ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation

Dehradun, India

ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation

Dehradun, India

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Mandal D.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Srivastava P.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Giri N.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Kaushal R.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | And 2 more authors.
Solid Earth | Year: 2017

Although intensive agriculture is necessary to sustain the world's growing population, accelerated soil erosion contributes to a decrease in the environmental health of ecosystems at local, regional and global scales. Reversing the process of land degradation using vegetative measures is of utmost importance in such ecosystems. The present study critically analyzes the effect of grasses in reversing the process of land degradation using a systematic review. The collected information was segregated under three different land use and land management situations. Meta-analysis was applied to test the hypothesis that the use of grasses reduces runoff and soil erosion. The effect of grasses was deduced for grass strip and in combination with physical structures. Similarly, the effects of grasses were analyzed in degraded pasture lands. The overall result of the meta-analysis showed that infiltration capacity increased approximately 2-fold after planting grasses across the slopes in agricultural fields. Grazing land management through a cut-and-carry system increased conservation efficiencies by 42 and 63% with respect to reduction in runoff and erosion, respectively. Considering the comprehensive performance index (CPI), it has been observed that hybrid Napier (Pennisetum purpureum) and sambuta (Saccharum munja) grass seem to posses the most desirable attributes as an effective grass barrier for the western Himalayas and Eastern Ghats, while natural grass (Dichanthium annulatum) and broom grass (Thysanolaena maxima) are found to be most promising grass species for the Konkan region of the Western Ghats and the northeastern Himalayan region, respectively. In addition to these benefits, it was also observed that soil carbon loss can be reduced by 83% with the use of grasses. Overall, efficacy for erosion control of various grasses was more than 60 %; hence, their selection should be based on the production potential of these grasses under given edaphic and agro-ecological conditions. The present analysis also indicated that grass must be used as a vegetative strip to maintain soil quality in sloppy arable areas (8.5 Mha) of Indian hilly regions. Similarly, due attention should be paid for establishing grasses in 3 Mha of degraded pasture lands and 3.5 Mha of shifting cultivation areas in India to reverse the land degradation. © 2017 Author(s). CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Kumar S.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Raizada A.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Biswas H.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Mondal B.,ICAR National Rice Research Institute
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2016

This paper aims at assess district-wise vulnerability index of the state of Karnataka State, which is predominantly is rainfed and is highly susceptible to climatic variability. Secondary data on relevant indicators were collected to prepare indices viz., crop production losses, exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Following normalization and using appropriate weights for indicators, these four indices were used for constructing vulnerability index, which can be used a rapid assessment method for prioritizing districts that need measures to moderate the detrimental impact of climate change. It has been observed that Climatic variability caused higher production losses in cereals, pulses and oilseeds in Davangere, Gulbarga and Raichur districts, respectively. Districts like Koppal, Raichur, Bijapur Gulbarga, Gadag, Bagalkote and Bellary were placed under extreme degree of exposure. As per the sensitivity index scores, Kolar district is the most sensitive. Further, Bengaluru (Urban), Dakshin Kannada and Kodagu are ranked first, second and third in terms of adaptive capacity in the state. Overall, vulnerability index scores indicate that Gulbarga, Koppal, Raichur, Bellary, Bagalkote, Bijapur and Belgaum are extremely vulnerable districts in the state. It was also estimated that around 70% of the cultivated area, which supports 60% and 67% of livestock and rural population of the state, respectively are facing ‘extreme to high’ level of vulnerability. The ranking based prioritization of the vulnerable areas calls for a holistic approach for each district or a group of districts to reduce their sensitivity, minimize exposure to rainfall variability through implementation of site-specific and leverage adaptive capacity through better health and education facilities, expansion of employment opportunities in other sectors or reducing over dependence on agriculture. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

PAL S.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | MARSCHNER P.,University of Adelaide
Pedosphere | Year: 2016

