Ecological Effects of Climate Factors on Rangeland Vegetation (Case Study: Polour Rangelands)

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

Department of Arid and Mountains Regions Reclamation Faculty of Natural Resources College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Climate is the most important factor of plants distribution in global and regional scale. Understanding the current distribution of vegetation cover and its interaction with climate regularity is important for predicting its future. In order to determine the effective climate factors in plant life-form in Polour rangelands in the Damavand summit (2400 to 4100 m above sea level), Iran, a study was carried out in May to July 2016. Climatic diagram for the average data of 2006-2016 was obtained by Emberger’s method. Regression method was used for determining the relationships between altitude and climatic factors and the output was employed to draw isothermal and isohyet maps as well as phytoclimatic map using Arc GIS v.10.2 software. One square meter plots were established randomly in the stand area and vegetation cover data were collected. The results showed that the study area has cold arid climate with six months of drought period. The stepwise regression analysis between total vegetation cover and the climate factors showed that minimum temperature was the most effective variable (r=0.875) that may influence the vegetation cover. The plant growth was started when environmental temperature copes with 10oC which was mid-April. Hence, the upland rangeland plants of Polour are grown in severe condition and the most life forms such as grass-shrubs need sufficient climatic components such as precipitation and temperature. Therefore, the range management approach can be achieved by limiting the grazing periods for two months to maintain the current vegetation cover which finds an opportunity to balance themselves with expressive climate changes.

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