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Dynamics of ecosystem carbon in different forest types in the central Himalaya: Role of nitrogen-fixing Nepalese alder (Alnus nepalensis D. Don.)
  • Rajendra Kumar Joshi,
  • S. C. Garkoti
Rajendra Kumar Joshi
Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi
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S. C. Garkoti
Jawaharlal Nehru Univ
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Abstract

Nitrogen-fixing Nepalese alder (Alnus nepalensis D. Don.) is a fast-growing early successional species which often forms pure stands in areas affected by landslides and sometimes it occurs mixed with other species in the central Himalayas. In this study, we assessed the distribution of ecosystem carbon storage in plants and soil in a chronosequence of A. nepalensis forest stands in central Himalaya. We examined six forest stands: (1) A. nepalensis-early regeneration (AER) forest, (2) A. nepalensis-late regeneration (ALR) forest, (3) A. nepalensis- mature oak mixed (AMOM) forest, (4) A. nepalensis- mix with rhododendron (AMR) forest, (5) A. nepalensis –mix with old oak (AMOO) forest and (6) A. nepalensis-planted by the forest department in the degraded forest (APDF). The ecosystem C stock increased with an increase in stand total basal area (TBA). C storage in A. nepalensis tree biomass in different stand AER, APDF, ALR, AMOM, and AMR, AMOO, was 8.97, 51.41, 16.07, 53.74, 144.77, and 101.14 Mg ha-1, respectively. Soil organic C (SOC) in different soil depths in successional stages AER (0-10 cm), APDF (0-30 cm), ALR (0-100 cm), AMOM (0-100 cm), AMR (0-100 cm), and AMOO (0-100 cm) was 3.31, 31.21, 75.47, 157.04, 159.43 and 210.13 Mg ha-1, respectively, with decrease in SOC concentration with increasing soil depth. The ecosystem C storage averaged 15.85, 183, 216.26, 390.32, 403.66, and 500.08 Mg ha-1 in AER, APDF, ALR, AMOM, AMR, and AMOO sites, respectively. Overall, in A. nepalensis forest development markedly ameliorated both vegetation and soil succession in central Himalaya.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

28 May 2020Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
29 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
29 May 2020Assigned to Editor
11 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
01 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
19 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
19 Sep 20201st Revision Received
21 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
21 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed