NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry

Jhansi, India

NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry

Jhansi, India

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Shukla A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Shukla A.,Dr Hari Singh Gour University | Kumar A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Jha A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | And 2 more authors.
Biology and Fertility of Soils | Year: 2012

In tree-based intercropping system (agroforestry), the role of perennial trees in maintaining active populations and mycelial networks of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is well documented. Agroforestry positively influences the AMF community, but complete studies regarding mycorrhization in such systems are scarce. The present study was conducted to assess the effect of tree introduction in agriculture fields on mycorrhization. In particular, we investigated the effect of trees on AMF colonization of intercrops and vice versa, the effect of canopy management of trees on their root colonization, and the cross-infectivity of AMF isolated from tree rhizosphere in intercrops and vice versa. The results of the field study suggest that in agroforestry systems, trees acted as AMF inoculum reservoir for intercrops, especially during the rainy season. Intercropping (Phaseolus mungo and Triticum aestivum in the rainy and winter seasons, respectively) increased mycorrhization, i. e., root colonization and spore population in the rhizosphere of Albizia procera and Eucalyptus tereticornis. Canopy management, i. e., shoot pruning, reduces root colonization in A. procera, Anogeissus pendula, Dalbergia sissoo, Hardwickia binata, and Tectona grandis, especially in April 2005 (late spring), but during subsequent periods, differences among the treatments were at par. Results from greenhouse suggest that AMF are nonspecific in their selection of host since species isolated from tree rhizosphere could colonize the roots of crops and vice versa. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Shukla A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Kumar A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Jha A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Ajit,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Rao D.V.K.N.,Indian Grassland And Fodder Research Institute
Biology and Fertility of Soils | Year: 2012

The study was conducted to investigate the effect of phosphorus (P) concentrations (0, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 μg g -1) on growth and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization of two crops (a rainy season crop, Phaseolus mungo Roxb. var. PU-35 and a winter crop, Triticum aestivum L. var. WH-147) and seedlings of two multipurpose tree species (Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. [Clone C-7, ITC, Bhadrachalam] and Albizia procera Benth.). Plant growth parameters (shoot length, dry weight) and P uptake increased significantly after inoculations with AM fungi (Acaulospora scrobiculata Trappe, Glomus cerebriforme McGee, and Glomus intraradices Schenck and Smith) in P. mungo, T. aestivum, E. tereticornis, and A. procera. Best results were obtained with G. cerebriforme in P. mungo and A. procera, and A. scrobiculata in T. aestivum, and G. intraradices in E. tereticornis. Results on effect of P application on mycorrhizal dependency (MD) of studied crop and tree species showed that decrease in MD with increase in P concentrations in non-nitrogen-fixing species (T. aestivum and E. tereticornis) was higher than in nitrogen-fixing species (P. mungo and A. procera). Threshold P concentrations for maximum benefits from the AM symbiosis in above-mentioned plant species varied from 5 to 20 μg g -1 and corresponding peaks of arbuscules, vesicles, sporocarp formation, colonization index, and spore count per 100 g sand were noticed. Thus, the results showed that the recorded plant growth peaks were due to AM colonization of crops and tree rhizosphere. Inoculations with AMF were more important than P application (explaining 14-78% variation in plant growth) for P. mungo, T. aestivum, and A. procera (forward selection method), whereas P application was more important for growth in E. tereticornis. Therefore, inoculating plants with a suitable AM inoculant could result in a benefit comparable to high P input and lead to a significant saving of inorganic P fertilizer. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Shukla A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Shukla A.,Dr Hari Singh Gour University | Kumar A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Jha A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | And 2 more authors.
Biology and Fertility of Soils | Year: 2013