Crop yields in sandy soils can be increased by addition of clay-rich soil, but little is known about the effect of clay addition on nutrient availability after addition of plant residues with different C/N ratios. A loamy sandy soil (7% clay) was amended with a clay-rich subsoil (73% clay) at low to high rates to achieve soil mixtures of 12%, 22%, and 30% clay, as compared to a control (sandy soil alone) with no clay addition. The sandy-clay soil mixtures were amended with finely ground plant residues at 10 g kg−1: mature wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) straw with a C/N ratio of 68, mature faba bean (Vicia faba L.) straw with a C/N ratio of 39, or their mixtures with different proportions (0%–100%, weight percentage) of each straw. Soil respiration was measured over days 0–45 and microbial biomass C (MBC), available N, and pH on days 0, 15, 30, and 45. Cumulative respiration was not clearly related to the C/N ratio of the residues or their mixtures, but C use efficiency (cumulative respiration per unit of MBC on day 15) was greater with faba bean than with wheat and the differences among the residue mixtures were smaller at the highest clay addition rate. The MBC concentration was lowest in sole wheat and higher in residue mixtures with 50% of wheat and faba bean in the mixture or more faba bean. Soil N availability and soil pH were lower for the soil mixtures of 22% and 30% clay compared to the sandy soil alone. It could be concluded that soil cumulative respiration and MBC concentration were mainly influenced by residue addition, whereas available N and pH were influenced by clay addition to the sandy soil studied. © 2016 Soil Science Society of China

Moharana P.C.,Indian Central Arid Zone Research Institute | Raja P.,Indian Central Arid Zone Research Institute | Raja P.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation
Journal of the Geological Society of India | Year: 2016

A vast area between Phalodi in Jodhpur and Pokaran in Jaisalmer district of western Rajasthan, is occupied distinctly by rocky, shallow gravelly surfaces and occasional hills. These surfaces exhibit quartz and quartzite pebbles, angular, sub-angular and few rounded sandstone gravels, have slightly convex outline and can be best described as desert pavements. Such land features assume significance because of their extent and variability under a dominantly dry aeolian environment. Morphology and distributional pattern of such formations indicate that sediments are either of in situ origin or may have been transported to a short distance. The present study is based on field level assessment of such surfaces in the above two desert districts. Over much of the area, the profile shows a surficial concentration of gravels followed by thick sand and silt mixed with gravels and then the parent material. There are also occasional rock outcrops of very low relief exhibiting vertical, horizontal and conchoidal pattern of fractures over these surfaces near Pokaran and north of Jaisalmer which indicate disintegration of rocks under extreme diurnal fluctuation of temperature. Such manifestations in the morphology indicate impact of both thermal as well as aeolian processes. In the east of Jaisalmer town near Basanpir and Bhojka, the pavement surfaces are found covered with abundant sub-rounded to rounded pebbles and cobbles. This type of condition would indicate a profound action by fluvial activities followed by wind sorting. Our study found significant spatial variability in the distribution of pavement surfaces, which carried imprints of climatic fluctuations and environment of deposition during Holocene. © 2016, Geological Society of India.

Dash C.J.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Sarangi A.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute | Adhikary P.P.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Singh D.K.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2016

The groundwater resources of semi-arid region in Indo-Gangetic Plain is declining rapidly and necessitates accurate quantification of potential recharge from different agricultural land uses. The potential recharge on a daily basis for three different land uses, such as fallow, rice and non-rice cropped areas for three cropping seasons, was estimated using soil water balance approach. Beside this, the net groundwater use for eight different crops was also calculated. The potential recharge from fallow land was 126 mm year−1, which was 14.9 % of total rainfall. The mean potential recharge from kharif (rainy) and rabi (winter) seasons was 527.3 and 81.7 mm season−1, respectively. Among the rabi crops, least recharge was observed for winter maize and mustard with 29.3 mm season−1, followed by wheat with 108.4 mm season−1. Among the kharif crops, least recharge was observed for green gram with 59.7 mm season−1, followed by soybean with 113.9 mm season−1. Rice had the highest recharge potential of 929.1 mm season−1, followed by maize with 149.1 mm season−1 and cotton with 132.7 mm season−1. It was observed that the annual average groundwater use was highest for wheat with 190 mm year−1, followed by winter maize with 188 mm year−1, mustard with 169 mm year−1, paddy with 151 mm year−1, kharif maize with 94 mm year−1, green gram with 15 mm year−1. Cotton and soybean crops exhibited an additional potential recharge of 8 and 114 mm year−1 into the groundwater. It was revealed that the maize–wheat cropping system consumed less groundwater than rice–wheat and, therefore, can be considered as a better option for sustainable use of groundwater. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kumar R.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Shamet G.S.,Himachal Pradesh University | Alam N.M.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Jana C.,Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation
Compost Science and Utilization | Year: 2016

