Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
SOIL, 2, 13–23, 2016
SOIL, 2, 13–23, 2016

Original research article 18 Jan 2016

Original research article | 18 Jan 2016

On the rebound: soil organic carbon stocks can bounce back to near forest levels when agroforests replace agriculture in southern India

H. C. Hombegowda et al.

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Cited articles

Achard, F., Beuchle, R., Mayaux, P., Stibig, H.-J., Bodart, C., Brink, A., Carboni, S., Desclée, B., Donnay, F., Eva, H. D., Lupi, A., Raši, R., Seliger, R., and Simonetti, D.: Determination of tropical deforestation rates and related carbon losses from 1990 to 2010, Glob. Change Biol., 20, 2540–2554,, 2014.
Acker, S. A., Halpern, C. B., Harmon, M. E., and Dyrness, C. T.: Trends in bole biomass accumulation, net primary production and tree mortality in Pseudotsuga menziesii forests of contrasting age, Tree Physiol., 22, 213–217,, 2002.
Albrecht, A. and Kandji, S. T.: Carbon sequestration in tropical agroforestry systems, Agr. Ecosyst. Environ., 99, 15–27,, 2003.
Cadotte, M. W.: Experimental evidence that evolutionarily diverse assemblages result in higher productivity, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110, 8996–9000,, 2013.
Cardinale, B. J., Wright, J. P., Cadotte, M. W., Carroll, I. T., Hector, A., Srivastava, D. S., Loreau, M., and Weis, J. J.: Impacts of plant diversity on biomass production increase through time because of species complementarity, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104, 18123–18128, 2007.
Short summary
Incorporating trees into agriculture systems provides numerous environmental services. In this chronosequence study conducted across S. India, we found that agroforestry systems (AFSs), specifically home gardens, coffee, coconut and mango, can cause soil organic carbon (SOC) to rebound to forest levels. We established 224 plots in 56 clusters and compared the SOC between natural forests, agriculture and AFSs. SOC sequestered depending on AFS type, environmental conditions and tree diversity.