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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF RANGE AND DESERT RESEARCH   FALL 2017 , Volume 24 , Number 3 (68) #R00445; Page(s) 478 To 493.

The relationships between vegetation and soil factors using multivariate analysis (Case study: Chamran summer rangelands, Khuzestan province)

* Department of Reclamation of Arid and Mountainous Regions, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
Vegetation is one of the most important factors affecting the stability of ecosystems. Therefore, detailed information on the environmental factors is essential to control establishment and distribution of plant communities. This study aimed to identify plant communities and investigate the relationships between these communities and soil properties using cluster analysis, detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) in Chamran watershed located in the northeast of Behbahan city in Khuzestan province, Iran. According to field surveys, six homogeneous units were identified and the percentage of species canopy cover were recorded in 10 plots (1×1m) placed in each unit and for floristic studies, plant samples were collected from each plot. In each unit, three soil samples were collected to a depth of 15cm and some physio-chemical analyses were conducted on them. According to cluster analysis results, six plant communities were identified. Floristic studies showed that there were 49 plant genera and 20 plant families so that Astraceae with nine genera was the dominant family and therophytes with 69 species were the dominant life form in the study area. Multivariate analysis (DCA and CCA) indicated that there was a significant relationship between soil factors and plant communities. Results of ANOVA indicated that there were significant differences between soil properties (except clay, pH and K) in identified plant communities. In general, result showed that environmental factors, especially soil, were the key indicators in distribution of plant communities.
Keyword(s): Vegetation cover,environmental factors,cluster analysis,multivariate analysis,plant community
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