Silvopastoral System: A Key Component for Rehabilitation of Ravine Lands

  • P. K. Ghosh
  • S. K. Mahanta


The land degradation due to ravines and gullies is quite extensive in India, largely occurring in states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The soils of ravine lands are usually poor in quality and physical conditions. These are also not good for cultivation being stony, sandy or firm clay with lower ability to retain moisture. The climate, topography and soils of the ravine regions are characteristically ruthless and thus badly affect the composition and growth of different kinds of plant species. The ravines are characterized by the presence of higher proportion of thorny vegetation. Rehabilitation of such degraded lands requires an appropriate approach based on science and technology. It must include survey, identification and selection of appropriate plant species and also techniques of their establishments in the field. Indeed, it requires an integrated approach for rehabilitation of gullies based on quality of land, adoptable soil and water conservation measures and development of permanent vegetation cover involving trees and pastures. Grasses, shrubs and trees which are fast growing, can easily be established and have fibrous roots are suitable for ravine lands. Tree species such as Acacia nilotica, A. eburnea, A. catechu, Butea monosperma and Dalbergia sissoo are preferred for gully slopes/humps, while Dalbergia sissoo, Tectona grandis, Dendrocalamus strictus, etc. are planted in the ravine beds. Studies on forage production under silvopastoral system indicated that it is possible to get 3.5–4.0 Mg ha−1 of dry forage annually without having an adverse effect on growth of tree species, besides positive impact on runoff and soil loss. Hence, degraded ravine lands need to be put under productive use through silvopastoral systems for economic benefits as well as environmental protection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Ghosh
    • 1
  • S. K. Mahanta
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research InstituteJhansiIndia

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