Potential of Melia dubia agroforestry system in soil improvement and environmental sustainability


Sandeep Arya
Krishma Nanda


The current study intended to understand the influence of Melia dubia based agroforestry system on soil properties. The research was carried out at Gillan Khera in district Fatehabad, situated in the semi-arid region of Haryana. Analysis of soil samples were done for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), organic carbon, soil moisture and available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The soil pH and EC decreased more under trees than under control (sole wheat crop) i.e, 8.09 to 7.89 and 0.46 to 0.44 dSm-1 respectively. However, the amount of N, P, K, organic carbon (131.38, 16.00, 301.10 (kg/ha) and 0.46 % respectively) and soil moisture content was found higher in intercropped conditions at both soil depths.  Extra moisture in shaded conditions resulting in the breakdown of litter, mineralization and nitrogen gain at a faster rate compared to full sunlight conditions justifies the increased amount of nutrients, organic carbon and other favorable changes in the soil under trees. The current study recommends Melia dubia based agroforestry system as an excellent opportunity in order to enhance soil fertility and for environmental sustainability.


How to Cite
K, N. ., Arya, S., & Nanda, K. (2021). Potential of Melia dubia agroforestry system in soil improvement and environmental sustainability. Environment Conservation Journal, 22(1&2), 65-72. https://doi.org/10.36953/ECJ.2021.221211


