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Singh R.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Turner N.J.,University of Victoria | Pandey C.B.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Environmental Management | Year: 2012

This study reports how Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and informal cultural institutions have conserved key varieties of the wildgrowing rice, 'tinni' (red rice, or brownbeard rice, Oriza rufipogon Griff.), within the Bhar community of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. The study was conducted, using conventional and participatory methods, in 10 purposively selected Bhar villages. Two distinct varieties of tinni ('tinni patali' and 'tinni moti') with differing habitats and phenotypic characters were identified. Seven microecosystems (Kari, Badaila, Chammo, Karmol, Bhainsiki, Bhainsala and Khodailia) were found to support these varieties in differing proportions. Tinni rice can withstand more extreme weather conditions (the highest as well as lowest temperatures and rainfall regimes) than the 'genetically improved' varieties of rice (Oriza sativa L.) grown in the region. Both tinni varieties are important bioresources for the Bhar's subsistence livelihoods, and they use distinctive conservation approaches in their maintenance. Bhar women are the main custodians of tinni rice agrobiodiversity, conserving tinni through an institution called Sajha. Democratic decision-making at meetings organized by village elders determines the market price of the tinni varieties. Overall, the indigenous institutions and women's participation seem to have provided safeguards from excessive exploitation of tinni rice varieties. The maintenance of tinni through cultural knowledge and institutions serves as an example of the importance of locally maintained crop varieties in contributing to people's resilience and food security in times of rapid social and environmental change. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Bhambri R.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Bhambri R.,Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology | Bolch T.,University of Zürich | Chaujar R.K.,Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology | Kulshreshtha S.C.,Sanatan Dharm PG College
Journal of Glaciology | Year: 2011

Glacier outlines are mapped for the upper Bhagirathi and Saraswati/Alaknanda basins of the Garhwal Himalaya using Corona and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite images acquired in 1968 and 2006, respectively. A subset of glaciers was also mapped using Landsat TM images acquired in 1990. Glacier area decreased from 599.9±15.6 km2 (1968) to 572.5±18.0 km2 (2006), a loss of 4.6±2.8%. Glaciers in the Saraswati/Alaknanda basin and upper Bhagirathi basin lost 18.4±9.0 km2 (5.7±2.7%) and 9.0±7.7 km2 (3.3±2.8%), respectively, from 1968 to 2006. Garhwal Himalayan glacier retreat rates are lower than previously reported. More recently (1990-2006), recession rates have increased. The number of glaciers in the study region increased from 82 in 1968 to 88 in 2006 due to fragmentation of glaciers. Smaller glaciers (<1 km2 ) lost 19.4±2.5% (0.51±0.07%a-1 ) of their ice, significantly more than for larger glaciers (>50 km2 ) which lost 2.8±2.7% (0.074±0.071%a-1). From 1968 to 2006, the debris-covered glacier area increased by 17.8±3.1%(0.46±0.08%a-1) in the Saraswati/Alaknanda basin and 11.8±3.0%(0.31±0.08%a -1)in the upper Bhagirathi basin. Climate records from Mukhim (∼1900ma.s.l.) and Bhojbasa (∼3780ma.s.l.) meteorological stations were used to analyze climate conditions and trends, but the data are too limited to make firm conclusions regarding glacier-climate interactions.

Verma A.K.,Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences | Gupta S.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Isaac R.K.,Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2012

