The impact of cropping systems on soil properties, nutrient availability and their carbon sequestration potential was studied during the years 2014 and 2015 in Shiwalik hills of Himachal Pradesh. The four commonly occurring cropping systems namely vegetable, fruit, cereal crop and agroforestry were selected. Uncultivated land in the region was considered as control. In total, there were five treatments which were replicated six times under randomized block design. The study indicated that the cropping systems in the Shiwalik hills varied significantly (P=0.05) with respect to their impact on soil properties, nutrient availability and carbon sequestration potential. The pH and EC was in the range of 6.04 to 6.90 and 0.094 to 0.138 dSm-1, respectively and were normal in range. Organic carbon and bulk density in surface soils ranged from 8.06 to 9.70 g kg-1 and 1.19 to 1.34 Mg m-3, respectively. The available NPK was highest (267.21, 19.99, 172.42 kg ha-1) under vegetable based cropping system as compared to other systems. Carbon density in surface soil ranged from 11.33 to 15.39 Mg C ha-1 and total carbon sequestered upto 30cm soil depth ranged from 601.96 to 12646.29 Gg. The study indicated that in Shiwalik hills of Himachal Pradesh, the commonly occurring cropping systems did not influence the soil properties and nutrient availability adversely. Agroforestry based cropping system is having highest potential of sequestering soil carbon in Shiwalik hills. Therefore to adapt to changing climatic situation and to mitigate its effect in the region, agroforestry based cropping system need to be encouraged.
Agroforestry, Carbon density, Cereal, Fruit, Vegetable
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