Soil fertility and root carbon exudation in Tephrosia candida (Roxb.) DC hedgerows under Sloping Agricultural Land Technology in Mizoram, northeast India

Chowlani Manpoong, Ramchhanliana Hauchhum, Shri Kant Tripathi


In Mizoram, northeast India, Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) has been a prominent form of agriculture after shifting cultivation, with Tephrosia candida (Roxb.) DC hedge row commonly used. The study was designed to assess the soil physicochemical properties and fine root biomass in bulk root zone (BRZ) and sparse root zone (SRZ), along with the rates of root exudation in Tephrosia candida (Roxb.) DC planted at Botanical garden of Mizoram University. The soil properties (soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, exchangeable potassium, NH4-N and NO3-N) and fine root biomass were significantly higher in upper (0-15 cm) and lower soil depth (15-30 cm) of BRZ compared to SRZ. Total fine root biomass at upper and lower depths were 129 g m-2 and 48 g m-2, respectively in BRZ which were six fold greater than the values in SRZ. The N-mineralization rate was also higher in BRZ. The annual C exudation rate in T. candida was 157 mg C g-1 yr-1 and the mean total annual C flux in BRZ and SRZ were 9 g C m-2 yr- 1 and 1.7 g C m-2 yr-1 respectively, to a depth of 30 cm. Results indicated that the T. candida significantly enhanced soil nutrients in BRZ through greater exudation of C in the vicinity of roots, which fueled microbial growth. This indicates significant role of the species in maintaining the soil health in the region.


Bulk root zone, Fine root, Soil fertility, Root exudation, Sparse root zone, Tephrosia candida (DC).

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