SWAP (Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant) version 2.0 was evaluated for its capability to simulate crop growth and salinity profiles under various combinations of fresh and saline water use for irrigation at Agra (India), located in a semiarid monsoon climatic region having a deep water table. Best available water (BAW, EC 3.6. dS/m) was used for pre-sowing irrigation to wheat crop and thereafter, twelve treatment combinations were imposed with four replications to supplement missed BAW water irrigations with saline water (EC 6/8 and 12. dS/m). The model was calibrated and validated using measurements made in field trial during 2000-2003. A close agreement was observed between the measured data and simulated values. SWAP simulated and observed values for the relative yield ranged within absolute deviations of 4.2-9.7%. The validated model was later used to illustrate the consequences of long-term use of saline water on crop growth and salinity profiles. Simulated results confirmed that a yield potential exceeding 80% could be maintained by substituting saline waters up to 8. dS/m in the absence of fresh water following a pre-sowing irrigation with BAW. This strategy helps to overcome the build-up of salts particularly in years when the monsoon rainfall is below average. It could be shown and concluded that seasonal build-up of salts due to use of saline water in winter season (November-April) crops is leached during the monsoon season (June-September) when rainfall at least during the months of July and August exceeds the potential evapotranspiration. On the whole, short-term field observations could be confirmed with application of SWAP that long-term use of saline water in monsoon climate under deep water table conditions is sustainable. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Minhas P.S.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Yadav R.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Lal K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Lal K.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute | Chaturvedi R.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2015

Irrigation of high transpiring forest species has been put forward for recycling and reuse of wastewater and conservation of nutrient energy into biomass and thereby bringing multiple benefits such as fuel wood production, environmental sanitation and eco-restoration. But loading rates, the tree plantations can carry, continue to be contradictory. Therefore, the growth patterns, biomass production, water use and changes in soil properties were evaluated for a 10-year rotation of Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm.) plantations of variable stocking density and irrigated with either sewage (SW) or a good quality groundwater (GW). The irrigated trees grew rapidly and the stock volumes attained after 10 years were 164.0 and 127.1m3ha-1 with SW and GW, respectively. The tree growth improved with stocking density and the maximum shoot biomass (262Mgha-1) was produced under high (HD, 1993stemsha-1), followed by the recommended (RD, 517stemsha-1; 178Mgha-1), very high (VHD, 6530stemsha-1; 127Mgha-1) and low stocking density (LD, 163stemsha-1; 55Mgha-1). Sap flow values almost coincided with growth rates and increased until sixth year of planting and stabilised thereafter. The annual sap flow values ranged between 418-473, 1373-1417 and 1567-1628mm during 7-10 year of planting under LD, RD and HD, respectively. The daily sap flow values were 0.56*PAN-E (USWB Class A Open Pan Evaporation) during summer months of April-June, 1.24*PAN-E during August-October, i.e. active growth period and 1.12*PAN-E during winter months of December-February. Reference evapotranspiration (ETref) computed using Penman-Monteith method could better describe water use; the sap flow being 0.87-1.23*ETref with an average 1.03*ETref. The water productivity for timber was 1.54, 1.71 and 1.99kgm-3 for LD, RD and HD, respectively. Similarly, the water use efficiency increased by about 40% with HD and also with SW (11%) under RD. The soil quality improved considerably with sewage irrigation and the plant absorbed carbon was also greater. The annual carbon absorption was 3.5, 12.0, 13.9 and 7.0Mgha-1 under LD, RD, HD and VHD, respectively. It is concluded that Eucalyptus plantations can act as potential sites for year round and about 1.5 fold recycling of sewage than the annual crops. However, cautions, rather regulatory mechanism should be devised to control loading rates since these are not as profligate consumers of water as has been claimed. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Kumar S.,Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry | Kumar S.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Dey P.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Field studies were conducted for two consecutive years under sub-temperate climatic conditions at Nauni in district Solan of Himachal Pradesh (30°52′N, 77°11′E 1175 asl) on loamy sand Inceptisols to investigate the effect of different mulches (hay: HM, black polyethylene: BP) on root growth, nutrient uptake, water-use efficiency (WUE) and yield of strawberry cv. Chandler under drip (DI) and surface irrigation (SI) systems. Unmulch (UM) and rainfed treatments were kept as control. Higher soil moisture content was registered under both the mulch materials during entire crop growth period. However, it was greater under BP mulch as compare to HM. The moisture conservation increased by 2.80-12.80% under BP mulch as compared to UM. HM treatment, irrespective of irrigation method increased the minimum soil temperature (2.8-5.2. °C) and reduced the maximum soil temperature (2.7-5.8. °C) as compared to UM. BP mulch increased the minimum soil temperature from 0.4 to 2.5. °C. Application of irrigation moderated the soil (minimum 2.6 and maximum 1.4. °C) temperature. Both the mulch materials were effective in enhancing root growth, nutrient uptake, WUE and yield. Application of mulch enhanced the root growth (63%), nutrient uptake (179.20%), WUE (84.40%) and yield (343%) under DI. However, respective increase under SI was 23.60, 83.80, 109.40 and 219.20%. Under DI, 51% of irrigation water was saved and about 19% higher fruit yield was obtained as compared with SI treatment. Linear regression model could significantly describe the variations in nutrient uptake (N, P and K) and WUE of strawberry under sub-temperate climatic conditions, root mass density was better indicator for estimating nutrient uptake of strawberry. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Balemie K.,Institute of Biodiversity Conservation IBC | Singh R.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Environmental Management | Year: 2012