Plants respond differentially to different arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) as well as to the different soil moisture levels. Based on this background, the present study was carried out to investigate the effects of different levels of soil moisture and AMF inoculations on mycorrhization and growth of important agroforestry plants, viz., Phaseolus mungo, Triticum aestivum, Eucalyptus tereticornis, and Albizia procera. The experiments consisted of main treatment, i.e., three levels of soil moisture [field capacity (FC = 16 %), half-field capacity (FC/2 = 8 %) and double-field capacity (2×FC = 32 %)] and four subtreatments (mycorrhizal inoculations), viz., Acaulospora scrobiculata, Glomus cerebriforme, Glomus intraradices, and un-inoculated (control). AMF inoculations significantly (P < 0.05) increased growth and P uptake, in all tested plant species. In P. mungo, maximum AMF efficiency was observed at FC while in other plants, AMF were equally effective at FC/2 and 2×FC. Different inoculants were effective at different moisture levels. Furthermore, mycorrhization was the highest at FC. AMF inoculations were more important than soil moisture (explaining 33-97 % variation in growth) in P. mungo, T. aestivum, and A. procera (forward selection method), whereas soil moisture was more important for growth of E. tereticornis. Thus, it may be stated that depending upon soil moisture, inoculation of plants with suitable AMF consortium can be beneficial. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Shukla A.,Dr Hari Singh Gour University | Vyas D.,Dr Hari Singh Gour University | Jha A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry
Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition | Year: 2013

Present study deals with the distribution and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in naturally growing Withania somnifera and Ocimum sanctum. Variations in soil pH and moisture content (%) at different soil depths (0-10, 10-20, 20-30 and 30-40 cm) and their possible influences on AMF spore populations were studied at two sites i.e. Jaitpur and Karaiya. A total of 27 AMF species (8 Acaulospora, 1 Cetraspora, 1 Claroideoglomus, 1 Entrophospora, 1 Funneliformis, 13 Glomus, 1 Simiglomus and 1 Septoglomus) were identified. Results revealed that W. somnifera harbors relatively more AMF species (21) than O. sanctum (14). Acaulospora scrobiculata, Sep. deserticola and Sim. hoi dominated the rhizosphere of W. somnifera, while A. scrobiculata, Sep. deserticola and G. fasciculatum were predominant in O. sanctum. Spore populations, soil pH and moisture content varied significantly across soil depths. Moreover, the ability of soil to support AMF population decreased significantly with increased soil depth. Results clearly indicated the involvement of factor other than soil pH and moisture content in AMF distribution. Thus, it may be stated that overriding factor was depth, and this can be justified by fewer roots and fewer mycorrhizae in deeper soil layers.


Ajit,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Das D.K.,Rajendra Agricultural University | Chaturvedi O.P.,Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute | Jabeen N.,Punjab Agricultural University | Dhyani S.K.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2011

This article concentrates on development of statistical models for prediction of biomass components (above and below ground) of standing trees of Populus deltoides. Twenty seven trees (three each from age one to nine years) were destructively harvested, separated, sorted, sub-sampled, dried to constant weight at 60 °C and weighted for biomass components (leaf, twig, branch, bole, stump root, lateral root, fine root). Harvesting in a similar manner, was continued annually up to nine years of tree age and thus in all 27 sampled trees were available for analysis and fitting of models. Diameter at breast height (dbh) alone was a very good predictor of dry weight and accordingly the height was not included in the model. Various functions viz (linear, allometric, logistic, gompertz and chapman-richards), were attempted for dry weight estimation. The linear model, though easiest to fit, suffered from the 'negative estimation problem', specifically for the lower range of explanatory variate. Of the remaining non-linear models, the allometric model outperformed the others on the basis of validation criterions. The value of R2 ranged from 0.95 to 0.99, for the allometric models fitted on various biomass components. The proposed models can be used for prediction of component wise dry biomass of P. deltoides for a wide range of dbh values (1-50 cm) at one end and can also help farmers in the choice of economical harvest rather than the traditional physical rotation. In addition, they can be used in carbon sequestration studies, which needs complete biomass estimation. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Sharma A.R.,Indian Agricultural Research Institute | Singh R.,Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute | Dhyani S.K.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Dube R.K.,Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems | Year: 2010

Mulching with vegetative materials is a highly beneficial and widely-investigated agro-technique in rainfed areas but the adoption of this practice has been constrained due to non-availability of mulch biomass locally. Live mulching with fast-growing annual green manure legumes like sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea) or prunings of Leucaena leucocephala grown as hedge rows can be done for moisture conservation as well as nutrient cycling in the maize-wheat cropping system, which is predominantly followed in the high rainfall sub-mountainous region of north-western India. A field experiment was conducted at Selakui, Dehradun during 2000-2004 to study the effect of legume mulching, viz. in situ grown sunnhemp and Leucaena prunings, along with varying N levels, viz. 0, 30, 60 and 90 kg N ha-1 (to maize), and 0, 40 and 80 kg N ha-1 (to wheat) on productivity, soil moisture conservation and soil physico-chemical properties. Intercropped sunnhemp added 0.75-1.45 t dry matter and 21.6-41. 3 kg N ha-1 at 30-35 days, while Leucaena twigs added 1.89-4.15 t dry matter and 75. 2-161. 3 kg N ha-1 at 60-65 days of maize growth. Live mulching with sunnhemp or Leucaena biomass improved soil moisture content at maize harvest (+1.15-1.57%) and crop productivity by 6.8-8.8% over no mulching. Combined use of both the mulching materials was more effective in improving the soil moisture content (+2.08-2.29%) and grain yield (15.1%) over their single application. Response of maize to N fertilizer application was significant up to 90 kg N ha-1, and it was relatively more pronounced under the mulching treatments. Residual effect of mulching on wheat showed an increase in yield of 10.2% with sunnhemp or Leucaena, and 27.9% with sunnhemp + Leucaena. There was an improvement in organic C and total N status of soil, and a decrease in bulk density associated with an increase in infiltration rate due to mulching at the end of 4 cropping cycles. It was concluded that legume mulching is a highly beneficial practice for enhanced moisture and nutrient conservation, leading to increased productivity and soil health of maize-wheat cropping system under Doon valley conditions of north-western India. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Singh R.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Garg K.K.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Wani S.P.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics | Tewari R.K.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Dhyani S.K.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2014

Bundelkhand region of Central India is a hot spot of water scarcity, land degradation, poverty and poor socio-economic status. Impacts of integrated watershed development (IWD) interventions on water balance and different ecosystem services are analyzed in one of the selected watershed of 850ha in Bundelkhand region. Improved soil, water and crop management interventions in Garhkundar-Dabar (GKD) watershed of Bundelkhand region in India enhanced ET to 64% as compared to 58% in untreated (control) watershed receiving 815mm annual average rainfall. Reduced storm flow (21% vs. 34%) along with increased base flow (4.5% vs. 1.2%) and groundwater recharge (11% vs. 7%) of total rainfall received were recorded in treated watershed as compared to untreated control watershed. Economic Water productivity and total income increased from 2.5 to 5.0 INR m-3 and 11,500 to 27,500 INR ha-1yr-1 after implementing integrated watershed development interventions in GKD watershed, respectively. Moreover IWD interventions helped in reducing soil loss more than 50% compared to control watershed. The results demonstrated that integrated watershed management practices addressed issues of poverty in GKD watershed. Benefit to cost ratio of project interventions was found three and pay back period within four years suggest economic feasibility to scale-up IWD interventions in Bundelkhend region. Scaling-up of integrated watershed management in drought prone rainfed areas with enabling policy and institutional support is expected to promote equity and livelihood along with strengthening various ecosystem services, however, region-specific analysis is needed to assess trade-offs for downstream areas along with onsite impact. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Kumari R.,Banaras Hindu University | Sharma B.,Bidhan Chandra KrishiVishvavidhalaya | Singh R.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry
Indian Journal of Ecology | Year: 2015

The groundnut varieties were evaluated during kharif 2012 in Parasai Sindh watershed of Jhansi in Bundelkhand region, where only 20% of net sown area is irrigated by open wells as life saving irrigation. Six improved varieties of groundnut viz., ICGS-5, ICGV-350, ICGV-86015, ICGV-8784, ICGV-91114, ICGV-9346, Kaushal and one local varieties viz., Jhumku were evaluated for yield potential. The fresh pod yield of groundnut was significantly higher in ICGV-86015, ICGV-8784, lCGV-91114and ICGV-9346 as compared to Jhumku. But the dry pod yield was higher in ICGV-350, ICGV-8784, ICGV-91114 and ICGV-9346 followed by Jhumku. Average RWUE of fresh and dry pod yield of groundnut were recorded 2.85 and 1.77 kg/ha/mm, respectively. However, average WUE using effective rainfall of fresh and dry pod yield of groundnut were 6.52 and 4.03 kg/ha/mm, respectively.


