Effect of Land Use Conversion on Soil Carbon Storage in a Tropical Grassland

  • Sreekanth N. P. Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India
  • Shanthi Prabha V. Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India
  • Babu Padmakumar Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India
  • Thomas A. P. Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India
Keywords: soil organic carbon, particulate organic carbon, aggregate stability, glomalin, land use change

Abstract

In the event of climate change and global warming issues, the role of grassland soils needs special emphasis owing to its capacity to store and release carbon. In this regard, the present study discusses variations in soil carbon storage of grassland soils of the Vagamon region, a biodiversity hot spot in the Western Ghat of Kerala, India, under various scenarios of conversion. We address variations in the carbon pool by assessing the parameters soil organic carbon (SOC), particulate organic carbon (POC), potential carbon mineralization (PCM), water stable aggregates (WSA) and the soil protein glomalin in relation to relative land uses changes. The data provide the rates of SOC fluctuations and dynamics and indicate the relative importance of POC, PCM, WSA and glomalin that influence organic carbon sequestration in soil under different land uses. During the study, SOC concentration changed in accordance with land use disturbance and varied in the order: native grassland-(S1) > acacia-(S2) > cardamom-(S3) > open scrub-(S4) > pine-(S5) > tea-(S6) > rubber-(S7) > homestead-(S8). The findings suggest that POC can be considered as a suitable and better indictor towards addressing changes in soil carbon pools, especially for short-term studies, rather than SOC. The study also advocates the importance of native grasslands and their sustainable management in soil carbon storage under climate change scenarios.

Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20004853

Published
2013-12-12
Section
Articles