Variations of biomass and carbon contents in different traits and components of herbaceous species from tropical grassland
Preeti Verma, R. Sagar, Hariom Verma, Abhishek Rai, Pratibha Chaturvedi, Prem Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Kumar and Sandeep Kumar Singh
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Grasslands play a critical role in the global storage of atmospheric carbon (C). Precise estimation of C contents in different plant components is essential to formulate a strategy for mitigating the atmospheric C. Biomass (B) and C of different herbaceous plant components at species, functional group and site levels from tropical grassland locating on the campus of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India were estimated. For this; 117 herbaceous species just-before flowering were harvested. B and C contents for each species and component were measured and statistically analyzed. The measured C (g plant-1) across the components varied from 0.08 to 31.12. On gm-2 basis; it varied between 29 (leaf) and 49 (root). Plant components, species and functional groups in isolation caused significant differences in the measured C. In the present study; the C content of stem was greater than the leaf and root. The perennial, erect, leguminous and native traits had greater C than the others. Therefore, this observation revealed that the perennial, erect, leguminous and native plants could be a better option for reducing the atmospheric CO2 by capturing it and then converting into B through photosynthesis. Further, the fitted regression equation between the root and shoot for B and C could be used for the extrapolation of B and C of the root component based on the shoot component. The conservative field measurement methods may give precise data on B and C but are destructive to grassland, difficult, time-consuming, and costly to cover at large scale. Hence, the present work could be substantial for the estimation of root C based on shoot component.