Six years poplar plantations were assessed for productivity, carbon storage and economics in comparison to sole cropping. Wheat grain yield was significantly higher in control plots (4.55 t/ha) than boundary plantation (3.28 t/ha) and block plantation (2.03 t/ha). Similar trend was recorded for straw yield (6.61 t/ha in control plots, 4.83 t/ha in boundary plantation and 3.5 t/ha in block plantation. The boundary plantation produced higher DBH (24.23 cm) than the block plantation (19.71 cm). The crown spread itself followed the same trend but both the planting methods had almost similar plant height. However, the total tree biomass was higher with block plantation (96.31 t/ha) than boundary plantation (30.14 t/ha) but per tree biomass was more in boundary plantation than block plantation. The total carbon storage was higher in block planting method (55.43 t/ha) than in boundary plantation (32.70 t/ha) and lowest total carbon storage in sole cropping system (31.20 t/ha). The heat from biomass combustion and carbon storage from coal substituted of timber was also higher in the block plantation (18.67t C/ha) as compared with boundary plantation (4.43t C/ha). Agro forestry systems likely had a greater capacity to sequester C in the longterm than the annual cropping systems because of their diverse configurations. The economic benefits were also higher in block plantation than boundary and sole cropping of rice-wheat (B : C ratio of 3.30, 1.90 and 1.61, respectively). Adoption of on-farm poplar plantations will develop new opportunities for enhanced income in addition to employment and environmental amelioration.
Boundary/block plantation, Carbon sequestration, Energy, On-farm poplar
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