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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF RANGE AND DESERT RESEARCH   winter 2019 , Volume 25 , Number 4 (73); Page(s) 748 To 760.

Investigating the effects of range management methods (Balanced, Natural and Artificial) on range management (Case study of Gazanak Amol Rangelands, Haraz River Basin)

* Department of Reclamation of Arid and Mountainous Regions, Natural Resources Faculty, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
The most important executive policy of the government is optimizing range management plans in the rangelands. Improvement, development and proper exploitation of rangelands depend on understanding the current rangeland condition and selecting a range management method (balanced, natural and artificial) to be implemented in the form of a range management plan (RMP). Data were collected from 16 ranch units of Haraz River watershed to investigate differences in methods. At first, the statistics and information of the rangelands including the total percentage of vegetation and each of the important desirable and increasing species, rangeland condition and trend, and rangeland production were extracted and studied in 2016. To determine the best range management method based on rangeland condition, the analysis of variance was used in a completely randomized design with three treatments. To compare the effect of each method during the implementation of the plan and in the current situation on the rangeland condition, trend and production of rangelands, the Duncan's test and to compare the quantitative characteristics measured before and after the implementation of the rangeland management plans, a two-sample independent t-test were used. Moreover, the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare qualitative characteristics using SPSS. In this research, rangeland management methods were considered as a treatment and time intervals were considered as a replicate. The results showed that although the vegetation percentage of palatable species composition did not increase, the balanced and natural methods were the best rangeland management methods in the good and fair rangeland condition, respectively. The reason for not increasing the palatable species was the unsuccessful implementation of planned programs in Range Management Plans (RMPs). On the other hand, although the artificial range management method was correctly performed in the RMPs with poor vegetation types, the implementation of these plans had no significant effect on the rangeland condition and trend of the study rangelands due to the high livestock population. It has also caused the cost of implementing reclamation and improvement projects on the beneficiaries. Although the percentage of vegetation cover of undesirable species of rangelands has increased, over the past 25 years, the total percentage of canopy cover and production has decreased. It seems that rangeland plans will be more effective when there is a balance between grazing capacity and livestock population.
Keyword(s): Gazanak,rangeland management methods,optimal rangeland management range management plans,range condition
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