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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF RANGE AND DESERT RESEARCH   summer 2018 , Volume 25 , Number 2 (71) ; Page(s) 427 To 437.

Effects of ecological factors on the canopy cover percentage of Astragalus gossypinus in a part of semi-steppe rangelands of Kurdistan

* Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran
This study aimed to determine the most important ecological factors affecting the canopy cover of Astragalus gossypinus in some parts of semi-steppe rangelands of the Kurdistan province. Field survey was carried out in three areas of Kurdistan meadows including Dezli, Narran, and Murvarid saddle. The number of plots, according to the characteristics of the vegetation and other environmental factors, was calculated to be 6 for Dezli, 3 for Naran, and 4 for Murvarid saddle. The plots of vegetation were sampled in a random-systematic manner in an area of 1 × 1 m and along two transects of 100 m. Soil sampling in each plot was performed with three replications and at the depth of 0 to 50 cm at and between the base of the plants. Factors such as soil, clay, silt, sand, gypsum, lime, electrical conductivity, pH, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, stones and pebbles, nitrogen, carbon, and potassium were measured. For the analysis of soil and vegetation, ANOVA, and in order to determine the effect of different environmental factors on the vegetation cover, multiple regressions were applied. To determine the most important factors affecting the canopy cover of vegetation, principal component analysis was also used. The results showed that the factors including carbon, potassium, pH, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, lime, nitrogen, clay, sand, average annual rainfall, and the canopy cover percentage were significantly different at the level of 1%; while, the factors such as gypsum and electrical conductivity were not significant among the different habitats. The regression results showed that the factors including lime, height, and precipitation justified the changes of cover 25%, 12% and 7%, respectively.
Keyword(s): Canopy cover percentage,Astragalus gossypinus,ecological factors,Kurdistan
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