Document Type : Research and Full Length Article
Assistant Professor, Rangeland Research Division, Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Center of Ardabil Province, Iran
Choosing the suitable species, sowing method and sowing season are three important factors for the success of rangeland restoration. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of sowing season and sowing methods on vegetative growth and establishment of Astragalus lilacinus in rangelands of Ardabil province during 2014-2015. Seeds of Astragalus lilacinus collected from its natural habitats and after its viability testing, it sown in a split-plot design based on randomized complete block with three replications. Factor A was sowing season at two levels (autumn and spring) and Factor B, was sowing method at two level (Scatter seeding and row seeding). The seeds were sown under dryland farming conditions. Data collected for establishment rate, canopy cover, plant height, and the flowering stems number over two years. The data were analyzed of variance and the mean comparison was performed using Duncan's method. The results showed that the seedling establishment rate was 28.5% under rainfed conditions. The higher establishment percentage with an average value of 33.6% obtained in the scatter seeding that was significantly higher than row seeding (23.6%). The sowing season by sowing method interaction effect was significant for canopy cover (P<0.05) and the higher value of canopy cover (2398cm2) was obtained in autumn season using scatter seeding method.