Assessing the effect of rural dusty roads on vegetation cover and plant diversity in the central steppe rangelands of Iran (case study: Ali-Abad Pishkouh of the Yazd province)

Since the roads are considered as one of the indicators of sustainable development and much of the rural dusty roads are passed through the rangelands thus, the effect of roads has a very importance effect on rangeland ecosystems. Near-road rangelands were selected from the edge of the road until 5 meters distance and far-road rangelands were used in 5 to 20 meters from the edge of the road. For measuring canopy cover, production, density, relative importance, richness, evenness and diversity of plants used to 50 m transects and 1 m2 plots were used in each study areas. 4 transects and 40 plots randomly were put along three kilometers of road of Pishkouh Ali-Abad rangelands in the Yazd. Results showed that the road can changes the vegetation composition, production, and cover, therefore,there is reducation in production, canopy cover of near – road. The importance value of shrub species of near road has declined while the importance value of grasses has increased. Richness, evenness and diversity indices were reduced and distribution of plants, moved to the clamps. These factors indicated the site of near- road is less stable and plant community has crossed boundaries of ecological threshold. Therefore, it is suggested that making the rural dusty roads should be implemented with detailed studies and suitable reclamation may be done with paying attention to ecological condition of the study area.
Journal of Plant Ecosystem Conservation, Volume:3 Issue: 1, 2015
57 to 68  
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