Theme 1: Rangeland/Grassland Ecology--Oral Sessions

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Land degradation majorly declines soil health. Eco-restoration through tree-grass interaction provides a perfect solution to restore degraded lands. The study was carried out at Jhansi district of India during 2010 to 2019 with three fodder trees viz namely, Ficus infectoria, Morus alba, and Acacia nilotica and a shrub Leucaena leucocephala (along with three grasses (Cenchrus ciliaris, Chrysopogon fulvus and Panicum maximum). The main objectives of these study were to a) assess the changes in soil organic carbon pools and responses of soil enzymes as impacted by different eco-restoration strategies involving trees and grasses; and b) develop an index to measure efficiency of eco-restoration strategies to aid the community.Grass and tree biomass yield were the highest for Panicum maximum and Ficus infectoria, respectively.After 9 years, land under Ficus, Morus, and Acacia had ~ 63, 105, and 87% greater total organic carbon and Cenchrus, Panicum, and Chrysopogon increased total organic carbon by 84, 91 and 77% at surface layers, respectively, over fallow land. Microbial biomass C increased by 2-2.5 folds in both soil layers after. There were positive correlation among all the C fractionsand eco-restoration efficiency. Carbon management index (CMI) enhanced by 51, 84, and 70% at surface layers under Ficus, Morus, and Acacia based systems, respectively over fallow land. Similarly, grasses also improved CMI by >60%. Accumulation of soil organic carbon under Ficus, Morus, and Acacia were ~55, 91, and 77 % higher than fallow land at surface layers. By combining CMI and biological activity index, we developed eco-restoration efficiency index and found Morus + Panicum, Acaia + Panicum to be effective restoration strategies for eco-restoration under degraded lands of tropical climates. Our study indicated that implementation of these eco-restoration strategies could be a quantitatively important component of climate change mitigation strategies in India and should be continually paid a great attention.

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Characterization of Degree of Eco-restoration by Tree-Grass Interaction in Degraded Lands of Semi-Arid Tropics

Land degradation majorly declines soil health. Eco-restoration through tree-grass interaction provides a perfect solution to restore degraded lands. The study was carried out at Jhansi district of India during 2010 to 2019 with three fodder trees viz namely, Ficus infectoria, Morus alba, and Acacia nilotica and a shrub Leucaena leucocephala (along with three grasses (Cenchrus ciliaris, Chrysopogon fulvus and Panicum maximum). The main objectives of these study were to a) assess the changes in soil organic carbon pools and responses of soil enzymes as impacted by different eco-restoration strategies involving trees and grasses; and b) develop an index to measure efficiency of eco-restoration strategies to aid the community.Grass and tree biomass yield were the highest for Panicum maximum and Ficus infectoria, respectively.After 9 years, land under Ficus, Morus, and Acacia had ~ 63, 105, and 87% greater total organic carbon and Cenchrus, Panicum, and Chrysopogon increased total organic carbon by 84, 91 and 77% at surface layers, respectively, over fallow land. Microbial biomass C increased by 2-2.5 folds in both soil layers after. There were positive correlation among all the C fractionsand eco-restoration efficiency. Carbon management index (CMI) enhanced by 51, 84, and 70% at surface layers under Ficus, Morus, and Acacia based systems, respectively over fallow land. Similarly, grasses also improved CMI by >60%. Accumulation of soil organic carbon under Ficus, Morus, and Acacia were ~55, 91, and 77 % higher than fallow land at surface layers. By combining CMI and biological activity index, we developed eco-restoration efficiency index and found Morus + Panicum, Acaia + Panicum to be effective restoration strategies for eco-restoration under degraded lands of tropical climates. Our study indicated that implementation of these eco-restoration strategies could be a quantitatively important component of climate change mitigation strategies in India and should be continually paid a great attention.