  1. Antonio, C. and Gama, R. 2011. Soil organic matter, nutrient cycling and biological dinitrogen fixation in agroforestry systems. Agroforestry Systems, 81: 191-193.
  2. Artru, S., Garré, S., Dupraz, C., Hiel, M. P., Blitzfrayret, C. and Lassois, L. 2017. Impact of spatiotemporal shade dynamics on wheat growth and yield, perspectives for temperate agroforestry. Europian Journal of Agronomy, 82: 60-70.
  3. Arya, S. and Toky, O. P. 2017. Biomass production in poplar agroforestry systems in Haryana of North Western India. Indian Journal of Ecology, 44(6):785-787.
  4. Arya, S., Toky, O. P. and Singh, K. 2018. Mitigation of climate changes through agroforestry for sustainable agriculture in India. Journal of Agrometeorology, 20:172-177.
  5. Bhardwaj, K. K., Dhillon, R. S., Kumari, S., Johar, V., Dalal, V. and Chavan, S. B. 2017. Effect of Eucalyptus Bund Plantation on Yield of Agricultural Crops and Soil Properties in Semi-Arid Region of India. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Science, 6 (10):2059-2065.
  6. Bhardwaj, S., Khanna, D. R., Ruhela, M., Bhutiani, R., Bhardwaj, R. and Ahamad, F. 2020. Assessment of the soil quality of Haridwar Uttarakhand India: A comparative study. Environment Conservation Journal, 21 (3): 155-164.
  7. Bisht, N., Sah, V. K., Satyawali, K. and Tiwari, S. 2017. Comparison of wheat yield and soil properties under open and poplar based agroforestry system. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 9 (3): 1540-1543.
  8. Brown, S. E., Miller, D. C., Ordonez, P. J. and Baylis, K. 2018. Evidence for the impacts of agroforestry on agricultural productivity, ecosystem services and human well-being in high-income countries: a systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence, 7: 24.
  9. Cardinael, R., Mao, Z., Chenu, C. and Hinsinger, P. 2020. Belowground functioning of agroforestry systems: recent advances and perspectives. Plant Soil, 453: 1-13.
  10. Carvalho, A. F., Filho, E.I. F., Daher, M., G.L.C., Cardoso, I.M., Fernandes, R.B.A. and Schaefer, C.E.G.R. 2020. Microclimate and soil and water loss in shaded and unshaded agroforestry coffee systems. Agroforest System, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-020-00567-6
  11. Gill, A. S. and Burman, D. 2002. Production management of field crops in agroforestry systems. In: Recent Advances in Agronomy. (Singh G, Kolar JS and Sekhon HS Eds.) New Delhi. Indian Society of Agronomy, pp. 523-542.
  12. Githae, E. W., Gachene, C. K. K. and Njoka, J. T. 2011. Soil physicochemical properties under Acacia senegal varieties in the dryland areas of Kenya. African Journal of Plant Science, 5:475-482.
  13. Jackson, M. L. 1973. Soil chemical analysis. Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.
  14. Jemal, O., Callo-Concha, D. and Van, N. M. 2018. Local Agroforestry Practices for Food and Nutrition Security of Smallholder Farm Households in Southwestern Ethiopia. Sustainability, 10: 2722.
  15. Kmoch, L., Pagella, T., Palm, M. and Sinclair, F. 2018. Using Local Agroecological Knowledge in Climate Change Adaptation: A Study of Tree-Based Options in Northern Morocco. Sustainability, 10: 3719.
  16. Liu, W., Yao, S., Wang, J. and Liu, M. 2019. Trends and Features of Agroforestry Research Based on Bibliometric Analysis. Sustainability, 11: 3473.
  17. Magar, L. K., Kafle, G. and Aryal, P. 2020. Assessment of Soil Organic Carbon in Tropical Agroforests in the Churiya Range of Makawanpur, Nepal. International Journal of Forestry Research, Article ID 8816433, 5 pages.
  18. Olsen, S. R., Cole, C. V., Watanabe, F. S. and Dean, L. A. 1954. Estimation of available phosphorous in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate. Circular US Department of Agriculture, 939.
  19. Panse, V. G. and Sukhatme P. V. 1985. Stastical methods for Agricultural workers. 4th edn. ICAR, New Delhi.
  20. Patel, J. M., Jaimini, S. N. and Patel, S. B. 2010. Physico-chemical properties of soil under different tree species, Indian Journal of Forestry, 33 (4): 565-568.
  21. Prasadini, P. and Sreemannarayana, B. 2007. Impact of agroforestry systems on nutritional status and biological activity on rainfed red sandy loam soils. Indian Forester, 133(11): 1519-1525.
  22. Rosenstock, T. S., Tully, K. L., Arias-Navarro, C., Neufeldt, H., Butterbach-Bahl, K. and Verchot, L. V. 2014. Agroforestry with N2-fixing trees: sustainable development’s friend or foe? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 6: 15–21.
  23. Sade, A. G. 2020. Role of Agroforestry in Phytoremediation of Contaminated Soils: Review. International Journal of Current Research and Academic Review, 8(9): 29-37.
  24. Sarkar, S., Das, D. K. and Singh, A. 2020. Soil micronutrients status of different agroforestry systems in north Bihar. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 9(5):355-358.
  25. Sarvade, S., Mishra, H. S., Kaushal, R., Chaturvedi, S. and Tewari, S. 2014. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Yield and Soil Properties as Influenced by Different Agri-silviculture Systems of Terai Region, Northern India. International Journal of Bio-resource and Stress Management, 5(3): 350-355.
  26. Sharma, D. K., Chaudhari, S. K. and Singh, A. 2014. In Salt Affected Soils Agroforestry is a promising option. Indian Farming, 63(11): 19–22.
  27. Stocker, C. M., Bamberg, A. L., Stumpf, L., Monteiro, A. B., Cardoso, J. H. and Lima, A. C. R. 2020. Short-term soil physical quality improvements promoted by an agroforestry system. Agroforest Syst, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-020-00524-3.
  28. Subbiah, B. V. and Asija, G. L. 1956. A rapid procedure for the estimation of available nitrogen in soils. Current Science, 25(8): 259-260.
  29. Tiwari, R. and Baghel, B. S. 2014. Effect of intercropping on plant and soil of Dashehari mango orchard under low productive environments. Asian Journal of Horticulture, 9(2):439-42.
  30. Toky, O. P., Arya, S. and Malik, K. 2018. Effect of environment on nutrient cycling in poplar (Poplar deltoides) agroforestry systems in Haryana. Journal of Agrometeorology, 20: 282-286.
  31. Tripathi, O. P., Pandey, H. N. and Tripathi, R. S. 2009. Litter production, decomposition and physico-chemical properties of soil in 3 developed agroforestry systems in Megahalaya, North East India. African Journal of Plant Science, 3(8): 160-167.
  32. Tsufac, A. R., Awazi, N. P. and Yerima, B. P. K. 2021. Characterization of agroforestry systems and their effectiveness in soil fertility enhancement in the south-west region of Cameroon. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, 3: 100024.
  33. Walkley, A. J. and Black, C. A. 1934. Estimation of soil organic carbon by the chronic acid titration method. Soil Science, 37: 29-38.