Effect of Micro-Catchment on indices of Rangeland Health Using Landscape Function Analysis Method

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

University of Zabol

Abstract

Water harvesting is the collection of runoff for productivity purposes, instead of runoff being left to cause erosion. In arid and semi-arid drought-prone areas, micro-catchments are widely used as a water harvesting method to improve rangeland condition. The aim of present study was to investigate the effects of micro-catchment on ecological indices of rangeland health in Ghick-Sheikhha, Jiroft, Iran using LFA (Landscape Function Analysis) method. A free micro-catchment area (as control) was selected to compare the effects of micro-catchment on the soil and vegetation cover. In this method 11 soil parameters were assessed (transects of 100m length) to recognize three functional properties, including stability, infiltration and nutrient cycling. Statistical data analyses were done using analysis of landscape function and paird t test to compare the performance indicators in the control and micro-catchment. To determine best factors affecting the health of the range, multivariate regression model was used. The results showed that in the micro-catchment treatment, the length of patches were more than that in the control area. Significant differences were observed between the areas in terms of three indices (p≤0.05). Regression models suggested that the parameters of soil sedimentation, soil resistance to humidity, soil surface roughness and canopy cover in the micro-catchment area and soil surface roughness, litter cover and surface resist to disturb in the control area had respectively, the higher impact on rangeland health indices. Generally, the present study suggested the effectiveness of micro-catchment compared to the control area.

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