Increasing Agroforestry Based Soil Organic Carbon in Intercropping of Switchgrass and Loblolly Pine

Anand Kumar, Tennessee State University


Agroforestry—the practice of growing trees and crops in interacting combinations— could potentially serve as a practice for adaptation to climate change and produce an additional source of income for farmers of low-input systems. The ecosystem services of agroforestry can be effective solution for the marginalized farming community and degraded land of Tennessee and other southern U.S. Intercropping of biomass production Switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L.) within loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands can offer a potential synergy for soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration on marginal land. However, studies that have resolutely quantified the amount of SOC sequestrated under the intercropping of the plants with divergent growth habit and architecture combination are still rare. The objective of this study was to determine potential SOC storage in intercropping system of loblolly pine and Switchgrass. Switchgrass interplanted with pine trees, Switchgrass without pine trees and pine trees without Switchgrass were sampled to a 1m depth for SOC at increment intervals 010, 1020, 2030, 3050 and 50100 cm for three years. SOC stock was consistently higher in agroforestry in year 2015, and 2016 than respective monocrops. SOC concentration and total SOC stocks increased with time and SOC stocks also increased in five different soil depths among all the levels of intercropping. No significant (P> 0.05) difference was observed in SOC among the different levels of intercropping. the potential use of intercropping needs to be assessed considering the site-specific conditions of the system, and the practice incorporated where the benefits exceed its alternative land use practice.

Subject Area

Plant sciences

Recommended Citation

Anand Kumar, "Increasing Agroforestry Based Soil Organic Carbon in Intercropping of Switchgrass and Loblolly Pine" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10976463.