Effect of Halophyte Patches on Some Soil Properties of a Saline Rangeland Around Urmia Lake, Iran

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Associate Professor, Rangeland Research Division, Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D student of Range Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Sari University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

3 Assistant professor, Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

Abstract

Plants may induce small-scale heterogeneity in soil nutrients, forming fertile islands. However, this process may depend on plant spices, plant developmental stages and habitat conditions. Vegetation cover in arid and semi-arid regions is mostly in the form of plant patches and bare soil of inter-patch areas, this form of vegetation cover can be useful to study plants impact on soil to get applicable knowledge for predicting plants efficiency in restoration projects. This study was conducted in 2016 to study some soil properties in vegetation patches of some halophytes from Urmia Lake, Iran. The results showed that soil EC decreased from10.32 (mS.cm-1) in bare soil to 4.92 (mS.cm-1) in vegetated areas. Also significant increase of soil pH and phosphorous content was observed in vegetation patches soil that were 8.73 and 29.61 (ppm) respectively in compare with bare soil that were 8.51 and 12.81 (ppm). As vegetation patches caused decrease in soil evaluated cations, so the main shoot succulent halophytes of Salsola dendroides, S. nitraria, S.iberica and Halocnemum strobilaceum which can uptake these ions were selected to measure their above ground biomass and root tissues content of these salts, the results showed significant difference between plant species in their salt uptake and accumulating ability. Halocnemum strobilaceum had the higher amount of sodium and magnesium in shoots that were 9.73 and 2.96 (mg.kg-1) respectively so it had the most ability to absorb these salts by roots and transporting them to shoots. In overall these plants can improve soil nutrients and chemical condition in their rhizosphere.

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