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Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry

Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry

Vol. 8, Special Issue 1 (2019)

Leaf litter production and decomposition dynamics in four agroforestry tree species of western Himalayas

Author(s):

Vibha Singhal, Trisha Roy, Charan Singh, Jyotirmoy Ghosh and Sheeraz Bhat

Abstract:
Litter fall and its subsequent decomposition in the soil are two essential ecosystem processes. In order to determine the soil fertility improvement potential of a tree species, it is necessary to evaluate litter production, its temporal variation, and rates of decomposition and nutrient cycling. In this study, we examined patterns of litter fall production and decomposition four agroforestry tree species (<em>Celtis australis, Grewia optiva, Bauhinia variegata and Ficus roxburghii</em>) from western Himalayas, India. Average litter fall was 2190 kg/year/ha and varied significantly among species. Leaf litter production in a year was maximum in case of <em>Grewia optiva</em> statistically at par with <em>C. australis</em> whereas <em>F. roxburghii</em> recorded minimum amount of annual leaf litter. In a litterbag experiment, all species had fast mass loss in the first six months of decomposition, coinciding with the rainy season. <em>Celtis australis</em> had significantly higher decomposition rate than all other species whereas <em>F roxburghii</em> exhibited slowest rate of decomposition. We recommended <em>C. australis</em> and <em>G. optiva</em> for soil fertility improvement because of their fast growing characteristic, high litter production and rapid decomposition. However where the objective is to use the leaf litter as mulch for protection against soil and water erosion as well as moisture retention, <em>F. roxburghii</em> will be more suitable because leaf biomass will be remained as mulch for longer period.

Pages: 198-201  |  1397 Views  403 Downloads

How to cite this article:
Vibha Singhal, Trisha Roy, Charan Singh, Jyotirmoy Ghosh and Sheeraz Bhat. Leaf litter production and decomposition dynamics in four agroforestry tree species of western Himalayas. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2019;8(1S):198-201.

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