Resource Details

Changes in litter decomposition and soil organic carbon in a reforested tropical deciduous cover (India)

Literature: Journal Articles

Mehta, N., Dinakaran J.,Patel, S., Laskar A.H., Yadava M.G., Ramesh, R. & Krishnayya N.S.R. 2012. “Changes in litter decomposition and soil organic carbon in a reforested tropical deciduous cover (India)” Ecological Research, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 239–248.

Contact Info

Corresponding author:



  • Ecology Laboratory, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara 390 002, Gujarat, India
  • Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380 015, Gujarat, India


Ecological Research

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Species Info

  • Tectona grandis (native),
  • Madhuca indica (Madhuca longifolia var. latifolia; native),
  • Mangifera indica (native),
  • Dendrocalamus strictus (native),
  • Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (naturalized),
  • Datura stramonium (naturalized),
  • Bougainvillaea glabra (naturalized),
  • Cyperus rotundus (native),
  • Spinacia oleracea (native),
  • Catharanthus roseus (native)


  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of land use changes on the soil organic carbon (SOC) and leaf degradability of two sites in India (Vadodora and Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary).
  • In Vadodora, litter degradability, an important regulator of litter decomposition, was measured by calculating leaf area, dry weight, SLA (leaf area/leaf dry weight) and carbohydrate concentration of leaf litter collected at 90, 190, and 270 days beginning in June 2009.
  • ANOVA results showed that differences in the ten selected species’ leaf area, dry weight, SLA, nonstructural carbohydrates, structural carbohydrates (lignin and holocellulose), and LCI were statistically significant.
  • Decomposition rates (k) were not different according to depth but were different according to species; K was highest in herbs, followed by shrubs and then trees dependent on leaf composition
  • In the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, soil samples were collected from under teak, bamboo, and mixed species and SOC was estimated by the wet oxidation method measuring the stable isotope ratio of carbon (13C/12C) using a mass spectrometer.
  • The authors found that SOC content was high in the top layers and decreased with increasing depth.
  • Additionally, SOC content was higher in teak sites than in bamboo and mixed vegetation.
  • SOC distribution was fairly even across the top 1 m of the three cover types indicating that differences in vegetation composition will result in very little impact on the overall soil carbon level.


Geographical Region

  • South Asia
  • Country

  • India
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