Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bartlett AG (1992) A review of community forestry advances in Nepal. Commonwealth Forestry Review 71: 95-100

    Google Scholar 

  • Bhatt BP and Tadoria NP (1991) Biomass production in some leguminous taxa under a short rotation cycle. Nitrogen Fixing Tree Research Reports 9: 4-5

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown S and Lugo AE (1982) The storage and production of organic matter in tropical forests and their role in the global carbon cycle. Biotropica 14: 161-187

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell BM, Frost P, King JA, Mawanza M and Mhlanga L (1994) The influence of trees on soil fertility on two contrasting semi-arid soil types at Matopos, Zimbabwe. Agroforestry Systems 28: 159-172

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dadhwal KS, Narain P and Dhyani SK (1989) Agroforestry systems in the Garhwal Himalayas of India. Agroforestry Systems 7: 213-225

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Duguma B, Tonye J, Kanmegne J, Manga T and Enoch T (1994) Growth of ten multipurpose tree species on acid soils in Snagmelima, Cameroon. Agroforestry Systems 27: 107-119

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fisher MJ, Rao IM, Ayarza MA, Lascano CE, Sanz JI, Thomas RJ and Vera RR (1994) Carbon storage by introduced deep-rooted grasses in the South American savannas. Nature 371: 236-238

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fisher RF (1995) Amelioration of degraded rain forest soils by plantations of native trees. Soil Science Society of America Journal 59: 544-549

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gilmour DA, King GC, Applegate GB and Mohns B (1990) Silviculture of plantation forest in central Nepal to maximize community benefits. Forest Ecology and Management 32: 173-186

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Houghton RA (1996) Converting terrestrial ecosystems from sources to sinks of carbon. Ambio 25: 267-272

    Google Scholar 

  • Ives JD and Messerli B (1989) The Himalayan Dilemma: Reconciling Environment and Development, Routledge, London

  • Jackson ML (1962) Soil Chemical Analysis, Blackwell, Oxford

  • Jordan CG (1985) Nutrient Cycling in Tropical Forest Ecosystems. John Wiley & Sons, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Khybri ML, Gupta RK, Ram S and Tomar HPS (1992) Crop yields of rice and wheat grown in the outer hills of the western Himalaya. Agroforestry Systems 17: 193-204

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maikhuri RK (1993) Evaluation of some multipurpose trees in traditional agroforestry of Garhwal Himalaya, India. Nitrogen Fixing Tree Research Reports 1: 11-13

    Google Scholar 

  • Maikhuri RK, Semwal RL, Rao KS and Saxena KG (1997) Rehabilitation of degraded community lands for sustainable development in Himalaya: a case study in Garhwal Himalaya, India. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 4: 192-203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Montagnini F, Gonzales F, Porras C and Rheinagans R (1995) Mixed and pure forest plantations in the humid neotropics: a comparison of early growth, pest damage, and establishment costs. Commonwealth Forestry Review 74: 306-314

    Google Scholar 

  • Montagnini F and Porras C (1998) Evaluating the role of plantations as carbon sinks: an example of an integrative approach from the humid tropics. Environmental Management 22: 459-470

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Montagnini F and Sancho F (1990) Impacts of native trees on tropical soils: a study in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica. Ambio 19: 386-390

    Google Scholar 

  • Nair PKR and Dagar JC (1994) An approach to developing methodologies for evaluating agroforestry systems in India. Agroforestry Systems 16: 55-81

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Narain P, Singh RK, Sindhwal NS and Joshie P (1998) Agroforestry for soil and water conservation in the western Himalayan valley region of India. 2. Crop and tree production.Agroforestry Systems 39: 191-203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nautiyal S, Maikhuri RK, Semwal RL, Rao KS and Saxena KG (1998) Agroforestry systems in the rural landscape-a case study in Garhwal Himalaya, India. Agroforestry Systems 41: 151-165

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nepstad DC, de Carvalho CR, Davidson EA, Jipp PH, Lefebvre PA, Negrelros GH, de Silva ED, Stone TA, Trumbore SE and Vierra S (1994) The role of deep roots in the hydrological and carbon cycle in Amazonian forests and pastures. Nature 372: 666-668

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rao KS and Saxena KG (1994) Sustainable Development and Rehabilitation of Degraded Village Lands in Himalaya. Bishen Singh and Mahendrapal Singh, Dehra Dun

  • Rao KS and Saxena KG (1996) Minor forest products' management: Problems and prospects in remote high altitude villages of central Himalaya. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 3: 60-70

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rao KS, Maikhuri RK and Saxena KG (1999) Participatory approach to rehabilitation of degraded forest lands: a case study in a high altitude village of Indian Himalaya. International Tree Crops Journal 10: 1-17

    Google Scholar 

  • Rao PN and Pati UC (1980) Geology and tectonics of Bhilangana Valley and its adjoining parts, Garhwal Himalaya, with special reference to the Main Central Thrust. Himalayan Geology 10: 220-237

    Google Scholar 

  • Saxena KG, Rao KS and Purohit AN (1993) Sustainable forestry-prospects in India. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 1: 69-95

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith DM (1986) The Practice of Silviculture 8th Edn. Wiley, New York

  • Thapa GB, Sinclair FL and Walker DH (1995) Incorporation of indigenous knowledge and perspectives in agroforestry development. Part 2: Case study on the impact of explicit representation of farmers' knowledge. Agroforestry Systems 30: 249-261

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Maikhuri, R.K., Semwal, R.L., Rao, K.S. et al. Growth and ecological impacts of traditional agroforestry tree species in Central Himalaya, India. Agroforestry Systems 48, 257–271 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006344812127

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006344812127

  • biomass
  • carbon sequestration
  • degraded lands
  • multipurpose trees