Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF RANGE AND DESERT RESEARCH   FALL 2017 , Volume 24 , Number 3 (68) #R00445; Page(s) 596 To 609.

Effects of livestock grazing management on ecosystem functional and structural features of Khoy mountainous rangelands

Author(s):  Alilou f.*, KEIVAN BEHJOU F., SHEIDAI KARKAJ E., Ahmadkhani r., MOTAMEDI J.
* Gorgan University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Iran
In the present study, the effects of livestock grazing on rangeland ecosystem structural and functional features of the Khoy mountainous rangeland were investigated. Three sites with light (reference), medium and heavy grazing intensities were selected in Dizaj Batchi rangelands of Khoy, West Azarbaijan Province. In each region, ecological patches of each life form (grass, shrub, forb and mixed as well as interpatches (bare soil)) were selected along 50-m transects using systematic sampling method with five replicates to score 11 soil indicators. Scoring was performed according to the instructions of LFA analysis. Finally, soil stability, infiltration and nutrient cycling were obtained for each patch and interpatches using LFA software. According to the results, the increased grazing intensity caused to change the structural and functional characteristics and the study sites showed significant differences for the study parameters. In other words, increased grazing intensity caused to degradation of ecological patches and increased space between patches. Meanwhile soil surface degradation caused to increased soil erosion and eventually decreased functional features.
Keyword(s): Soil surface factors,Dizaj Batchi,soil function,ecosystem structure,grazing intensity
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