Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 257–271 | Cite as

Growth and ecological impacts of traditional agroforestry tree species in Central Himalaya, India

  • R. K. Maikhuri
  • R. L. Semwal
  • K. S. Rao
  • K. Singh
  • K. G. Saxena


A number of multipurpose tree species are conserved as scattered trees in settled farms on terraced slopes by the traditional farmers in Central Himalaya, India. Knowledge on growth rates and ecological impacts of these tree species is limited. Ten locally valued multipurpose tree species, viz., Albizzia lebbek, Alnus nepalensis, Boehmeria rugulosa, Celtis australis, Dalbergia sissoo, Ficus glomerata, Grewia optiva, Prunus cerasoides, Pyrus pashia and Sapium sebiferum, were established as mixed plantations at a degraded community forest land site and an abandoned agricultural land site in a village at 1200 m altitude in District Chamoli, India. At the abandoned agricultural land site, annual food crops were grown, along with planted trees, providing supplemental irrigation and organic manure following traditional farming practices. Survival, height, stem circumference, crown depth and width, number of branches, above-ground biomass and soil physico-chemical characteristics were monitored up to five years of plantation growth. Above-ground tree biomass accumulation at the abandoned agricultural land site was 3.9 t ha−1 yr−1 compared with 1.1 t ha−1 yr−1at the degraded forest land site. B. rugulosa, C. australis, F. glomerata, G. optiva, P. cerasoides and S. sebiferum showed more prominent differences in growth at the two sites compared with A. lebbek, A. nepalensis, D. sissoo and P. pashia. A. nepalensis and D. sissoo showed best growth performance at both the sites. A significant improvement in soil physico-chemical characteristics was observed after five years at both of the sites. Carbon sequestration in soil was higher than that in bole biomass.

biomass carbon sequestration degraded lands multipurpose trees 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Maikhuri
    • 1
  • R. L. Semwal
    • 1
  • K. S. Rao
    • 2
  • K. Singh
    • 3
  • K. G. Saxena
    • 3
  1. 1.Garhwal UnitG.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and DevelopmentSrinagar (Garhwal)India
  2. 2.Sustainable Development and Rural Ecosystems ProgrammeG.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Kosi- KatarmalAlmoraIndia
  3. 3.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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