Patel N.T.,Saurashtra University | Gupta A.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Pandey A.N.,Saurashtra University
Aquatic Botany | Year: 2010

Greenhouse experiments were conducted to assess the effects of soil salinity on emergence, growth, water status, proline content and mineral accumulation of seedlings of Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh. NaCl was added to the soil and salinity was maintained at 0.2, 2.5, 5.1, 7.7, 10.3, 12.6, 15.4, 17.9, 20.5, 23.0, 25.6 and 28.2 psu. A negative relationship between seedling emergence and salt concentration was obtained. Nevertheless, this mangrove is highly salt tolerant during germination. Growth of seedlings was significantly promoted by low salinity and optimum growth was obtained at 15.4 psu. Higher salinities inhibited plant growth. Growth and dry matter accumulation in tissues followed the same optimum curve. Water potential of tissues became significantly more negative with increasing salinity, and proline content significantly increased. Moreover, water potential and proline content of tissues displayed an S-curve with the inflection point below ∼10 psu. The concentration of Na in tissues increased significantly, whereas K, Ca, Mg, N and P content decreased. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Dhyani S.K.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Kumar R.V.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry | Ahlawat S.P.,NRCAF - National Research Center for Agroforestry
Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences | Year: 2011

The need of alternatives of fossil fuel is pressing hard for several reasons, especially to the countries like India with vibrant economy which consumes large amount of fossil fuels and rely heavily on import for the same. Among several oil-yielding crops and tree-borne oilseeds, Jatropha has been identified as most potential plant for biodiesel due to its advantages over other plant species. Concerted R&D works on bio-fuel species like Jatropha started in 2003 after the committee constituted for bio-fuel development in India presented its report to Planning Commission and then several organizations like ICAR, NOVOD Board, DBT, DST, DRDO, and CSIR started funding on R&D of TBOs to several research institutions including SAUs. Immediately, first national programme on Jatropha cultivation was initiated in 2004, with a target of 4 lakh ha plantation, which could not be achieved in absence of suitable varieties and improved planting materials. At present the R&D efforts were focused on collection, evaluation and conservation of its germplasm, understanding its breeding behaviour, standardization of nursery and propagation techniques, development of cultivation packages for different soil and climatic conditions, machines for bio-diesel production etc. A large number of accessions from almost all the areas of its distribution in the country have been collected by research institutions. Good amount of variability has been recorded in morphological traits, seed yield and oil content. Genotypes having high seed yield and oil content have been selected from germplasm evaluation trials but their consistency over the years and environments yet to be confirmed. Seed yield has been improved to a limited extent through intraspecific hybridization but breakthrough will only be possible by the development of inbred lines and intensive breeding programmes, which will take long time. The agro-techniques for raising plantation has been standardized up to limited extent as fertilizer and irrigation requirements are yet to be worked out for different types of soil and climatic conditions. Though, propagation techniques through seed, cuttings and tissue culture are well developed. Chemical composition of oil, cake and biodiesel, its suitability for engines have already been assessed but there is need of intensive work on value-addition like detoxification of cake to make it suitable for cattle feed. As Jatropha cultivation is projected for the wastelands, the development of varieties for moisture stress, degraded and marginal lands are urgently required. In nutshell, Jatropha research is still at the beginning with respect to genetic improvement for increasing seed and oil yield. High variability provides good opportunity for selection of desired types and success in breeding programme. The article summarizes the need of the hour, current status of R&D efforts and future strategies to be made.

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