Studying the sffects of Grazing Capacity and Rangeland Conditions on Occurrence of Landslide in Subalpine Grassland (Case Study: Rangeland of Masoleh Watershed)

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


1 Rangeland Management, Islamic Azad University, Nour Branch, Nour,

2 Islamic Azad University, Nour Branch, Nour

3 Gillan University of Natural Resources


Subalpine rangeland as a rara avis ecosystem is very important because of
ecological features. Consistency and resistance of this ecosystem is so frangible and its
natural equilibrium is instable due to the effects of biotic and abiotic factors. The landslide
as one of negative consequences in upland area is seen in Masoleh watershed (north of
Iran). This study has investigated the roles of biotic factors playing in the occurrence of the
landslides in Masoleh rangeland. Hence, two sites such as exclosure and grazing areas
were analyzed and compared. The plot size was 1m² and totally, 128 plots were obtained
by minimal area method and statistical formula approach, respectively. The rangeland
conditions were measured by six-factor method. Clipping and weighing method was used
to determine the grazing capacity. In order to do the landslide zonation, the landslide index
was employed. Results showed that there were significant differences between species
densities and soil conservation factors in both exclosure and grazing areas. There might be
more than 1.2 overstocking in the grazing area. The rangeland conditions‟ classes and
distance from fold, effective biotic factors, geologic formation, soil texture and effective
abiotic factors were the most influential factors on the landslide occurrence in subalpine
ecosystem of Masoleh. Regarding results of current research, the exclosure can protect the
soil from the landslide through increasing the perennial and endemic species. Decreasing
livestock and regulating the animal entrance and egress to reach the suitable circumstances
of vegetation covers and pull up the landslide occurrence are recommended in this area.