Comparison of Plant Litter Composition in Three Range Species and its Effects on Soil Fertility (Case Study: North Eastern Islamabad Rangeland, Kermanshah Province, Iran)


1 M.Sc. Range Management Faculty of Natural Resources University of Tehran, Iran

2 M.Sc. Combat desertification Faculty of Natural Resources University of Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Natural Resources University of Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Natural Resources University of Tehran, Iran


Plant litter is an important factor for soil conservation and sustainability that could modify soil chemical properties and increase the plant biomass production. The aim of this research was to compare plant litter chemical composition and its effects on soil properties in three species including Hordeum bulbosum, Poa bulbosa, Bromus tectorum. First, soil samples were taken in the depth of 0-30 cm and litter samples were collected from soil surface based on a random-systemic method using three 200m transects. Then, samples of dried plants of current and previous years were taken from 1 m2 plots. The soil samples under the plants and bare soil (as control) were also taken at the depth of 0-30 cm. Finally, the chemical composition of litter and physical and chemical properties of soils were analyzed. Results showed significant differences between species in terms of potassium (K), carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio  (P<0.01). There were also significant differences between litter and soil for chemical elements (P<0.01). The litter of species generally had higher values of all the chemical elements than soil elements except for the phosphorus (P). Hordeum bulbosum had higher values of P and C/N ratio in litter (3.23 ppm, 43.01, respectively) and higher values of P and K in the soil (10.8ppm, 400 ppm, respectively). Bromus tectorum had higher values of C and K in litter (44.88%, 1120 ppm, respectively) and higher values of C and N in the soil (1.53%, 0.50%, respectively) and Poa bulbosa had higher values of N in litter (1.53%) and lower values of C/N ratio in the soil (8.7). It was concluded that Poa bulbosa due to lower values of C/N ratio had higher litter quality than two other species for soil fertility.


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