A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON THE PLANT GROWTH PARAMETERS AND BIOMASS PRODUCTION OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS UNDER DIFFERENT TREE SPECIES IN SALT-AFFECTED VERTISOL (SALIC CHROMUSTERT) OF TBP COMMAND AREAB.V. Shreenivas, M. Hebbara, M.V. Ravi, M. B. Mahendra Kumar, A. N. Raghu and Raghavendra
Soil physico-chemical properties as influenced by trees after 16 years of planting were investigated during 2007 in terms of biomass, plant height, DBH (diameter at breast height), number of branches and canopy width. In general, Irrespective of species, the profile (0-90 cm) soil salinity was highly correlated (higher r values) with plant parameters than salinity of shallow depths (0-30 or 0-60 cm). The buildup of salinity started after 5 years of planting in case of H. binata. The salinity data measured after six years of planting also recorded gradual buildup of salinity in all species. The same trend continued after 16 years of planting in all the species except in A. nilotica, wherein a slight decrease in salinity was observed. The buildup of organic carbon under A. indica and H. binata was also considerable after 16 years of planting (9.43 g kg-1 and 9.14 g kg-1, respectively). Among the species, a higher calcium carbonate status was recorded under C. equisetifolia (8.19%) followed by A. indica (7.38%). The overall performance of tree species under saline conditions, A. nilotica followed by C. equisetifolia out performed all other species. Among H. binata and A. indica, the former was found inferior mainly due to lowest biomass production (85.4 kg plant-1). Among the species, A. nilotica and C. equisetifolia were found most promising after 16 years of planting based on growth parameters and biomass yield, though the establishment rate was less in the latter species.
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