.; Nair, P.K.R.; Nair, V.D. and Rigueiro-Rodriguez, A.2011.Soil C storage in silvopastoral systems and a treeless pasture in northwestern Spain. Journal of Environmental Quality 40: 784-790.

IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) 2000. Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry. Special Report. Summary for Policy Makers. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland. 20 pages.

IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) 2003. LUCF sector good practice guidance. Pages 3.1-3.312, In: Penman, J.; Gytarsky, M.; Hiraishi, T.; Krug, T.; Kruger, D.; Pipatti, R.; Buen-dia, L.; Miwa, K.; Ngara, T.; Tanabe, T.; Wagner, F. (Editors), IPCC Good practice guidance for LULUCF. IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme, and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Kanagawa, Japan.

IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change). 2007. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Appendix 1: Glossary. Parry. M.L.; Canziani, O.F.; Palutikof. J.P.; van der Linden. P.J. and Hanson. C.E. (Editors). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 976 pages.

Jacob, M.; Leuschner, C. and Thomas, F.M. 2010. Productivity of temperate broad leaved forest stands differing in tree species diversity. Annals of Forest Science 67: 503p1-503p9.

Jarecki, M.K. and Lal,R.. 2003. Crop management for soil carbon sequestration. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 22:471-502.

Kanime, N.; Kaushal, R.; Tewari, S.K.; Raverkar, K.P.; Chaturvedi, S. and Chaturvedi, O.P. 2013. Biomass production and carbon sequestration in different tree-based systems of Central Himalayan Tarai region. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 22: 38-50.

Ketterings, Q.M.; Coe, R.; van Noordwijk, M.; Ambagau, Y. and Palm, C.A. 2001. Reducing uncertainty in the use of allometric biomass equations for predicting above-ground tree biomass in mixed secondary forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 146: 199-209.

Kirby. K. R. and Porviu, C. 2007. Variation in carbon storage among tree species: Implications for the management of a small-scale carbon sink project. Forest Ecology and Management 246: 208 -221.

Kishwan.J, Pandey, R. and Dadhwal, V.K. 2009. India's Forest and Tree Cover: Contribution as a Carbon Sink. Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education Technical Paper. ICFRE, Dehradun. 12 pages.

Kotto-Same, J.; Woomer, P.L.; Appolinaire, M and Louis, Z. 1998. Carbon dynamics in slash-and- burn agriculture and land use alternatives of the humid forest zone in Cameroon. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 65: 245-256.

Kumar, B.M. and Nair, P.K.R. (Editors). 2011. Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agroforestry Systems. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands. 377 pages.

Mani. S. and Parthasarathy, N. 2007.Above-ground biomass estimation in ten tropical dry evergreen forest sites of peninsular India. Biomass and Bioenergy 31: 284-290.

Misra, R. 1968. Ecology Workbook. Oxford and IBH Publishing, New Delhi. 242 pages.

Murali, K.S.; Bhat. D.M. and Ravmdranath, N.H. 2005. Biomass estimation equation for tropical deciduous and evergreen forests. International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology 4: 81 -92.

Nair, P.K.R.; Nair, V.D.; Kumar, B.M. and Showalter, J.M. 2010. Carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems. Advances in Agronomy 108: 237-307.

Nair. P.K.R.; Kumar, B.M. and Nair, V.D. 2009. Agroforestry as a strategy for carbon sequestration. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 172: 10-23.

Negi, J.D.S, Manhas, R.K. and Chauhan, P.S. 2003.Carbon allocation in different components of some tree species of India: a new approach for carbon estimation. Current Science 85: 1528-1531.

Ngo, K.M.; Turner, B.L.; Muller-Landau, H.C.; Davies, S.J.; Larjavaara, M.; Nik Hassan, N.F. and Lum, S. 2013. Carbon stocks in primary and secondary tropical forests in Singapore. Forest Ecology and Management 296: 81-89.

Oelbermann, M.; Voroney, R.P. and Gordon, A.M. 2004. Carbon sequestration in tropical and temperate agroforestry systems: a review with examples from Costa Rica and southern Canada. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 104: 359-377.

Olson, J.S.; Watts, J.A. and Allison, L.J. 1983. Carbon in live vegetation of major world ecosystems. ORNL 58-62, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA. 152 pages.