In this study, we surveyed diversity in a range of local crops in the Lume and Gimbichu districts of Ethiopia, together with the knowledge of local people regarding crop uses, socio-economic importance, conservation, management and existing threats. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and participant observation. The study identified 28 farmers' varieties of 12 crop species. Among these, wheat (Triticum turgidum) and tef (Eragrostis tef) have high intra-specific diversity, with 9 and 6 varieties respectively. Self-seed supply or seed saving was the main (80 %) source of seeds for replanting. Agronomic performance (yield and pest resistance), market demand, nutritional and use diversity attributes of the crop varieties were highlighted as important criteria for making decisions regarding planting and maintenance. Over 74 % of the informants grow a combination of "improved" and farmers' varieties. Of the farmers' varieties, the most obvious decline and/or loss was reported for wheat varieties. Introduction of improved wheat varieties, pest infestation, shortage of land, low yield performance and climate variability were identified as the principal factors contributing to this loss or decline. Appropriate interventions for future conservation and sustainable use of farmers' varieties were suggested. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

Singh R.K.,Central Agricultural University | Singh R.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge | Year: 2013

This study explores the interconnectedness between ecocultural knowledge and subsistence livelihoods of Monpa tribal communities in the West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh, India. For such indigenous and tribal peoples, local cultures, spiritual beliefs, social and ethical norms and interconnectedness with local ecosystems is the essence of their social capital. For Monpa people, ecocultural capital plays a particularly significant role in subsistence and conservation of natural resources. The Monpa have rich and diverse socio-cultural, economic and spiritual perceptions of their natural resources and landscapes. These ecocultural and spiritual values represent a challenge for resource managers seeking to integrate them in their top-to-bottom approaches to resource use and regulation. Results indicated that the ecological knowledge codified in Monpa language and culture varied according to altitude and peoples' access to particular ecosystems. Their overall ecocultural diversity, enhanced through cultural networks across communities, allowed the Monpa a wide degree of food availability and enhanced their health and well-being. Their diverse knowledge systems and cultural network among community members significantly affect the management practices pertaining to agriculture, animal husbandry, forest and aquatic resource's access pattern, food availability and maintaining the health of human and nature. The survival strategies intermingled with location specific ecological knowledge and indigenous management practices buffered by myths, customs, sacredness and traditional values assured sustainable and subsistence livelihood in harsh ecology; and maintaining the resilience of rainfed ecosystem. They emphasize the need for respectful land use, and described general landscape conditions consistent with such use.

