Survey, collection, processing and analysis of soil samples pertaining to the project titled, “Studies on Assessment of Soil Carbon Stocks, and Dynamics in Forest Soils of India” with special reference to Forest Types of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir’.

Principal Investigator: V.P Dr. Panwar, Scientist-D
Duration: 1 Year (1st April, 2006 to 31st March, 2011)

Soil organic carbon is primarily plant derived and the level depends on the balance between input and output of carbon in soil. Source of carbon input include the amount of above ground and below ground biomass returned to the soil and any other bio-solids (eg. manures). Carbon from soil is lost as CO2 by decomposition. Over the years, land use has been changing due to increase in population pressure which resulted in increased carbon emission from terrestrial ecosystem. Studies on ‘Assessment of Soil Carbon Stocks and Dynamics in Forest Soil of India, NATCOM-II’ where major work involved extensive survey and soil sample collection, forest diversity studies from 56 varied locations in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir followed by their processing and laboratory analysis. NATCOM-II Soil samples ‘Reference Library’ has also been prepared. Soil organic carbon (SOC) pool was also estimated in all forests sub-group types available in Himachal Pradesh. Maximum pool was in the soils under moist Alpine Scrub (73.26 tonnes/ha) followed by Himalayan Moist Temperate Forests (55.20 tonnes/ha), Himalayan Dry Temperate Forests (47.61 tonnes/ha) and Sub-alpine Forests (45.67 tonnes/ha) and the least was under Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests (36.04 tonnes/ha). Moist Alpine Forests had maximum mitigation potential (2.03) and the least was in Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests (1.00). Maximum share was occupied by Moist Alpine Scrub (28%) followed by Himalayan Moist Temperate Forests (21%), Himalayan Dry Temperate Forests (19 %), Sub-alpine Forests (18 % ) and the least was occupied by Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests (14 %). SOC pool under Moist Alpine Forests was statistically significantly different from the SOC pool under Himalayan Moist Temperate Forests, Himalayan Dry Temperate Forests, Sub-alpine Forests and Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests.