Land degradation, lack of nutrients restrict success of plantation drives in Kashmir: New Study
Srinagar, Dec 1:
Land degradation and lack of nutrients in Kashmir’s soil might be restricting
the success of plantation drives in the valley, reveals a new study.
“Afforestation and reforestation programs conducted by the
government are used to reverse the environmental and livelihood problems caused
by deforestation. However, the land degradation and lack of enough nutrients in
the soil is restricting the successful establishment of new plantation,”
reveals the study titled ‘Root-associated fungi of Pinus wallichiana in Kashmir
The 2018 research was conducted by Sumira Tyub, Azra N.
Kamili, Zafar A. Reshi, Irfan Rashid, Taseem A. Mokhdomi, Shoiab Bukhari, Asif
Amin, Asrar H. Wafai, and Raies A. Qadri of Department of Botany, University of
The study was carried in the forests of Tangmarg, Mammar and
Pahalgam which are predominately coniferous, with Himalayan Pine (Pinus
Wallichiana) growing naturally along the entire length.
The study explains that the plant species included in the
active restoration programs must overcome this nutrient deficiency to achieve
satisfactory growth and development.
“An alternative plan consists of using micro-organism
(ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi) associated with plants particularly at an early
stage of seedling development can be implemented. EcM fungi increase seedling
vigor when resources are limited and enhance the competitive ability of
seedlings during establishment,” says the study.
The study notes that it has been estimated that about 90% of
the terrestrial plant species undergo an improvement in mineral nutrient uptake
when provided with appropriate microbes (mycorrhizal fungi).
sapling without providing the amount of micro-organism associated with that
particular plant. Due to which the plants could not absorb the appropriate
amount of nutrients from the soil. With the result their growth is stunted and
due to the harsh winter conditions the sapling may not survive,” said Sumaira
Tyub, one of the authors of the research.
Tyub said supplying the appropriate micro-organism helps in
facilitating nutrient absorption and growth of plant. Professor of Botany at the University of
Kashmir Irfan Rashid, said due to the climate change, forests in Kashmir are
depleting and soil is lacking enough essential micro-organisms promoting the
“Plantation drives are carried out to overcome the
deforestation. However, survival chances of planted trees are not seen because
microbes are not up to the mark which actually makes the drive successful,” he
Rashid said the study identified micro-organism associations
with particular plant species, which can be cultured and then transferred into
the soil to help the successful growth of saplings.
Reshi, Dean Research, Kashmir University, said root associated micorrhiza is
very essential for the growth of plants. “For rehabilitating depleted forests,
plantation drives are put in place. However, seedling will not survive in
nature if they are not inoculated with right kind of microbes (mycorrhiza),” he
Professor Reshi explained that after inoculating the
seedling the chance of survival of saplings increases.
Chief Conservator Forests Kashmir, Farooq Gillani however
said no such thing has happened till date. “If Kashmir University has done any
such research they should share with us and SKUAST.”