CARBON STORAGE POTENTIAL OF A TRADITIONAL CARDAMOM AGROFORESTRY SYSTEM OF SIKKIM HIMALAYASNima Tshering Lepcha and N. Bijayalaxmi Devi
The carbon storage potential of a 20-year-old traditional cardamom agroforestry system of Sikkim Himalayas was studied by using volume equations, wood specific gravity, biomass expansion factor and default carbon fraction for trees species and complete harvest of herbaceous vegetation. The above ground biomass (AGB) and above ground biomass carbon (AGBC) of trees were 81.91Â± 9.04 Mg ha-1 and 38.47 Â± 4.25 Mg C ha-1 while herbaceous carbon was 2.20Â±0.22 Mg C ha-1, of which cardamom crop contributed 1.02Â±0.10 Mg C ha-1. Carbon density showed a positive and significant relation with tree girth size, tree density, basal area, and above ground biomass (p<0.01). Annual detritus carbon was 3.64Â±0.20 Mg C ha-1 while total soil organic carbon varied from 89.90Â±2.16-117.91Â±3.12 Mg C ha-1. SOC contributed highest carbon (69.5%) followed by AGBC (21%), BGBC (5.5%), detritus (2.5%) and herbaceous (1.5%) to the total ecosystem carbon. Traditional cardamom agroforestry practices of the Himalayan region besides providing livelihood benefits to the locals also act as a potential carbon store in the Himalayas.
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