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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Land Use Changes on Soil and Vegetation Characteristics in Fereydan, Iran

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Department of Geobotany, Trier University, 54296 Trier, Germany
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Department of Rehabilitation of Arid and Mountainous Regions, Natural Resources faculty, University of Tehran, Tehran 1417466191, Iran
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Economics and Rural Development, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, B-5030 Liège, Belgium
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Department of Geography, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030058
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
To understand and manage ecosystem complexity, it is important to determine the relationships between soil characteristics, human activities, and biodiversity. This study analyzes the relationships between vegetation, soil, and man-made damage with regards to land use change in the Fereydan region, Iran. Soil physical properties such as sand and silt content, clay, saturated soil’s moisture content, and gravel percentage as well as chemical properties such as lime content, pH, electro conductivity (EC), and organic matter content were measured. In order to trace these variables, the principle component analysis (PCA) was applied. The study area was divided into three states of conditions; i.e., good condition rangelands, poor condition rangelands, and abandoned rain-fed area. Based on the results there was a significant difference between species diversity in good condition rangelands compared with two other sites. The results further revealed that among soil chemical and physical characteristics, only soil organic matter had a significant difference between different rangeland sites. According to the results, the rangelands with good conditions had the highest amount of organic matter (1.43–1.50%) compared with two other studied rangelands (poor conditions: 1.02–1.09%; abandoned rain-fed: 1.2–1.46%). The most influential factor on the species diversity index was the distance to village parameter that revealed the important role of humans in degrading rangelands and reducing species diversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant distribution; natural-human systems; soil attributes; vegetation; management; conservation plant distribution; natural-human systems; soil attributes; vegetation; management; conservation
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Eghdami, H.; Azhdari, G.; Lebailly, P.; Azadi, H. Impact of Land Use Changes on Soil and Vegetation Characteristics in Fereydan, Iran. Agriculture 2019, 9, 58.

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