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Research Paper | June 1, 2017

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Vegetation structure changes in arid and semi-arid rangelands in Iran

Fariba Shahsavand, Alireza Eftekhari, Sedigheh Zarekia, Mahdieh Ebrahimi

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.10(6), 283-292, June 2017

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Abstract

In Iran, rangeland ecosystems constitute the main part of renewable natural resources which have an important role in providing livestock ration. Rangeland management under different ecological conditions is not yet fully understood. Studying and understanding the interrelationships of the components of rangeland ecosystems are of the most important tools to adopt appropriate administrative measures in rangelands. This study has been conducted in two semi-steppe and steppe regions. Steppe sites and semi-steppe ones are located in Markazi and Isfahan provinces, respectively. Canopy cover, production, plant composition, range condition and trend were recorded for both range groups. Results showed that among the studied regions and various species, there is a meaningful difference. Studying the plant composition of steppe and semi-steppe rangelands with regard to the palatability of existing species demonstrated that in semi-steppe rangelands and steppe rangelands, the species of class I and III constituted the composition, respectively. Comparing the data given by the canopy cover measurements indicated that total canopy cover of annuals and perennials in the range sites having better weather or management was higher as compared with other sites. Results show that there is a meaningful difference between the production rates of steppe and semi-steppe sites as production of semi-steppe sites (235 kg ha-1) is higher than steppe ones (129 kg ha-1). Range condition and range trend in semi steppe rangelands was better than steppe rangelands. At the end weather and management were two important indicator in range condition.

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Vegetation structure changes in arid and semi-arid rangelands in Iran

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