Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print): 2328-3912 ISSN (Online): 2328-3920 Website: Editor-in-chief: Alejandro González Medina
Open Access
Journal Browser
Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2020, 8(4), 154-159
DOI: 10.12691/aees-8-4-2
Open AccessArticle

Tree Diversity and the Improved Estimate of Carbon Storage for Traditional Agroforestry Systems in North East India

Milon Das1, Panna Chandra Nath1, Demsai Reang1, Arun Jyoti Nath1, and Ashesh Kumar Das1

1Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar 788011 India

Pub. Date: May 25, 2020

Cite this paper:
Milon Das, Panna Chandra Nath, Demsai Reang, Arun Jyoti Nath and Ashesh Kumar Das. Tree Diversity and the Improved Estimate of Carbon Storage for Traditional Agroforestry Systems in North East India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2020; 8(4):154-159. doi: 10.12691/aees-8-4-2


Studies across the world suggest agricultural intensification has been responsible for net gains in human well-being and economic development, but with an increasing cost of degradation of natural resources. The traditional agroforestry systems have been increasingly recognized for its contributions to the sustainable intensification of food production while providing several additional benefits to society. The lack of standard protocol for precise estimation of biomass and carbon storage of traditional agroforestry systems might have undermined the actual potential of such systems in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Therefore, the present study was conducted in an age-old traditionally managed Piper betle agroforestry system (PAS) from North East India. The study aimed (i) to estimate the specific gravity (SG) and carbon content (CC) of dominant tree species, and (ii) to establish the relationship of SG, CC, and biomass increment rates for dominant tree species in PAS. A total of 44 tree species with a stem density of 1255 stems ha-1 was recorded under the PAS. The diversity index of 3.75 estimated for PAS indicate the traditionally managed agro-ecosystem is more diverse than much tropical and sub-tropical agroforestry and forest ecosystems across the world. The estimated SG and CC ranged from 0.35-0.83 g cm-3, 42.7-48.9% respectively. A positive correlation between SG and CC for dominant tree species may facilitate future prediction of CC for other tree species using the allometric model. The present study suggests a preference for median growth rate tree species for incorporation in future agroforestry expansion or social forestry program may enhance provisioning ecosystem services and nature conservancy.

piper betle agroforestry specific gravity carbon content non-destructive approach dominant trees

