Paper Information

Journal:   DESERT (BIABAN)   2003 , Volume 8 , Number 1; Page(s) 90 To 103.
 
Paper: 

ECOLOGY OF EDAPHIC FACTORS INFLUENCING DISTRIBUTION OF POPULUS EUPHRATICA COMMUNITY ALONG TEDZHEN RIVERBANK

 
 
Author(s):  SEPEHR ADEL, BOZORGMEHR A.
 
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Abstract: 

Populus euphratica is a woody plant that grows naturally along riverbanks in arid and semi-arid regions. Its natural stands exist mainly in Asia and North Africa. Iran is considered one of the main distribution areas of this species having around 20,000 hectares of Euphrates poplar forests. P. euphratica plays a significant ecological role along Tedzhen riverbank. Tedzhen river flows about 90 Km along Iran-Turkmenistan border. The vast habitats of Euphrates poplar forests in Khorasan province can be found along Tedzhen riverbank. Euphrates poplar forests are one of the main ecological barricades that prevent river enlargement and its geographical changes. They are also natural belts protecting arable lands against wind hazards. Euphrates poplar forests in the area were studied using topographic maps as well as land surveying. Three habitats were identified and selected for this study. Transects with various lengths were laid down systematically and 33 random plots (10x10 m) were plotted perpendicularly off the riverbank. Biophysical properties of Euphrates poplar and physico-chemical properties of soil were studied at three different depths (0-30, 30-60 and 60-90 cm) within 19 plots. Soil factors such as texture, saturation percentage (SP), CaCO3, CI, Mg, Ca, Na, pH, electrolyte conductively (EC) and sodium absorption rate (SAR) were measured in the laboratory. Relationship between biophysical factors of Euphrates poplar and soil factors were evaluated using PCA and correlation analysis. Results showed that among physical properties of soil, percentage of clay lower than 60 cm had a strong positive relationship with Euphrates poplar density. Soil chemical substances particularly Mg, Na, Cl and EC were negatively correlated with Euphrates poplar performance. Ecological analyses showed that soil salinity, pH and chloride toxicity were the main limiting factors of Euphrates poplar density. Soil acidity and lime percentage were not considered as limiting factors. Ecological analyses also revealed that soil physical factors such as light soil texture and lack of clay layer in depth of root expansion could limit natural distribution of Euphrates poplar in some parts of the region.

 
Keyword(s): ECOLOGY, EDAPHIC FACTORS, POPULUS EUPHRATICA, TEDZHEN
 
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