Jha S.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Clean - Soil, Air, Water | Year: 2012

The geochemical characteristics and the spatial distribution of the fluoride were studied in the soils of Indo-Gangetic plains using multivariate analysis. The fluoride (F) distribution in soil profiles and surface soil (0-15cm) samples were studied. It was found that total fluoride (TF) in the profiles ranged from 248 to 786mgkg-1 with a mean of 515.1mgkg-1 whereas CaCl2 extractable soluble fluoride (FCa) was found to be in the range of 1.68 to 99.1mgFkg-1 soil. On the other hand, in surface soils, the TF and FCa ranged from 118 to 436mgkg-1 with a mean of 251.2mgkg-1 and 1.01 to 5.05mgkg-1 with a mean of 2.12mgkg-1, respectively, in the study area. The principal component analysis revealed that the natural weathering of fluoride bearing rock and minerals, various ion-exchange and dissolution processes in the soil, alkalinity, sodium adsorption ratio, calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and clay contents of the soil are responsible for high fluoride occurrence in the area. The fluoride contamination index developed by using these factors could explain more than 76% variance of F contamination due to FCa in soils. The interpolated kriged map of FCa in surface soil indicated a distinct loop of 1.0-2.0, 2.0-3.0, 3.0-4.0, and >4.0mgkg-1. The results of this study show that combining of multivariate analysis and soil chemistry may be an effective approach to study the soil geo-chemistry of fluoride. A regular monitoring of fluoride leaching through the soil matrix is suggested as well as preventing measures and also the use of various defluoridation techniques. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Jha S.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Mishra V.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Sharma D.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Damodaran T.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2011

Fluorine is widely dispersed in nature and is estimated to be the 13th most abundant element on our planet (Mason and Moore 1982). It is the most electronegative of all chemical elements, and as a result, it never exists in elemental form, but rather combines with other elements; fluoride compounds represent about 0.06-0.09% of the content of the earth's crust (Wedephol 1974). Fluoride is distributed universally throughout soils, plants, and animals, and is assumed to be an essential element in animals, including humans. Fluoride has an important role in bone mineralization and formation of dental enamels. Fluoride, when consumed in inadequate quantities (less than 0.5 ppm), causes health problems such as dental caries, lack of formation of dental enamel, and reduced bone mineralization, especially among children (WHO 1996). In contrast, when fluoride is consumed in excess (more than 1 ppm), health problems may result, which equally affect the young and old (WHO 1996). At higher fluoride concentrations, metabolic processes are affected in humans, and overexposed individuals may suffer from skeletal or dental fluorosis, non-skeletal manifestations, or combinations of these maladies (Susheela et al. 1993). The incidence and severity of fluorosis depends upon the fluoride concentration in air, soil or water, and the degree of exposure to these levels. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Singh D.,Krishi Vigyan Kendra | Singh R.K.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge | Year: 2011

Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew. commonly known as Kair, is an important indigenous shrub found growing along farm boundaries, orans, gochars (local grasslands) and wastelands, widely distributed in arid and semi-arid tracts of India. It is a densely branched shrub, reaching a height of 4-5 m, with a clear bole of 2.5 m. Its branches are tender and waxy with rough, corky, gray bark. Kair has the ability to survive in various habitats and can grow unattended and unprotected on barren lands. It has good soil binding capacity, a fair tolerance to salinity and alkalinity, and can help to improve the fertility of sand dunes and reduce alkalinity. Its xerophytic qualities, including a deep taproot system, scanty foliage, mucilaginous sap and tough conical spines make this shrub suitable for cultivation on a large scale, especially to combat soil and wind erosion on sandy wastelands. Significantly, the plant's unique capacity to tolerate drought and heat make it a good weather forecasting species, and it has played an important role in the rural economy of western Rajasthan and Gujarat. It provides people with food (pickle and vegetable), medicine, fodder, wood for carving, and fuel. The plant's mature fruits serve as valuable and integral source of nutrition for villagers of arid and semiarid regions, and the immature fruits are collected from natural stands and serve an additional source of income and nutrition for the rural poor. Medicinally, it is used to treat in cardiac and gastric troubles. It is also commonly used as a biofence and its termite-resistant wood is used by rural people for making handles, cartwheels, and other items.

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