The soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in three pure shrub species was compared with the adjacent growing Anogeissus latifolia tree stand to understand the changes occurring in SOC stock as a consequence of degradation of A. latifolia forests. Among the shrubs, Rhus parviflora (168.00 ± 1.60 t ha-1) and Lantana camara (164.16 ± 2.08 t ha-1) showed higher values of SOC as compared to A. latifolia forest (161.28 ± 3.04 t ha-1). However, Carissa spinarum showed lower values (152.64 ± 2.24 t ha-1) of SOC compared to A. latifolia. The soils were dominated by sand particles in all shrubs and A. latifolia forest. Forest floor litter mass of R. parviflora and L. camara was 140.4 ± 10.3 g m-2 and 150.3 ± 9.23 g m-2, respectively which was higher compared to A. latifolia (98.8 ± 6.82 g m-2) forest. The litter mass of C. spinarum was the lowest 60.7 ± 6.0 g m-2 which has reflected lowest SOC stock. The water holding capacity of soil was recorded the highest (36.08 ± 4.57%) under R. parviflora and the lowest under L. camara (23.66 ± 8.65%). The higher amount of litter input enhanced the SOC stock in the soil. The shrub species are occupying the gaps created by villagers in the A. latifolia forest and subsequently the shrub species restoring the degraded forest areas from land sliding and soil erosions.
Key words: Shrub, soil carbon stock, soil erosion, degradation.
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