Pinus gerardiana Wall. is an important nut-producing pine having restricted distribution in the world. It has been observed that natural regeneration in the species is extremely poor or entirely lacking. The species has erratic and infrequent seed years, dormancy-related problems, and slow growth of seedling, which reduces its regeneration process in natural habitats. Therefore, we investigated the effect of growing medium and seed size on germination and seedling growth of the Pinus gerardiana. The seeds were categorized into two sizes, viz, small (<2.35 cm) and large (>2.35 cm) and five growing medium treatments were used, viz, Soil:Sand:FYM; Soil:Sand:Moss:FYM; Soil:Moss:Vermicompost; Soil:Sand:Vermicompost; and Soil:Sand:Moss:Vermicompost, for assessing their impact on germination and seedling growth. It was observed that, among different growing medium treatments, higher germination and seedling growth parameters were recorded, when Soil:Sand:Moss:Vermicompost was used for the study. Between different seed sizes, higher germination and seedling growth were recorded when seed size was large. © 2016 Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation.

Ali S.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Mishra P.K.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Islam A.,Indian Council of Agricultural Research | Alam N.M.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation
Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States) | Year: 2016

Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns due to global warming are likely to affect the quantity and quality of water in different water bodies. Water temperature modeling techniques are usually employed to study the effects of global climate change on stream and river ecosystems. This study aims to identify a suitable air-water temperature relationship for a small aquatic pond in a semiarid region of India and examine the effects of increased water temperature on the small pond's attributes. The performance of two parametric statistical models - simple linear regression (SLR) and four-parameter nonlinear logistic regression (NLR) models - was evaluated. The developed models were field tested for mean, minimum, and maximum air-water temperatures on daily, weekly, and monthly timescales. The model parameters were estimated from the measured air-water temperature time-series data using the least-squares optimization method. Model performance was evaluated using three statistical indicators - the index of agreement (d), Nash-Sutcliffe modeling efficiency (E), and root mean square error (RMSE). The performances of the SLR and NLR models were found to be comparable for all three data series and timescales. However, the NLR model was found to perform relatively better compared to the SLR model for all three timescales. Results also revealed better correlations between the measured and simulated water temperatures on weekly and monthly timescales compared to the daily timescale. Application of the SLR model for projecting changes in attributes of a small aquatic pond in a semiarid region of India under changing climate scenarios revealed a 1.3 to 3.7°C increase in pond water temperature with increases in air temperature from 1.5 to 4.3°C by the end of 2080. This increase in water temperature will cause the water evaporation rate to increase by 8.3-30.3% and the hydroperiod and saturated dissolved oxygen to decrease by 3-26 days and 2.2-6.5%, respectively. © 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Singh R.J.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Ghosh B.N.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Sharma N.K.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Patra S.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2015

