Soil Microbiota and Sustainable Jhum Agroecosystem

  • S. R. Joshi
  • Donald Bareh
  • Aishiki Banerjee


The exclusivity of the northeastern region of India lies in its diversity in terms of its biological aspects and also the array of different practices that the region still continues to harbor in their own indigenous ways. The well-knitted practices with diverse cultures span across the changing altitudes of the sisterly states of the northeast. Such environments provide a wide opportunity for the documentation and bioprospection of biotechnologically useful microbes as most of the microbial diversity here remains unknown. The agricultural land in this region is mostly subjected to the shifting type of agriculture which is commonly known as jhum farming. Management of the shifting practice in agronomy depends on the period the land is cultivated and the stretch that is fallowed. These factors greatly impact on whether or not the shifting cultivation system as a whole suffers a net loss of nutrients over time. Recently, extensive studies have been focused on soil microbial diversity of these shifting cultivated lands to keep at par with the enormous amount of effort that is being made worldwide by microbial ecologists to identify microorganisms in various type of environmental samples. As the field of jhum offers an environment that undergoes a tilt and shift in its nutrients along with other components, a competitive environment for the micro-dwellers of the soil is created. Hence, studying the microbial profile mostly related to the area of plant growth promotion (PGP) from differently aged fallows of jhum can provide a clear picture of the underlying ecosystem that influences the aboveground activities with an opportunity to design bioinoculants consortium for eco-restoration of jhum fields.


Bioprospecting Fallows Jhum Microbial diversity Soil biota Shifting agriculture Plant growth promotion (PGP) 



The chapter forms a part of the study under a research project funded by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India (Sanction no: DBT-NER/Agri/14/2012).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Joshi
    • 1
  • Donald Bareh
    • 1
  • Aishiki Banerjee
    • 1
  1. 1.Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology and BioinformaticsNorth-Eastern Hill UniversityShillongIndia

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