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Land quality and soil organic carbon stocks consequent to land use change from natural forest to coffee plantation in a hot humid tropical ecosystem of Western Ghats, South India: Is it restorative enough?
  • +13
  • Karthika K S,
  • K.S. Anil Kumar,
  • Nair K.M. ,
  • Maria Violet D’Souza,
  • Nagaraj J.S. ,
  • Lalitha M,
  • Arti Koyal,
  • Jayaramiah M,
  • Parvathy S,
  • shivanand khandal,
  • Sujatha K,
  • Ramamurthy V,
  • S. Srinivas,
  • Raghuramulu Y. ,
  • Rajendra hegde,
  • SURENDRA SINGH
Karthika K S
National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning
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K.S. Anil Kumar
NBSS&LUP(ICAR)
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Nair K.M.
ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Hebbal, Bangalore
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Maria Violet D’Souza
Coffee Research Institute, Chikmagalur, Karnataka
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Nagaraj J.S.
Coffee Research Institute, Chikmagalur, Karnataka
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Lalitha M
ICAR-NBSSLUP
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Arti Koyal
ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Hebbal, Bangalore
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Jayaramiah M
National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning
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Parvathy S
ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Hebbal, Bangalore
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shivanand khandal
ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Hebbal, Bangalore
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Sujatha K
ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Hebbal, Bangalore
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Ramamurthy V
National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning
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S. Srinivas
ICAR-NBSSLUP
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Raghuramulu Y.
Coffee Research Institute, Chikmagalur, Karnataka
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Rajendra hegde
NBSSLUP (ICAR)
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SURENDRA SINGH
NBSS&LUP
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Abstract

Western Ghats, known for its biodiversity, once well covered with dense forest, has been severely felled for cultivation of coffee, covering an area of 3.81 lakh ha and production of 3.27 lakh tonnes. To evaluate the effects of conversion from natural forests to coffee plantation on land quality, the changes in soil physical and chemical properties and soil organic carbon stock were assessed in selected hot per-humid, hot moist sub-humid and hot humid forest and coffee ecosystems of Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, Wayanad and Idukki districts of Kerala in the Western Ghats. Sixty sites were studied to understand the soil quality of which 46 sites were located in coffee plantations and 14 in forests adjacent to coffee plantations. In this study, six typifying pedons representing Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, Wayanad and Idukki districts of Kerala in the Western Ghats are explained by comparing the existing natural forest with that of coffee plantation ecosystem. The increase in soil organic carbon stocks (16.32-16.38 kg m-2 in forests to 14.32-19.28 kg m-2 in coffee system), the most reliable indicator of land quality and other soil properties like clay content, pH, exchangeable bases, CEC, available nutrients like N, P, Ca, Mg, S, Zn and Cu in the study area revealed that there was an improvement in land quality, owing to lesser disturbance and better management in coffee plantation compared to forests on its conversion which indicates the restoration of land.