Soil is a non-renewable resource and its preservation is essential for food security, ecosystem services and our sustainable future. Simultaneously, it is a major challenge to substitute non-renewable fossil based resources with renewable resources to reduce environmental load. In order to check soil erosion vis-a-vis degradation of sloppy lands of rainfed maize-wheat rotation system, fertilization with organic manure supplemented with inorganic fertilizers is required. In order to address these issues, substitution of 50% NPK through four organic manures viz. farmyard manure (FYM), vermicompost (VC), poultry manure (PM) and in situ green manuring (GM) of sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) were evaluated against 100% NPK through inorganic fertilizers and through FYM for energy budgeting and emergy synthesis during 2009-2014. Integrated use of FYM along with 50% NPK fertilizers could maintain the highest energy ratio (7.3), human energy profitability (142.4), energy productivity (0.22kgMJ-1), and energy profitability (6.3MJha-1) over other treatments. However, GM and inorganic fertilizers on equal NPK basis maintained the highest energy intensiveness (24.61MJUS$-1) and exhibited higher emergy yield ratio (2.66) and lower emergy investment ratio (0.60) and environmental loading ratio (3.74) which resulted into higher environmental sustainability index (0.71) over other treatments. Fertilization with organic manure (FYM) alone could not compete with other fertilized options to energy budgeting and emergy synthesis except specific energy. The study demonstrated that innovative integrated nutrient management of chemical fertilizers and organic manures particularly FYM for energy budgeting and GM for emergy synthesis may be considered as feasible and environment-friendly options for soil conservation, thereby benefiting a 50% saving on costly chemical fertilizers in non-OPEC countries which import most of its phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Pal S.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Marschner P.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation
Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition | Year: 2016

The low fertility of sandy soils can be ameliorated by addition of clay-rich soil, but the effect of clay may differ between high and low C/N residues and could be modulated by residue particle size. An incubation experiment was conducted with addition of a clay-rich subsoil (73% clay) to a sandy soil (10% clay). The final clay concentrations were 10, 15, 20 and 30% (w/w). The residues of young kikuyu shoots (C/N 14) and mature wheat shoots (C/N >120) in two particle sizes (0.2-2 and 3-4 mm) were added at 10 g kg-1 soil. Soil respiration, pH, available N, microbial biomass C (MBC), N and P were measured. Cumulative respiration was up to 4-fold higher with kikuyu than with wheat and 30% lower at the highest clay concentration. The MBC concentration was up to 2-fold higher with kikuyu than with wheat. The available N concentration was up to 2-fold higher with kikuyu than with wheat and up to 50% lower at highest clay concentration. Thus, clay addition to sandy soils may reduce nutrient availability by reducing accessibility of plant residues to microbes and binding of nutrients, but this clay effect is not influenced by residue C/N or particle size. © 2016, Sociedad Chilena de la Ciencia del Suelo. All rights reserved.

Ali S.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Ghosh N.C.,National Institute of Hydrology | Mishra P.K.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Singh R.K.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2015

Estimation of time varying water depth and time to empty of a pond is prerequisite for comprehensive and coordinated planning of water resource for its effective utilization. A holistic water depth simulation (HWDS) and time to empty (TE) model for small, shallow ephemeral ponds have been derived by employing the generalized model based on the Green-Ampt equation in the basic water balance equation. The HWDS model includes time varying rainfall, runoff, surface water evaporation, outflow and advancement of wetting front length as external inputs. The TE model includes two external inputs; surface water evaporation and advancement of wetting front length. Both the models also consider saturated hydraulic conductivity and fillable porosity of the pond's bed material as their parameters. The solution of the HWDS model involved numerical iteration in successive time intervals. The HWDS model has successfully evaluated with 3years of field data from two small ponds located within a watershed in a semi-arid region in western India. The HWDS model simulated time varying water depth in the ponds with high accuracy as shown by correlation coefficient (R2≥0.9765), index of agreement (d≥0.9878), root mean square errors (RMSE≤0.20m) and percent bias (PB≤6.23%) for the pooled data sets of the measured and simulated water depth. The statistical F and t-tests also confirmed the reliability of the HWDS model at probability level, p≤0.0001. The response of the TE model showed its ability to estimate the time to empty the ponds. An additional field calibration and validation of the HWDS and TE models with observed field data in varied hydro-climatic conditions could be conducted to increase the applicability and credibility of the models. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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