Online) An Open Access

S Raveendra, A Atapattu, S Senarathne, C Ranasinghe, K Weerasinghe
2017 Online International Journal Available at   unpublished
Perennial plantations play a significant role in mitigating climate change since trees can hold much more carbon per unit area than other types of vegetation. Hence, this study was carried out to investigate the potential of two coconut based intercropping systems, cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) and gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium L.) on stocking carbon in their biomass and in soil. The experiment was conducted in a coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) plantation of variety Sri Lanka Tall at Makandura (IL 1a)
more » ... t Makandura (IL 1a) intercropped with cocoa (variety Forastero) and gliricidia from August to November 2015. Three systems; Cocoa intercropped with coconut (T 1), Gliricidia intercropped with coconut (T 2) and Coconut monoculture (T 3) were compared with three replicates per each treatment. Above ground carbon stock of coconut (stem, leaves & nuts), gliricidia and cocoa were estimated using standard models while soil carbon stock was estimated using standard laboratory protocols. There were no significant (p>0.05) differences among carbon stock of stem, nuts and leaves of coconut palms across three treatments. Similarly, no significant (p>0.05) differences were found in total above ground carbon stock of coconut palms across three treatments. Conversely, gliricidia used as an intercrop in T 2 had significantly higher total above ground carbon stock of 117.92 MgC/ha when compared to cocoa 47.65 MgC/ha used in T 1. Further the estimated soil carbon content were 20.59, 20.87 and 19.53 MgC/ha respectively for T1, T2 and T3 and no significant (p>0.05) differences among treatments. Considering the total ecosystem carbon stock, the highest carbon stock was found in T 2 ; coconut intercropped with gliricidia, of 138.79 MgC/ha followed by T 1 ; Coconut intercropped with cocoa, (68.24 MgC/ha) and the lowest by T 3 ; coconut monocrop, 60.01MgC/ha. The results have revealed the potential of coconut based intercropping systems as carbon sinks with long turnover time in the aspects of mitigation of climate change.