Land Use Change Effects on Plant and Soil Properties in a Mountainous Region of Iran
This study was conducted to show the effects of rangeland conversion into agricultural land uses in terms of on plant and soil degradation in Choram rangeland, Iran. Three sites, including dry farming, horticultural and rangeland were selected. Across site, vegetation factors such as plant production, canopy cover and density were measured. Soil samples were extracted at depths of 0-30 and 30-60 cm. The highest plant productions (60 kg ha-1), vegetation cover (30%) and density of class I (3 n m-2) were recorded in the rangeland. The lowest plant productions (19 kg ha-1), vegetation cover (0.41%) and density of class I, II and III ( 2, 7, 6 n m-2, respectively) were measured in the horticultural land use. Except saturation percentage, clay, silt and sand there were not significant differences among the soil properties of land uses. However, at depth of 30-60 cm the highest significant organic matter (14.33 kg ha-1) and potassium (0.84%) were measured in the rangeland and dry farming land uses, respectively. Habitat conversion from the rangeland to arable lands could change the species properties and result in the reduction of vegetation cover and reduction of soil quality.