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  UNFCCC, ‘The Paris Agreement’, The Conference of the Parties. 2015, Available at: eng/l09r01.pdf [Accessed 15 October 2017].
[2]  Clarke, L., Jiang, K., Akimoto, et al., Assessing Transformation Pathways. In: Edenhofer, O., Pichs-Madruga, R., Sokona, et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
[3]  Van Vuuren, D.P., Stehfest, E., Gernaat, D., et al., Energy, land-use and greenhouse gas emissions trajectories under a green growth paradigm, Global Environmental Change, 42. 237-250. 2014.
[4]  Fuss, S., Canadell, J.G., Peters, G.P., Massimo, T., Andrew, R.M., Ciais, P. et al., Betting on negative emissions, Nataure Climate Change, 4. 850-853. 2014.
[5]  Rogelj, J., Den Elzen, M., Höhne, N., et al. Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2°C, Nature, 534. 631-639.2016.
[6]  IPCC. Climate Change, Mitigation of Climate Change, Geneva: IPCC. 2014.
[7]  UNEP. The Emissions Gap Report, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi. UNEP. 2017.
[8]  Diaz, D., Hamilton, K., Johnson, E., State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2011: From Canopy to Currency. Ecosystem Marketplace Report, Forest Trends, Washington, DC, 2011.
[9]  Miles, L., Sonwa, D.J., et al., UNEP Emissions Gap Report, Chapter 6: Mitigation potential from forest-related activities and incentives for enhanced ac on in developing countries, 2015.
[10]  Mbow, C., Noordwijk, M.V., Luedeling, E., Nuefeldt, H., Minang, P.A., Kowero, G, Agroforesry solutions to address food security and climate change in Africa, Current Opinion Environment Sustainibility, 6. 61-67.2014.
[11]  Feliciano, D., Ledo, A., Hillier, J., Nayak, D.R, Which agroforestry options give the greatest soil and above ground carbon benefits in different world regions? Agriculture Ecosystems Environment, 254. 117-129. 2018.
[12]  Baah-Acheamfour, M., Chang, S.X., Bork, E.W., Carlyle, C.N., The potential of agroforestry to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases in Canada Insight from pairwise comparisons with traditional agriculture, data gaps and future research, Forestry Chronicle, 93. 180-189. 2017.
[13]  Nath, A.J., Tiwari, B.K., et al., Allometric Models for Estimation of Forest Biomass in North East India, Forests, 10. 103. 2019.
[14]  Sileshi, G.W., A critical review of forest biomass estimation models, common mistakes and corrective measures. Forest Ecology and Management, 329. 237-254. 2014.
[15]  Pandey, R., Aretano, R., Gupta, A.K., Meena, D., Kumar, B., Alatalo, J.M., Agroecology as a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Smallholders of Tehri-Garhwal in the Indian Himalayan Region, Small-Scale Forestry,16. 53-63. 2017.
[16]  Brahma, B., Pathak, K., Lal, R., Kurmi, B., Das, M., Nath, P.C., Nath, A.J., Das, A.K., Ecosystem carbon sequestration through restoration of degraded lands in Northeast India, Land Degradation and Development, 29. 15-25. 2018.
[17]  NEDFCL (North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd). 2016. North eastern data bank 2016. NEDFi House, G. S. Road, Assam, India.
[18]  Murthy, K.I., Gupta, M., Tomar, S., Munsi, M., Tiwari, R., Hegde, G.D., Ravindranath N.H. Carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry systems in India, Journal of Earth Science and Climate Change, 4. 1-7. 2013.
[19]  USDA, Keys to Soil Taxonomy. In, USDA Handbook, Soil Survey Staff, Washington, DC, 8. 1998.
[20]  Guha, P., Betel leaf: The neglected green gold of India, Journal of Human Ecology, 19. 87-93. 2006.
[21]  Nandy, S., Das, A.K., Comparing tree diversity and population structure between a traditional agroforestry system and natural forests of Barak valley, Northeast India, International Jouranal of Biodiversity Science Ecosystem Service and Management, 9. 104-113. 2013.
[22]  Nath, A.J., Reang, D., Das, A.K., Brahma, B., Das, M., Traditional practice Paan Jhum cultivation among Khasia community in Barak Valley, Assam. Journal of Traditional and Folk Practices, 4. 96-99. 2016.
[23]  Mukul, S.A., Saha, N., Conservation benefits of tropical multifunctional land-uses in and around a forest protected area of Bangladesh, Land, 6, 2. 2017.
[24]  Singh, S., Dadhwal, V.K., Manual on spatial assessment of vegetation carbon pool of India. Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (National Remote Sensing Centre), ISRO. Department of Space, Govt of India, Dehradun, 2009.
[25]  Shannon, C.E., Weaver, W., The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.
[26]  Margalef, R., Information theory in ecology, General Systems, 3. 36-71. 1958.
