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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF RANGE AND DESERT RESEARCH   FALL 2017 , Volume 24 , Number 3 (68) #R00445; Page(s) 547 To 559.

An investigation on spacial heterogeneity of rangeland ecosystem function caused by different grazing intensity and geographical aspects

Author(s):  Rafigh E., NASERI K.*, MESDAGHI M., MELATI F.
* Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Ferdosi University, Mashhsad, Iran
Monitoring refers to regular and longtime observations, which helps to early recognition, evaluation and prediction of changes. However, the characters monitored in natural resources science are restricted to vegetation’ s composition and structure, and less attention has been paid to ecosystem function. Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) is a method which uses simple indices for monitoring ecosystems function during the time or space. This paper investigates the effect of grazing intensity (high intensity, moderate intensity and enclosure) and also geographical aspects on ecosystem function of Torogh dam. Based on LFA method, there were four different kinds of patches in studied area namely shrub, grasses, forb and stone; in addition there were four different kinds of inter patches namely bared soil, soil covered with litter, soil covered with stone particles and finally soil covered with stone particles and litter. The results of comparison among three sites showed that all functional parameters (stability, infiltration and nutrient cycle) were reduction by increasing grazing intensity, so that the H value was calculated to be 18. 86, 12. 08 and 17. 17, respectively using Kruskal Wallis method. In addition, comparing different kinds of patches and inter patches showed significant functional differences between them. Therefore, forb and grass patches have the highest functional rank and vice versa for stone and bare soil. The comparison of grouped geographical aspects (northern-western and southern-eastern) shows higher functional degree in all three functional parameters for northern-western group.
Keyword(s): Landscape Function Analysis (LFA),patch-inter patch,function,stability,infiltration,nutrient cycle
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