Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Estimation of Ammonia and Nitrate in soil samples using trophic cascade mechanism


Student (Semester- 2nd), M.Sc. Environmental Sciences, Central University of Haryana, Jant- Pali, Mahendragarh, 123029

Dr. Sumanta Bagchi

Assistant Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), TB-03, Indian Institute of Science, Karnataka (KA), Bengaluru, 560012


In the Anthropocene, the Earth's systems are experiencing unprecedented changes and understanding how these systems respond is critical for human and planetary well-being. To understand these changes, it is important to understand ecosystem dynamics. Ecosystem dynamics is defined as how biotic and abiotic components interact and alter in space and time. In our study, we consider vegetation as an assay for studying ecosystem's response because they are affected by both above ground (herbivory, carnivory), below ground (soil biota) trophics and climatic conditions. We followed a trophic cascade mechanism to understand the differential effect of above ground trophics on vegetation. We collected samples from field experimental plots where different fences were used to exclude large mammal herbivory, insect carnivory and all above ground trophics. Soil microbial activity affects plant-available nitrogen (in inorganic form) essential for plant growth. Inorganic Nitrogen was analysed by ammonia and nitrate estimation.

Keywords: Nutrient cycling, rainfall gradient, multitrophic interactions, microbial activity, trophic cascade mechanism.

Written, reviewed, revised, proofed and published with