CARBON STOCKS IN SOILS OF GONDIA DISTRICT, MAHARASHTRA UNDER DIFFERENT LAND USE SYSTEMSSarika D. Patil, Dhanashree S. Pabale, T.K. Sen, S. Chatterji and R.M. Handore
We explored and compared the quantities and pattern of soil carbon (C) stock in soils under forest, paddy and forest to paddy converted land use systems in Gondia district, Maharashtra. Forest soils were considered as Control and used as reference (base level) for the comparative study on C-stock and C-sequestration potentials. The major production related constraints of the soils developed in mixed basaltic were acidity and inherent nutrient stock. Recently converted forest land to paddy (i.e. land under paddy for >10 years) has resulted in highest loss in soil organic carbon (SOC) followed by soils growing paddy for more than 100 years. The area being agro-ecologically homogenous have similar soil matrix, the differences in estimated SOC stocks are presumably due to variation in land use & the management practices. The study showed increase in SOC with the duration of paddy cultivation upto 50 years and subsequently it stabilises. Increase in SOC stocl after 50 years of paddy cultivation was rather insignificant. Any endeavour to further sequester carbon beyond this limit will call for improved management strategies. The study demonstrates that the scope of sequestering organic carbon in the soils that are recently brought under plough for paddy and lost their SOC would need foremost care for prioritization for carbon sequestration.
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