Relationships between Soil Properties and Plant Diversity Indices (Case Study: Lashgardar Protected Rangeland, Malyer, Iran)

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


1 Faculty of Natural Resources, Sari Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources University

2 Assistant Professor of Rangeland and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Sari Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources University, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Rangeland and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Sari Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources University, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor of Rangeland and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Malayer University, Iran.


Plant diversity and vegetation distribution in an area are related to the soil physical and chemical properties. The knowledge of relationships between species diversityand soil parameteris essential for sustainable ecosystem management. This study was conducted to investigate the relationships between soil factors and species diversity indices in the protected rangelands of Lashgardar, Malayer, Iran in 2013. The land units in the area were selected in terms of slope, aspect and elevation. Two 100 m length transects were established on the slopes perpendicular to each other with the ten 2 m2 plots on each transect. The diversity, richness and evenness indices were estimated in each plot based on canopy cover percent. Soil samples were taken from each plot in two depths (0-10 cm and 10-30 cm). Then, soil physico-chemical characteristics were measured in the soil laboratory for moisture, texture, Organic Carbon (OC), Organic Matter (OM), CaCo3, bulk density, pH, and EC. The relationships between species diversity, richness and evenness with soil parameters were estimated using correlations and the multiple regressions using SPSS18 software. Results showed linear relationships between soil factors, species diversity and richness. The relationships in upper layer were stronger than the lower one. Among soil parameters, silt, OC and OM had positive significant effects on species diversity and richness whereas CaCo3, clay and sand had an inverse relationship with plant diversity indices.