[27]  Pielou, E.C., The measurement of diversity in different types of biological collections, Journal of Theoritical Biology, 13. 131-144. 1966.
[28]  Simpson, E. H., Measurement of diversity, Nature, 163. 688. 1949.
[29]  Jegora, T., Asfaw, Z., Anjulo, A., Woody species diversity and management in homegarden agroforesry, The case of Shashemene district, Ethiopia, International Journal of Forest Research, 1-6. 2019.
[30]  George, M.V., Christopher, G. Structure, diversity and utilization of plant species in tribal homegardens of Kerala, India, Agroforestry Systems, 94. 297-307. 2019.
[31]  Mishra, A.K., Behera, S.K., Singh, K., Sahu, N., Bajpai, O., Kumar, A., et al., Relation of forest structure and soil properties in natural, rehabilitated and degraded forest, Journal of Biodiversity Management, Forestry, 2. 1-8. 2013.
[32]  Pérez, L.D., Kanninen, M., Wood specific gravity and aboveground biomass of Bombacopsis quinata plantations in Costa Rica., Forest Ecology and Management, 165. 1-9. 2002.
[33]  Allen, S.E., Grimshaw, H.W., Parkinson, J.A., Quarnby, C., Chemical analysis of ecological materials. Oxford, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1989.
[34]  Deb, S., Deb, D., Sarkar, A., Majumdar, K. Community Structure, Biodiversity Value and Management Practices of Traditional Agroforestry Systems in Tripura, North East India, Journal of Biodiversity Management and Forestry, 3. 2-6. 2014.
[35]  Pandey, D.N., Multifunctional agroforestry systems in India, Current Science, 92. 455-463. 2007.
[36]  Umrao, R., Mehera, B., Khare, N., Kumar, H. Structure and floristic composition of existing agroforestry systems in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh, India, Current World Environment, 12. 124-131. 2017.
[37]  Salve, A., Bhardwaj, D.R., Tahkur, C.L., Floristic composition and distribution pattern of plant communities under different agroforestry systems in Kinnaur, North-western Himalayas, Research Journal of Chemistry Environmental Science, 6.17-34. 2018.
[38]  Abebe, T., Wiersum, K.F., Bongers, F., Spatial and temporal variation in crop diversity in agroforestry homegardens of southern Ethiopia, Agroforestry Systems, 78. 309-322. 2010.
[39]  Udawatta, R.P., Rankoth, M.L., Jose, S., Agroforestry and Biodiversity, Sustainability. 11. 1-22. 2019.
[40]  Wari, B.N., Feyssa, D.H., Kebebew, Z. Assessment of woody species in agroforestry systems around Jimma Town, Southwestern Ethiopia, International Journal of Biodiversity Conservation, 11. 18-30. 2019.
[41]  Saikia, P., Khan M.L., Tree species diversity and its population and regeneration status in homegardens of upper Assam, Northeast India, Journal for Environmental Science, 32. 129-139. 2016.
[42]  Naidu, M.T., Kumar, O.A., Tree diversity, stand structure, and community composition of tropical forests in Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India, Journal of Asia Pacific Biodiversity, 9. 328-334. 2016.
[43]  Devi, N.L., Singha, D., Tripathi, S.K., Tree species composition and diversity in tropical moist forests of Mizoram, Northeast India, Indian Journal of Ecology, 45. 454-461. 2018.
[44]  Kalita, R., Das, A.K., Nath, A.J., Comparative study on growth performance of two shade trees in tea agroforestry system, Journal of Environmental Biology, 35. 699-702. 2014.
[45]  Raffelsbauer, V., Spannl, S., Pena, K., Pucha-Cofrep, D., Tree circumference changes and species-specific growth recovery after extreme dry events in a montane rainforest in Southern Ecuador, Frontiers in Plant Science, 10. 1-10. 2019.
[46]  Yeboah, D., Burton, A.J., Storer, A.J., Opuni-Frimpong, E., Variation in wood density and carbon content of tropical plantation tree species from Ghana, New Forest, 45. 35-52. 2014.
[47]  Nam, V.T., Anten, N.P.R., van Kuijk, M., Biomass dynamics in a logged forest: the role of wood density, Journal of Plant Research, 131. 611-621. 2018.
[48]  Lamlom, S.H., Savidge, R.A., A reassessment of carbon content in wood: Variation within and between 41 North American species, Biomass Bioenergy, 25. 381-388. 2003.
[49]  Thomas, S.C., Malczewski, G., Wood carbon content of tree species in Eastern China: Interspecific variability and the importance of volatile fraction, Journal of Environment Management, 85. 659-662. 2007.
[50]  Martin, A.R., Thomas, S.C., A reassessment of carbon content in tropical trees, Plos ONE. 2011, 85, e23533.
[51]  Ma, S., He, F., Tiang, D., Zou, D., Yan Z., Zhou, T., Huang, K., Shen, H., Fang, J., Variations and determinants of carbon content in plants: a global synthesis, Biogeosciences, 15.693-702. 2018.