Orihuela-Belmonte, D.E.; Jong, B.H.J.; Mendoza-Vega, J.; Wal, J.V.; Paz-Pellat, F.; Soto-Pinto, L. and Flamenco-Sandoval, A. 2013. Carbon stocks and accumulation rates in tropical secondary forest at the scale of community, landscape and forest type. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 171: 72-84.

Peichl, M. and Arain, M.A. 2006.Above and belowground ecosystem biomass and carbon pools in an age-sequence of temperate pine plantation forests. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 140: 51-63.

Rajput, B. S.; Bhardwaj D.R. and Pala, N.A. 2015. Carbon dioxide mitigation potential and carbon density of different land use systems along an altitudinal gradient in north-western Himalayas. Agroforestry Systems doi: 10.1007/s10457-015-9788-8.

Roshetko, M.; Delaney, M.; Hairiah, K. and Purnomosidhi, P. 2002. Carbon stocks in Indonesian homegarden systems: Can smallholder systems be targeted for increased carbon storage? American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 17: 125-137.

Saha, S.; Nair, P.K.R.; Nair, V.D. and Kumar, B.M. 2009.Soil carbon stock in relation to plant diversity of home gardens in Kerala, India. Agroforestry Systems 76: 53-65.

Saugier. B. and Roy, J. 2001. Estimations of global terrestrial productivity; converging towards a single number? Pages 543-557. In: Roy, J.; Saugier, B. and Mooney, H.A. (Editors). Global Terrestrial Productivity: Past, Present and Future. Academic Press, New York.

Taylor, A.R.; Wang, J.R.; Chen, H.Y.H. 2007. Carbon storage in a chrosequence of red spruce (Piceaerubens) forest in central Nova Scotia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37: 2260-2269.

Vila, M.; Vayreda, J.; Comas, L.; Ibanez, J.J.; Mata, T. and Obon, B. 2007. Species richness and wood production: A positive association in Mediterranean forests. Ecology Letters 10: 241-250.

WAC (World Agroforestry Centre) 2014. Wood density data base.

Walkley, A. and Black, I.A. 1934. An examination of degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Science 37: 29-37.

Wang, W.; Lei, X.; Ma Zhihai, Kneeshaw, D.D. and Peng, C. 2011. Positive Relationship between Aboveground Carbon Stocks and Structural Diversity in Spruce-Dominated Forest Stands in New Brunswick, Canada. Forest Science 57: 506-515.

Watson, R.T.; Noble, I.R.; Bolin,B.; Ravindranath, N.H.;Verardo, D.J. and Dokken, D.J. 2000. IPCC Special Report on Landuse, Land Use Change, and Forestry. ipccreports/sres/land_use/index.php?idp=0

Watson. R.T.. Dixon. J.A.; Hamburg, S.P.; Janetos. A.C. and Moss. R.H. 1998. Protecting Our Planet Securing Our Future -Linkages Among Global Environmental Issues and Human Needs. United Nations Environment Programme, U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and The World Bank, Washington, DC. 95 pages.

Yelenik, S.G.; Stock, W.D. and Richardson, D.M. 2004. Ecosystem level impacts of invasive Acacia salignain the South African Fynbos. Restoration Ecology 12: 44-51.

Young, A. 1997.Agroforestry for Soil Management, Effect of Trees on Soils. CAB International, Wallingford, UK 214 pages.

Ziegler, A.D.; Bruun, T.B.; Guardiola-Claramonte, M.; Giambelluca, T.W.; Lawrence, D. and Lam, N.T. 2009. Environmental consequences of the demise in swidden cultivation in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia: hydrology and geomorphology. Human Ecology 37: 361-373.

Ziegler, A.D.; Fox, J. M.; Webb, E.L.; Padoch, C.; Leisz, S.J.; Cramb, R.A.; Mertz, O.; Bruun, T.B. and Vien, T.D. 2011. Recognizing contemporary roles of swidden agriculture in transforming landscapes of Southeast Asia. Conservation Biology 25: 846-848

Ziegler, A.D.; Phelps, J.; Yuen, J.Q.; Webb, E.L.; Lawrence, D.; Fox, J.M.; Bruun, T.B.; Leisz, S.J.; Ryan, C.M.; Padoch, C. and Koh, L.P. 2012. Carbon outcomes of major land-cover transitions in SE Asia: great uncertainties and REDD+ policy implications. Global Change Biology 18: 3087-3099.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.