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Depth wise distribution of soil organic carbon along the altitudinal gradient of forested watershed in Shivapuri Nagarjuna National Park, Central Nepal

Author Affiliations

  • 1Amrit Campus, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 2Amrit Campus, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 3Department of Environmental Science, GoldenGate International College, Kathmandu, Nepal

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 7, Issue (11), Pages 7-14, November,22 (2018)


The aim of this study is to assess and analyze depth-wise soil carbon stock and other soil parameters (pH, moisture content, and bulk density) along the altitudinal gradient of forest in Shivpuri Watershed Area in Central Nepal. A total of 36 composite soil samples were collected from every 100m altitudinal increment from 1660m – 2732m at 0-30cm depth in three sections 0-10cm, 10-20cm and 20-30cm by using systematic random sampling. The soil organic carbon content was determined by using Walkley and Black method. Result shows that the soil of the Shivapuri watershed is acidic with high moisture content. The bulk density and moisture content of the soil were found to increase with increasing soil depth and was observed highest at the depth of 20-30cm. The pH, moisture content, and bulk density of soil showed a negative response to altitude. The average soil organic carbon stock in the watershed ranged from 82.88t/ha to 195.19t/ha, topmost layer of the soil holding most of the organic carbon and decreasing towards lower layers. A significant positive correlation was observed between soil organic carbon stock and altitude, indicating that the soil organic carbon stock in forested watershed increases at higher altitudes. Findings suggest that changes in vegetation pattern, and temperature at higher altitudes limits carbon turnover, resulting in increased carbon accumulation in soil.


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