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.


Kakade V.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Dubey A.K.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute | Sharma R.M.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute | Malik S.K.,Tissue culture and Cryopreservation Unit
Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology | Year: 2017

The present study aimed to study the flower and pollen structure, pollen viability, in vitro pollen germination of ‘Kagzi Kalan’ lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck), and in vivo pollen tube growth in self- and cross pollination to understand the mechanism of seedlessness. The results revealed that Kagzi Kalan had tetra-colporate spherical shaped pollen of uniform size. The results of Acetocarmine and FDA test and in vitro germination indicated normal pollen viability and germinability in Kagzi Kalan. In vivo pollen tube growth showed > 50% pollen germination on stigma in all treatments though a greater number of pollen tubes at the mid style, base of the style, and near the ovule was found in cross pollination. Contrary to this, despite optimum pollen germination (53.51–70.37%) in self-pollination treatments, none of the pollen tubes reached the base of the style due to abnormal growth of pollen tubes, viz. curvatures, inhibition of pollen tube growth, and callose deposition. The inhibition of pollen tubes at the mid style under self-pollination treatments, and production of seeded fruits under cross pollination treatments, indicate the presence of self-incompatibility and the site of inhibition of pollen tubes. Thus, gametophytic self-incompatibility (SI) caused seedlessness in Kagzi Kalan by blocking fertilization in the ovary. © 2017 The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology Trust


Ali S.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Sethy B.K.,ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region | Singh R.K.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Parandiyal A.K.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation | Kumar A.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation
Land Degradation and Development | Year: 2017

A paired watershed approach was used to quantifying the effects of staggered contour trenching (SCT) densities on runoff and soil loss from a long-term field experiment. Four adjacent physiographical similar ravine watersheds were selected. After 2-year calibration period, three of the four watersheds were treated with different SCT densities and leaving one watershed as untreated control (WC). The SCT densities of 139, 278 and 417 trenches ha−1 were determined based on the targeted 25, 50 and 75% runoff trapping potential of the WT1, WT2 and WT3 treatment watersheds, respectively. Runoff and soil loss were recorded for a period of 11 years including 2 years of calibration period. The calibration and treatment prediction equations for the treatment watershed with respect to untreated control watershed were developed by the simple linear regression. F-test and t-test (p < 0·0001) suggested that calibration predictions were highly significant and treatment prediction equations differ significantly. Results showed mean runoff reductions of 86·1, 60·5 and 37·7% in the WT3, WT2 and WT1 treatment watershed over the control, respectively. Similar trends as the runoff were also recorded in soil loss reduction by 124·9, 77·1 and 40·0% for the WT3, WT2 and WT1 over Wc, respectively. Paired t-test (p < 0·001) indicated that the means of the treatment effects on runoff and soil loss in treatment watersheds differ significantly with control watershed. It was concluded that 417 staggered contour trenches ha−1 is an optimum trenching density for supporting the horti-pastoral land use system in ravine lands of India. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Surendran U.,Center for Water Resources Development and Management | Kumar V.,Tamil University | Ramasubramoniam S.,Regional Remote Sensing Center | Raja P.,ICAR Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation
Water Resources Management | Year: 2017

Drought is considered as a major natural hazard/ disaster, affecting several sectors of the economy and the environment worldwide. Drought, a complex phenomenon can be characterised by its severity, duration, and areal extent. Drought indices for the characterization and the monitoring of drought simplify the complex climatic functions and can quantify climatic anomalies for their severity, duration, and frequency. With this as background drought indices were worked out for Madurai district of Tamil Nadu using DrinC (Drought Indices Calculator) software. DrinC calculates the drought indices viz., deciles, Standard Precipitation Index (SPI), Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI), Streamflow Drought Index (SDI) by providing a simple, though flexible interface by considering all the factors. The drought of 3, 6 and 9 months as time series can also be estimated. The results showed that drought index of Madurai region by decile method revealed that among the 100 years, 20 years were affected by drought and it is cyclic in nature and occurring almost every 3 to 7 years once repeatedly, except for some continuous period, i.e., 1923, 1924 and 1985, 1986, etc. During the last five decades, the incidence is higher with 13 events, whereas in the first five decades it was only 7. The SPI and RDI index also followed the similar trend of deciles. However, under SPI and RDI, the severely dry and extremely dry category was only seven years and all other drought years of deciles were moderately dry. Our study indicated that SPI is a better indicator than deciles since here severity can be understood. SDI did not follow the trend similar to SPI or RDI. Regression analysis showed that the SPI and RDI are significantly correlated and if 1st 3 months rainfall data is available one can predict yearly RDI drought index. The results demonstrated that these approaches could be useful for developing preparedness plan to combat the consequences of drought. Findings from such studies are useful tools for devising strategic preparedness plans to combat droughts and mitigate their effects on the activities in the various sectors of the economy. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


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.


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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