Comparison of soil and vegetation indicators between protected and unprotected areas using LFA method

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of rangeland and watershed management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Golestan, Iran

2 Faculty of rangeland and watershed, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Golestan, Iran



Rangelands include patches with different ecological functions. To determine a rangeland ecosystem function, the relations between plant and soil indices are important. The aim of this research was to evaluate and compare of plant and soil indices in the protected and unprotected areas in semi-arid rangelands of Iran by Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. This method is an appropriate way to preventive desertification programs in semiarid sites. Landscape function indices include soil stability, infiltration and nutrition cycle. At the first step width and numbers of ecological plots, bare soil as interpatch, and 11 parameters of soil surface were recorded. The results showed that landscape function indices were better in the protected site than the other one. In this site, bush types increased soil surface stability more than other types. The maximum infiltration and nutrient cycle indices were in grass species. Mean comparison of landscape function indices was performed by t-test and results showed a significant difference between indices in two studied sites (P<0.01) which determine the positive effect of restoration in a protected area on rangeland functional features improvement.


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