Pedosphere 29(5): 619--631, 2019
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2019 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Effects of Haloxylon spp. of Different Age Classes on Vegetation Cover and Soil Properties on an Arid Desert Steppe in Iran
Mahdieh EBRAHIMI1, Fereshteh MOHAMMADI1, Akbar FAKHIREH2, Abolfazl BAMERI3
1Department of Range and Watershed Management, University of Zabol, Zabol 9861745177(Iran)
2Department of Range and Watershed Management, University of Gonbad Kavos, Falahi Street, Basirat Boulevard, Gonbad Kavos P. O. Box 163(Iran)
3Department of Soil Sciences, University of Zabol, Zabol 9861745177(Iran)
Corresponding Author:Mahdieh EBRAHIMI
ABSTRACT
      In arid regions, afforestation has been considered as a method for ecological revival in terms of vegetation enrichment and soil amelioration. In this study, the effects of afforestation with Haloxylon spp. on vegetation cover and soil properties were measured < 3, 3, 6, and 25 years after planting in an arid desert in Iran. Soil samples were collected at two depths (0-30 and 30-60 cm) under and between shrub canopies. Afforestation succession significantly affected plant community characteristics. In total, 16 species from 8 families and 15 genera were observed along the afforestation successional gradient. Plant species richness and diversity and vegetation cover increased slowly during the succession, and reached the maximum values in the area where Haloxylon had been planted for 25 years. Soil nutrient values gradually increased during the succession, and the levels of organic matter, total nitrogen, available potassium, and available phosphorus were significantly higher under Haloxylon canopies than between them. Afforestation reduced soil pH under and between Haloxylon canopies during the succession, while soil electrical conductivity followed an opposite pattern. Haloxylon planting increased the silt content in the 0-30 cm soil layer. Our results suggest that Haloxylon establishment plays an important role in the reestablishment of desertified ecosystems in arid regions.
Key Words:  afforestation succession,arid land,desertification control,plant community,soil amelioration,species diversity,species richness,vegetation enrichment
Citation: Ebrahimi M, Mohammadi F, Fakhireh A, Bameri A. 2019. Effects of Haloxylon spp. of different age classes on vegetation cover and soil properties on an arid desert steppe in Iran. Pedosphere. 29(5): 619-631.
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