Land cover changes and carbon dynamics in Central India's dry tropical forests: A 25-year assessment and nature-based eco-restoration approaches

Thakur, Tarun Kumar, Swamy, S.L., Thakur, Anita, Mishra, Alka, Bakshi, Sanjeev, Kumar, Amit, Altaf, Muhammad Mohsin and Kumar, Rupesh (2023) Land cover changes and carbon dynamics in Central India's dry tropical forests: A 25-year assessment and nature-based eco-restoration approaches. Journal of Environmental Management, 351: 119809. ISSN 1095-8630 | 0301-4797

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Anthropogenic land use and land cover changes are major drivers of environmental degradation and declining soil health across heterogeneous landscapes in Central India. To examines the land cover changes and spatio-temporal variations in forest carbon stock and soil organic carbon (SOC) over the past 25 years in central India. Geospatial techniques, coupled with ground measurements were employed to detect changes in land cover, carbon stocks in vegetation, and soil carbon in various vegetation types. The results indicate that forested areas have decreased, while agriculture and habitation have expanded between 1997 and 2022. Vegetation C stocks varied significantly (P < 0.05) from 39.42 to 139.95 Mg ha−1 and the SOC varied from 7.02 to 17.98 Mg ha−1 under different soil profiles across vegetation types, which decreased with soil depth, while the pH and bulk density increased. The maximum bulk density in the soil was found at a depth of 40–60 cm (lower profile) in Bamboo Brake, while the minimum was observed under Dense Mixed Forest at a depth of 0–20 cm (top profile). The topsoil profile contributed 33.6%–39%, the middle profile (20–40 cm) was 33.6%–34.4%, and the lower profile was 26.5%–30.8% of soil organic carbon. The study site has experienced rapid carbon losses due to changes in land cover, such as illegal expansion of agriculture, encroachments into forest fringes, and activities like selective logging and overgrazing, which have degraded dense forests. The ecological engineering of degraded ecosystems poses a great challenge and application of complex biological, mechanical and engineering measures is highly cumbersome, expensive, uneconomical and practically not feasible for upscaling. Nevertheless, proposed nature-based solutions mimic natural reparation and processes provide sustainable interventions for the reclamation of ruined landscapes besides improving ecological integrity and rendering many co-benefits to ecosystems and human societies

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Agroforestry | Ecosystem resilience | Forest degradation | Nature based restoration | REDD+
Subjects: Physical, Life and Health Sciences > Engineering and Technology
Physical, Life and Health Sciences > Environmental Science, Policy and Law
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Business School
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2024 13:33
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2024 13:33
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