Main Subjects

Abbasi Kesbi, M., Tataian, M R., Tamartash, R. and Fattahi, B., 2015. Species diversity in relation to physiographic factors in Lashgerdar protected region, Malayer. Jour. Biodiversity Environmental Sciences (JBES), 7(1): 38-45 (In Persian).
Azarnivand,  H.,  Nikoo, SH.,  Ahmadi, M. and  Jafari, M., 2007. Mashhadi N, Investigation on environmental factors influencing distribution of plant species (Case study: Damoghan region, Semnan province). Jour. Natural Resources, 60(1): 93-100. (In Persian).
Abd El-Ghani, M. M. and Amer, W. M., 2003. Soil–vegetation relationships in a coastal desert plain of southern Sinai, Egypt. Jour.Arid Environments, 18: 607–628.
Carter, M. R and  Gregorich, E. G., 2007. Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Canadian Society of Soil Science publishing,198p.
El-sheikh,M.A.,­ Abbadi, C.H A.,Blanco, P. M., 2010. Vegetation Ecology of phytogenic hillocks in coastal habitats of Jal az-zor national park, Kuwait. Role of patches and Edaphic factors, Flora 20:123–133.
Enright, N. J., Miller, B. P., Akhtar, R., 2005. Desert vegetation and vegetation-environment relationships in Kirthar National Park, Sindh, Pakistan. Jour. Arid Environments, 61:397–418.
Fattahi, ­B., Ildoromi, A., 2011. Effect of Some Environmental Factors on Plant Species Diversity in the Mountainous Grasslands (Case Study: Hamedan-Iran). International Journal Natural Resources Marine Sciences, 1(1): 45–52.
Jafari, M., Zare Chahouki, M.A., Tavili, A. and Kohandel, A., 2006. Soil-vegetation relationships in rangelands of Qom province. Jour. Pajouhesh & Sazandegi, 73: 110-116. (In Persian).
Jankju, M. and Noedoost, F., 2014. Species Richness, Evenness and Plant Community Stability 22 Years after ploughing a Semiarid Rangeland. Jour. Rangeland Science, 4(4): 129-140.
Karimzadea, A., 2010. Analysis of vegetation with some environmental factors using multivariate analysis (case study of surhk deh summer pastures Semnan). MSc thesis: Range management. sari University,141pp .(In Persian).
kevin, E., Mueller­,­ S,. Hobbie, D., Tilman, P. and Reich. B., 2013. Effects of plant diversity, N fertilization, and elevated carbon dioxide on grassland soil N­­ Cycling in a long-term experiment. Global Change Biology, 19(4): 1249–1261.
Krebs, C. J., 1999. Ecological methodology. University of British Colombia. Canada, 620 pp.
Leonard, S.G., Miles, R.L. and Burkhartdt, J.W., 1984. Unpulished report Comparison of soil properties associated with basin wild rye and black greaswood in the Great Basin region.
Mahdavi,  A., Heydari, M. and Eshaghi Rad, J., 2010. Investigation on biodiversity and richness of plant species in relation to physiography and physico-chemical properties of soil in Kabirkoh protected area. Iranian Journal Forest Poplar Research, 18(3): 426-436. (In Persian)
Mahdavi, A., Eshaghi Rad. J. and Jamshidifard, M., 2012. The Effect of Altitude and Aspect on Rangeland Plant Diversity (Case Study: Dashte Zahab, Kermanshah, Iran). Jour. Rangeland Science, 3(1):11-20.
Mesdaghi,  M., 2004. Range Management in Iran. Astan Ghods Razavi, 333 pp. (In Persian).
Mesdaghi,  M., 2005. Plant ecology. Mashhad University press publishing, 187 pp. (In Persian).
Mirzaei,  J., Akbarinia, M., Hosseini, S. M., Sohrabi,  H., Hosseinzade, J., 2008. Biodiversity of herbaceous species in related to physiographic factors in forest ecosystems in central Zagros. Iranian Journal Biology. 18(4): 85-94. (In Persian).
Mirzaei, J., Karami, A., 2015. Plant Diversity and Richness in Relation to Environmental Gradient in Zagros Ecosystems, West of Iran. Journal of Rangeland Science. 5(4):294-302.
Pinke, G., PAL, R. and Botta-pukat, Z., 2010. Effect of environmental factors on weed species composition of cereal and stubble fields in western Hungary. Biology Journal, 5(2): 283–292.
Pauli,  D., Peintinger,  M. and Schmid,  B., 2003. Nutrient enrichment in calcareous fens: Effect on plant species and community structure. Basic Applied Ecology, 3: 255-266.
Prober, S., Leff, J., Bates, S., Borer, E., Firn, J., Harpole, W., Liend, E., Seabloom, E., Adler, P., Bakker, J., Cleland, E., Decrppeo, N., Delorenze, E., Hagenah, N., Hautier,Y., Hofmoskel, K., Kirkman,K., Kenops, J., Lapirere, K., MacDougall, A., MCculley,R., Mitchell, CH., Risch, A., Schutez, M., Setevens, C., Williams, R. and Firer, N., 2015. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide. Ecology Letters, 18(1): 85-95.
Rostampour, M., Jafari, M., Farzadmehr, J., Tavili, A., Zare Chahouki, M. A., 2009. Investigation of relationships between plant biodiversity and environmental factors in the plant communities of Arid Ecosystems (Case study: Zirkouh of Qaen). Jour. Pajouhesh & Sazandegi, 83: 47-57. (In Persian).
Safikhani, K., 2001. Collected, identified three areas of protected flora in the province Hamedan, Lashgardar Malayar, Khangormaz (East Asadabad), Gyan Nahavand,  MS Thesis: Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Isfahan, 98pp (In Persian).
Schwilk, D., 2006. Limiting similarity and functional diversity along environmental gradients. Ecology Letters, 8: 272–283.
Shannon, C.E. and Wiener, W., 1949. The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois press, 35pp.
Taghilu, M., Jafari, M., Tahmures, M., Kuhandel, A., Hamedanian, F., 2010. Investigation Physico-chemical characteristics of soil and vegetation in order to represent the region Savojbolagh plants. Jour. Watershed Management, 63(1): 119-130. (In Persian).
Xiaoli, F., Mingan, S., Xiaorong, W., Horton, R., 2010. Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen as affected by vegetation types in Northern Loess Plateau of China, Geoderma 155: 31-35.
Yari, R., Azarnivand, H., Zare Chahouki, M.A., Farzadmehr, J., 2012. Relationship between species diversity and environmental factors in Sarchah Amari rangelands of Birjand. Iranian Journal Range Desert Research, 19(1): 95-107. (In Persian).
ZareChahoki, M.A., Jafari, M. and Azarnivand, H., 2008. Relationships between species diversity and environmental factors of Poshtkouh rangelands in Yazd. Jour. Pajouhesh & Sazandegi, 21(1): 192-198 (In Persian).
ZareChahoki, MA., Ghomi, S. and Piri Sahragard, H., 2009. Relationships between species diversity and environmental factors of Arton–Fashtang rangelands in Taleghan. Jour. Rangeland, 3(2): 171-180. (In Persian).
Zhao, WY., Li, J .L., Qij, G., 2007. Changes invegetation diversity and structure in response toheavy pressure in the northern Tianshan Mountains,China. Jour. Arid Environments, 68:465–479.