Journal Paper

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Journal: مرتع
Year:1397 | Volume:12 | Issue:2
Start Page:180 | End Page:194

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Title

Determining rangeland suitability for livestock grazing using multi-criteria evaluation model (Case study: Jahan-Nama protected area rangelands)

Pages

 Start Page 180 | End Page 194

Abstract

 Severe grazing may lead to degradation of rangeland ecosystems. Grazing exclusion cannot be considered as an appropriate management practice in all rangeland ecosystems because of its social consequences. This study aimed to evaluate rangeland suitability for livestock grazing using a multi-criteria approach. We selected and weighted various criteria including climate, topography, soil, resources, conservational parameters, and accessibility using Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP). The proposed model was tested in summer rangelands of Jahan-Nama protected area in Golestan Province. Available forage, distance to water resources and accessibility were identified as the most to least important factors to specify appropriate places for grazing respectively. According to the results, Astragalus-Stipa-Onobrychis and Artemisia-Bromus-Cousinia vegetation types had the highest and smallest “ high suitability” class for grazing respectively. Results indicated that 62. 22% of Artemisia-Stipa-Festuca vegetation type had “ unsuitable” class for grazing. The result also showed that 2053 ha of the study area had “ high-suitability” class and 4741 ha fell in “ unsuitable-class” for grazing purposes. This method has good potential to locate appropriate places for grazing and can be used for sustainable utilization planning in rangelands.

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